Packard Bell Launches 7in Notebook

It's not a UMPC, it's a mini-laptop... yes we're as confused as you.

As much as Packard Bell’s latest looks like a UMPC, we’re assured it isn’t. OK it sports a ‘full’ keyboard and is a bit bulkier than, say, a Samsung Q1 Ultra but nonetheless to call it a notebook is almost to insult such offerings as the Sony Vaio TZ, a real ultra-portable laptop. However, as more and more of these style devices are proliferating the marketplace so we have to assume there is a market for them despite our reservations.

The EasyNote XS (to give it its full name) offers a 7in screen of an unspecified resolution (my money is on 800 x 600) 1GB DDR2 RAM and a 30GB hard drive based around a VIA C7-M processor. As already mentioned a full keyboard is on offer, although full in this case means “not a thumb-board” as opposed to a complete desktop board including numpad, as may be fairly obvious. This is along with a 4-in-1 card reader, VGA camera, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi.

The operating system is Windows XP Home, which considering that the VIA chip is unable to run Vista’s Aero interface is probably the right choice. Battery life is touted as 3 hours with the Wi-Fi on, which treads a middle ground between insufficient and acceptable. Finally the XS weighs in at 950 grams and measures 30mm thick, which is similar to the weight of the Asus U1F and Sony TZ but without the functionality. Or in other words, we expect it to be just another example of why the UMPC platform simply isn’t needed.

Packard Bell press release (PDF Ahoy).

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor