[SATLUG] for sale

Tweeks tweeksjunk2 at theweeks.org
Tue Sep 2 03:24:29 CDT 2008


[CCing XCSSA.ORG. as this is right up our alley]

On Sunday 31 August 2008 12:15:36 pm John D Choate wrote:
[...]
> Unfortunately, that laptop has one of those swivel screens to convert it to
> tablet-like use. The rest of the specs can all be beat by new laptops in
> the 500-700 dollar range.

Actually John... You've just stumbled upon the tip of what I would call the 
tip of the "small-tech geek iceburg".  

Geek History Time...

The Fujitsu Lifebooks have been much sought after by small-tech geeks since 
the 90s.  The Lifebook line (and other sub-2lb "book sized" notebooks) have 
traditionally catered to the Japanese and some specialty markets.  But these 
cute little wonders unknowingly developed many US/UK followers over the years 
too (yours truly included).  Other examples of this well established Japanese 
market are some that you may of heard of, some you haven't:

Toshiba Libretto:	http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libretto_(notebook)
IBM PC110:		http://www.basterfield.com/pc110/pc110idx.htm 
Gatway Handbook:	http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Handbook
		(I had one of these.. :)

Many of these available in various forms from the mid 90's mind you... :)  
Some of which went on to spawn the "Handhelds" revolution (e.g. the Zaurus, 
PDA, etc) and now to what we have currently have with Palm, Treos, WinCE & 
M$'s "PocketPC" and the Blackberry.

Anyway... This ultraportable notebook market from the 90s has always been rock 
solid in places like Japan where companies like IBM, Fujitsu, Sony and others 
marketed this class of machine as a "Biblio" (or book), so they've always 
been more common there in Japan.  But for us Americans, for years we could 
only hope to glean such tiny little dreams (like the Japanese-only released 
lifebooks, special versions of the Zaurus, and other micro laptops) from 
specialty web sites like http://www.dynamism.com/.  That's where 
ultraportable had to go to gawk at, and sometimes scrape together enough to 
actually buy one of these expensive little units.  Although once every few 
years, the market would mutate into an R&D/test-market platform and sometimes 
spill over onto the niche shelves of CompUSA where a few dozen would be sold 
and then disappear (e.g. Zaurus, Nokia, etc). 

Back in the 90s, however, ultraportable laptops like the Lifebooks demanded a 
pretty hefty price tag (between $2-3,000 US).  However... now since 
this "little laptop" market has hit the US/UK market and gone mainstream 
(Finally! thank you OLTPC and Asus!), the high-price bias for tiny laptops 
has crashed.  The whole "Little Laps" market now even sports it's own shiny 
new English acronym "UMPC" (for Ultra-Mobile PC as opposed to the 
Japanese "Biblio" term)...  Anyway, there are now dozens of UMPC sites and 
communities popping up around this mini-market:
	

Many of which are leveraging the new Intel Atom line of small/powerful procs:
	http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverthorne_(CPU)

Anyway.. It's the 21st century now... and Fujitsu ain't the only kid on the 
block any longer.  But they ARE on top of things and are now also redefining 
their own product line to cater to this "new market":
	Fujitsu Amilo Mini:	
http://jkkmobile.blogspot.com/2008/08/meet-fujitsu-amilo-mini-ui-3520-netbook.html

The irony being.. it's a market that they themselves unknowingly spawned over 
ten years ago in Japan..
 hehe :)

Tweeks


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