Rightly or wrongly, when reviewing any product one normally has a pretty good idea whether it's any good or not straight out of the box. Call it a sixth sense, call it intuition, or call it bias if you like, first impressions count for a lot. Yet, every now and again a device comes along that defies such knee-jerk reaction, one that defies easy categorisation. Today's target, the Raon Digital Everun Note, is one such device.
A mini-notebook that's slightly smaller than a DVD case, it shares DNA with all sorts of products. It has the white casing and basic appearance of a netbook, the processing power of a genuine ultra-portable, a touchscreen like an MID and the form factor of a UMPC and truth be told were one to pigeon hole it anywhere, the latter category fits best. Unlike a lot of UMPCs, however, it has a proper keyboard and it also has something neither a UMPC nor a netbook can lay claim to: a dual-core processor.
In this case it's an ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz AMD Turion X2 that's backed up by a predictable 1GB of DDR2 RAM. For storage there's a 60GB mechanical hard drive, while the touchscreen enabled 7in screen has the now eerily familiar 1,024 x 600 native resolution. Naturally enough Wi-Fi is included, as is Bluetooth and a Webcam. One noticeable absentee, though, is an Ethernet port but unlike the MacBook Air, or any netbook for that matter, the likelihood of sitting down at a desk with the Everun Note are pretty slim - it's simply too small to make it worthwhile.
How small? Well if the screen wasn't enough of a clue, the full dimensions of the machine are just 200mm across by 118mm deep and 28mm thick. Unsurprisingly this means it's pretty light too, reading just 737 grams on our scales - slightly less than the 742 gram official figure.
What does this mean in real terms? Well, as noted before it's slightly smaller than a DVD case, making it about the same size as your typical paperback book, so it can fit in places even a netbook can't manage - like those impossibly small tables you get on trains, which is where it is right now. And if it can fit here, it can fit pretty much anywhere, so cattle class on a plane is absolutely no problem, in fact you'll still have space on your table for a drink and a bag of those rubbish crunchy snacks they always hand out - hmm, Thai Sweet Chilli, how original!
Connectivity is decent for the size of the machine, too. Ethernet might be missing, but you do get three USB ports (two regular ones and one mini-USB), headphone and microphone jacks, VGA and, on the front, an SD Card reader and a SIM card slot. Before you get too excited, however, HSDPA is an optional extra, so though it's great the facility is there it's going to cost more money. This is a real pity since, were the Everun Note £549.99 with HSDPA, it would be very good value. Without it, however, the case is…well, for now, let's just call it complicated.