So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Toshiba Libretto U100 (PLU10A-00900W)
- Tiny and light, powerful for its size
- Can be difficult to control pointer
The Libretto's miniature size and light weight will attract veterans of the road who want to travel without being encumbered.
Price$ 2,499.20 (AUD)
"That's just like a computer, only smaller!" a friend exclaimed when he spied the preproduction version of Toshiba's new Libretto U100 mini-notebook I was testing. About the size of a videocassette and weighing just over 900 grams, the Libretto is small in everything except power and performance.
The Libretto U100 features a 7.2" wide-screen LCD and an integrated LED backlight. The crisp, bright 1280 x 768-resolution screen supplies a luscious concentration of colours, but fonts and icons were so tiny I needed to put my glasses on--except they were on already.
The keyboard and touch-stick mouse are too small, as well, making even pointing and clicking hard. Fortunately, two USB ports are located on the side, so you can at least add on an external mouse.
Toshiba considers the unit's optical-drive dock optional, so you'll need to cough up even more if you want a multiformat DVD drive.
The device's battery life was about 2 hours, 20 minutes with a DVD playing and close to 3 hours, 30 minutes when the unit ran without the optical drive. The Libretto's 1.2GHz Intel Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage 753 processor and standard 512MB of DRAM provided enough oomph for looking at photos, cruising the Net and using Office apps. The 1.8" hard drive offers 60GB of storage.
Overall, the Libretto's miniature size and light weight will attract veterans of the road who want to travel without being encumbered. My advice: try out the keyboard and touch stick before you buy. If you can deal with them, you'll have an otherwise worthy and powerful portable PC.
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