David Pogue Reviews Sharp’s Tiny Laptop; Recommends Apple’s TiBook

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Columnist David Pogue reviews Sharpis tiny new laptop, but winds up recommending the TiBook instead. David Pogue, the technology columnist for the New York Times who spent many years writing for a variety of Mac magazines, recently reviewed Sharpis ultra tiny, 2.8 pound laptop, the PC-UM10. Sharpis description of the its new laptop makes it sound nothing short of amazing.

PC-UM10

Truly an advancement in notebook technology. Not only is the Sharp PC-UM10 notebook computer a lightweight champion (less than three pounds) and a sleek traveling companion (about 3/4 of an inch thick), it features a durable magnesium casing, a state-of-the-art retractable keyboard, and Sharpis legendary LCD technology. It delivers plenty of power with an Ultra Low Voltage Mobile Intel¨ Pentium¨ III processor 600 MHz-M, Microsoft Windows¨ 2000, and a battery life of up to nine hours with the optional extended life battery. The optional port bar, CD ROM and floppy drive ensure that not only is the PC-UM10 extremely portable, itis also extremely functional.

Mr. Pogueis first impression validate some of the claims:

Sure enough, the Sharp PC-UM10 is visually breathtaking. Thanks to its spectacular thinness and sleek aluminum case, it feels in your hands more like an especially stiff copy of Newsweek than a computer. It has a 600-megahertz Pentium III processor, 128 megabytes of memory, a 12.1-inch (1024 x 768) screen, and a 20-gigabyte hard drive, all driven by Windows 2000. The price is $1800.

However, Mr. Pogue later points out:

If I were the executive who wanted an ultrathin status machine to carry around, Iid buy something like the Apple PowerBook G4.

The reason is that Sharp sacrificed a lot to obtain the PS-UM10is tiny footprint. To get the functionality one might need to actually make the laptop useful, one may have to come up with another $800 minimum for CDROM drive, a dock to get video output, and other things, and still have to contend with external pieces and parts. However, the TiBook comes with virtually everything the busy exec might need already built in a package that includes the widest laptop screen available.

Note: The NY Times online is free, but requires you to register.

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