back to article World's 'smallest, lightest' laptop launches

A Korean firm’s unveiled what it claimed is the world’s smallest and lightest notebook to date. UMID_mbook_04 UMID's mbook: has a 4.8in screen The mbook measures just 158 x 94.1 x 18.6mm and weighs only 315g, yet its diminutive 4.8in display has a 1024 x 600 resolution and appears to be stylus operated. A speaker sits on …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Is it available with linux or do we have to do that ourselves?

    Who'd run windows on something that lovely?

  2. MaXimaN
    Thumb Up

    Compatible with...

    "...a strong selection of communication technologies, including HSDPA, Bluetooth 2.0 and WiBro."

    Compatible, as in, you have to plug devices in to the mini-USB 2.0 port to get them to work? Or are *all* of those radios built-in?

    The size of this device combined with the spec makes it very tempting indeed. It's more like a "pocketbook" than a "netbook".

  3. Matt

    Sony UX

    Ok so its 200grams heavier and 15mm thicker, but is powerful enough for full vista aero and has been about for years!

    I know which one id rather have! and, oh! i have one!

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Pretty much, yeah.

    Even beats the HP 95LX for size/weight... not too bad.

    It'd be the perfect complement to my 17" Sager behemoth, too - probably weighs significantly less than the Sager's power brick!

    On the other hand, the Sager will run Crysis... if not on full, then pretty close. :)

  5. A
    Thumb Up

    That looks pretty cool

    I like the look of this one. Then again I always had a soft spot for the true ultraportables.

  6. Bad Beaver
    Paris Hilton

    <5" @ 1024x600

    Seriously, why? It sure makes for a rad photo display but otherwise... WTF?

  7. Nick Kew


    Um, still looks heavier and much more unwieldy than the Nokia N810 tablet thingey (could you use it while standing up, for instance?). Any advantages to shrinking the laptop form so far out of its traditional size?

  8. David Kairns


    ...Fujitsu (or maybe Sony) wannabee, but darn nice. I'd get one if I had some extra bucks.

  9. tardigrade

    All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.

    This reminds me of my Psion Series 5 MX. I've been wondering ever since the 'netbook' revolution started when we would see a Series 5 type device. again. I've also been lamenting the fact that Psion don't do such PDA's anymore, because surely they would be making amazing netbook products in they were in that business now.

    If you accept that colour screens, t'internet and wifi were not realistic options in the 80's the Series 5 still reads, on paper at least, with a good list of features.

    Lets see; Instant on operation (no waiting for the OS to boot just *boom* and you're good to go), touch screen, backlit screen of course, replaceable battery and integrated backup battery, full qwerty keyboard that slides out reducing the footprint, true on-screen controls, built in native agenda, full office suite, expansion slot, RS232 port, infra-red, built in speaker and microphone, with hardware buttons for voice note recording and playback, OPL programming, comms for internet access via mobile phone.

    Imagine that updated. So colour backlit touch screen, usb instead of RS232, bluetooth instead of IR, webcam as well as the mic and speaker, li-ion battery, SD card slot instead of CF, update the EPOC OS to include native versions Firefox, Skype, OOffice, Google Maps app and enable all to save to WebDAV storage via WiFi or built in intelligent switching 3G and it would be perfect for what these netbooks are supposed to be. Namely on the go access and cloud storage, not trying to replace your laptop.

    I'd buy it. The only issue is how much these 'true' netbook's converge in iPhone territory. It reminds me that there were a huge number of third party applications available for Psion's devices at the time as well. Apple app store anyone? They all used to come on CF cards or could be installed via the PC sync cable. It's all circles and cycles in time, I'm telling ya.

    Psion come back!

  10. B B Beyer
    Jobs Halo


    The world's smallest, lightest laptop was, of course, invented by Peter Serafinowicz.

    Just press the single key 26 times for the letter "z"!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Excellent show

    I wonder if they will build it.

    On an unrelated note, Seinfeld fans should think of the following: should the SK broadband tech be called Wi-Bro or Wi-Manzier?

  12. reader

    "you need information retrieval"

    Good news for the fresnel lens magnifier market. Worked a treat in Brazil.

  13. Player_16

    Sit it next to a...

    ...smartphone; you know the ones.

    (...let me just whip mine out here...!)

  14. Christian Berger


    if it runs Linux. Then you can easily connect a large X-terminal to it and do anything you want. Essentially you'll have a portable storage unit you can easily see and manipulate the contents of without using an additional computer.

  15. Tim Bates

    Nintendo WiBro DS?

    I don't know why, but I kept reading "WiBro" and thinking Nintendo, then seeing the pictures and thinking of the Nintendo DS... Yes, my mind is unusual.

  16. Nigel Wright
    Thumb Up

    Psion? Ahhhhh.....

    Nothing came close. Nothing still comes close. They were bang on the button. But shite marketing.

    I really liked the 5mx and netBook.

  17. Adrian Esdaile

    I hope it's stylus operated...

    because ANY modern OS is an absolute bitch without a pointing device.

  18. Didier Trosset

    A matrik keyboard somewhere?

    But why do they still build keyboards where keys are not lined up in columns. I want an orthogonal matrix keyboard on a small laptop!

  19. Andy Nugent

    re: Sony UX

    Isn't the Sony UX significantly more expensive than this? Shock horror, something that costs 2, 3, 4 times as much is more powerful.

  20. John White

    Psion 5MX reborn?

    Like it! Very much the Psion 5 size with updated spec. Why have Windows on this? Much better something lighter - it really needs an equivalent to Psion EPOC as an OS i.e. instant on/off (suspend?). I still use a 5MX as an 'almost-a-PC - PC companion' . Don't need a full PC just the essentials and sync to PC at a later date (day - week - 3 weeks+ later). This would be a pocketable 'almost - a - PC' with the right OS. Crunchbang Linux as a lightweight distro (

  21. alan lovedog

    i recall something smaller

    i recall quite a few years back ( windows 95 days ) seeing a tiny little handheld device that seemed to be running 95 - defintely seemed to be 95....

  22. AlanGriffiths

    I too remember the series 5

    While I currently need a full laptop most of the time I have fond memories of the Psion.

    The keyboard was the thing - I could touchtype and it still fit in a jacket pocket. My (admittedly limited) survey of "modern" devices hasn't identified anything to match it but I continue to hope.

  23. Andy


    if only it was built on an equivilently clocked ion platform...

    nice little device non-the-less, fairly tempted

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Stu
    Dead Vulture


    Tosh Libretto anyone?

    The worlds smallest is just a stupid thing to claim. Also a stupid thing to report about, thx El-RegHW.

  26. Jasmine Strong

    We already updated EPOC to do all that stuff

    It's called SymbianOS these days. Has been since, oh, the second release.

  27. Tom
    Thumb Up

    looks great!

    Wider screen to fill the bezel and a bigger keyboard and they would be on to a winner

  28. spegru

    Neat - the new 5MX

    Someone has been looking at form factors from previous eras. A truly pocketable device, just like I used to have!

    However if there was ever an example of a device that needs a user interface with nice big icons and oversized text so that you can actually read it, this is it!

    Psion did that right in the 90s, the original Asus eeepc 701 did it right in 2007 and Acer's netbooks are also excellent. So, purleeez don't let them foist XP on this!

    Mind you improvements I'd like include a screen that is actually as big as the case and an external VGA connection (anyone tried that on the eee701? - it's brilliant!)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    psion my backside

    I have a firm spot for small PC's I used a Libretto 70CT as a main PC for a couple of years it had a 120MHz Pentium and 6.1" 640x480 screen. In the past, an Olivetti Quaderno 16MHz XT V30 grey scale EGA! Same width as Libretto but 1.5" deeper. Currently a Fujitsu P7010 10.6 1280x768 screen and my desktop (if you can call a 5.9"(L) x 4.3"(D) x 1.8"(H) PC a desktop) is a ARTiGO Pico-itx.

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. b

    like it!

    right, now stick a 1.8ghz atom in there or something, a verticle res of at least 700 px and an SSD and you can count me in..! ;)



    p.s. stuff and nonsense:

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Smallest, Lightest / Psion 5mx

    I have LONG felt that Psion made 2 massive mistakes that have led us to it's sorry demise;

    (a) the enhancements of the Series 7/Netbook *should* have been focused on the Series 5 i.e. Xscale proc, removeable lithium ion battery, 12- bit colour screen, changeable OS, etc. The only difference would have been a WVGA screen of 800 x 480 pixels or even 800 x 360 and SDinstead of CF. The Series 7/ Netbook were ALWAYS going to be too big and expensive to make sense for anyone other than writers/journalists and some students.

