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Laptops of Luxury

Our Nominees for the Portable Computer Haul of Fame
Steve Morgenstern
From the Print Edition:
The Cuba Issue, May/Jun 01

(continued from page 4)

When you buy a Sony product, you expect a little multimedia razzmatazz, and this PictureBook delivers with a built-in camera that is mounted on the top of the display and pivots toward or away from the user. Click the special Capture button and you have a digital photo, ready for e-mailing, posting on the Web or printing out. The same camera can create video files (using the built-in mike for sound capture).

The PictureBook, based on the power-saving Crusoe processor from Transmeta, runs roughly two or three hours on the standard battery -- not bad, though I like the option of a larger quad-capacity battery rated at eight to 20 hours ($500) for serious travel. While it has plenty of built-in connectivity, the system comes with no disk drives -- an optional USB floppy costs $80, a CD-ROM goes for $300.

Prices start at $2,100;, 1-800-571-7669


IBM TransNote

If you're a pen-and-paper person trapped in a computer age, the TransNote can help you bridge the gap in style. Inside the handsome portfolio case you'll find a thin ThinkPad notebook PC, with a touch screen that lifts to reveal a standard keyboard. On the other side is a standard legal pad with a distinctly nonstandard pen -- that's where the magic lies. As you write on the pad, your scrawl is transmitted and recorded on the computer via IBM's Ink Manager software. Whether it's a handwritten memo, a diagram or a doodle, what you write is saved as an image file that can be stored on the hard drive or transmitted via e-mail. If you ordinarily have your assistant transcribe handwritten memos, now you can follow the same procedure on the road, using e-mail to send out your deathless prose.

The computer itself is small but practical, with a 10.4-inch screen and a keyboard that's a bit petite but functional. There's power to spare with a 600-MHz Pentium III processor, and the 10-gigabyte hard drive is more than generous. The TransNote screen can easily be flipped over and inverted to face the person sitting across from you, an unusual feature that's ideal for making face-to-face presentations. One area that may be an issue is battery life, with an estimated running time of just 2.5 hours. However, that's no problem for the handwritten memo user, since the pad has its own separate memory and battery. You can turn the laptop off and write up to 50 pages on the pad before transferring the results to the computer.

Prices start at $2,999;,1-888-746-7426


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Comments   1 comment(s)

ignatius paul — portharcourt, rivers state nigeria, nigeria,  —  July 20, 2011 7:57am ET

i want to order

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