It's not a souped-up PDA. And it's not simply a thin notebook. I'm not sure exactly what to call the Toshiba Libretto, which is being announced today. This $2000 "mini-notebook" weighs less than 2 pounds but packs a Pentium-75 processor, 760MB hard drive, 16MB of EDO RAM, and the full version of Windows 95, so it can run everyday business applications. A preproduction version looked promising but wasn't ready for testing at press time.
The Libretto is only about 1.3 inches thick and is shaped and sized like a very thin brick. It takes up hardly any room in a briefcase. It has a small but exceptionally bright 6.1-inch active-matrix color screen. Its 80-key keyboard is smaller than an average notebook's; it should be fine for working on memos and spreadsheets, though not for writing a novel. A trackball sits to the right of the screen, with the buttons on the back of the display. Although this sounds rather strange, it's not difficult to use.
A PC Card slot can accommodate an optional modem or external floppy drive (expected to sell for about $100). A port replicator option costs about $200.
For the price, you'd obviously get more speed and included features in an 8-pound notebook. But if you need to run basic business apps on a much lighter machine, the Libretto could be a good travel companion.
For the complete story see the July issue of PC World.