    (b) the resources sunk into the cancelled "Hildon" PDA device with Motorola should have been applied to the Revo with their reliable partner (Sony)Ericsson instead.

    The combination of the 2 would have meant that the Nokia Communictor line wouldn't have had a "lock" on keyboarded PDAs running the EPOC/Psion OS since 2000 and we wouldn't have to put up with their backward hardware choices for so long - only now changing with the e90!

    Psion would have been able to add WWAN via Bluetooth and then integrate on later models.

    To return to the actual laptot, I personally think it's great having caught wind of it on Dynamism and Engadget some time back and can only concur re the wider LCD.

    This would surely give Sony's P Series something to think about even though the latter has both a larger screen and keyboard as this one *can* actually fit one's jacket pocket for a 72 gramme saving against a Psion 5!

    Just make sure that it can also run Windows 7 as well as XP Home and that it can accept 2GB RAM and I'd definitely grab one too; the Linux compatibility would be icing!!

  33. Andrew Garrard
    Thumb Up


    Hmm. Well, I'd rather have a Lifebook U50 (or Vaio P) for the resolution (1024x600 is a bit low), but I have to say that the price for this one is more appealing. This is significantly smaller than a Libretto - and my 70CT is dwarfed by my mini-note. I'm not sure I like what they've done with the Q and Tab keys, though (or space bar, if you have a Google for a better picture)..

    As for "why", because it's a proper PC that genuinely (just) fits in a pocket, or is light enough to leave in a bag the whole time just in case you want it. Subnotebooks are PCs to have with you when you didn't know you were going to need one - if it's small enough and light enough (and cheap enough), there's no reason not to carry one with you. It also appears to have a half-decent keyboard (in as much as I learned to type fast on my Libretto but can't on a phone keyboard). It's not quite a mythical Psion FX (I want an Epson 7.2" 1920x1080 display - the *only* circumstances under which I want a 16:9 display), but it's a good effort. They've also done exactly what I'd do: give it a decent battery and let the USB port handle all the expansion.

    I'm impressed that no-one's had a go at the dot pitch yet. It does, of course, have larger pixels than all the 800x480 mobile phones on the market - but normally someone's complained by now. :-)

    @Didier - Huh? People know how to type on offset QWERTY keyboards. I have a non-offset Kinesis Advantage, and can only use it in Dvorak mode because it feels weird in QWERTY. Regular grids are okay for thumbing, but if this thing has pretensions of being a "proper" keyboard, they did the right thing.

    If only I had any money these days...

  34. Anonymous Coward

    That's Nice!!!

    I would LOVE to run Open Solaris on that box!

  35. Paul Smith
    Thumb Down

    @ Andrew Garrard

    I'm not sure what phones you've been dreaming about, but the iPhone is about 165 dpi, the Nokia N96 is less than that.

    The reason no one brought up the >245 dpi of this thing is because we didn't think you'd need it spelling out again. Your 'phone' might have smaller pixels, but when was the last time you put it on a table and typed on it? Take your imaginary phone, install Windows on it, install a few applications that were designed for 83 dpi, hold it 20" away from your eyes, have a little think about what you've seen, then come back and we'll continue the conversation.

    Were you planning on strapping this device to your face? In public?

  36. Andrew Garrard

    @Paul Smith

    Hi Paul.

    I have a Toshiba Portege G900, which has an 800x480, 3" screen (~310ppi). The (widely-applauded) Touch HD has the same pixel count in 3.8" (~246ppi). One primary reason I don't want an iPhone is that I don't want something with such a low screen resolution; hence my mention of WVGA. (I'd *like* a WVGA phone that doesn't run Windows Mobile, but that's not an option at the moment.) I have a 204ppi desktop monitor which I'm happy to use for a full desktop.

    The only reason I don't put my G900 on a table and type is that it falls over (nice one, Tosh). I'll put it on a table for web surfing, though. 20" is about my comfort range (dodgy eye surgery means I'm a little fuzzy beyond that anyway). My experience with a Libretto is that having a latop on your chest while lying down, or immediately in front of you on a sofa, works fine.

    I wasn't intending to strap it to anything. A notebook that fits in the hand can be held close to the screen. Want to type two-handed? Rest it on something handy (e.g. a window ledge), and lean in. I don't see the issue.

    But you're right that this kind of thing has been thrashed to death before - I was just hoping that the silence was one of understanding. :-)

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