|Toshiba's Libretto line has always tried to be the smallest laptops out there, but the latest revision, the Libretto U105, takes it to a whole new level. I may be an infrastructure kinda guy, but when I saw this laptop at a CompUSA in Honolulu, I had to take a closer look.|
My 4 month old is intrigued by Fedora Core 4 on the Libretto U105
|I've been playing with the U105 for about a week now, and I still don't know whether it's the coolest tool ever or the coolest toy ever. It's certainly packed with features --|
That's a lot of options in a laptop the size of a VHS tape and weighing 2.2lbs. It's certainly usable from a performance perspective, and I actually like the 1280x768 resolution on that 7.2" screen. It's tiny, but the desktop real estate makes up for it. If you need reading glasses though, it's not for you.
It's also not for you if you have the proverbial fat fingers. The keyboard is 70% regular size, which makes for many a typo. It certainly takes some skill to type, and the placement of certain keys, like the ~ key and the really small left tab make for interesting hunt and peck sessions -- it's like learning vi all over again. I'd like to say that I'm typing this entry on it, but I'm on my 12" PowerBook, which seems like the 17" PowerBook by comparison.
The pointing device is a trackpoint with buttons on the side. It might have been nice to have the buttons on the front bezel rather than on the sides, as it would be easier to drive the mouse with the index finger and click with the thumb. As it is, driving with the middle finger and clicking with the index and ring fingers works once you get used to it. The fingerprint scanner doubles as a scrolling device, which is just a swell idea. Of course, a mouse is preferable whenever possible.
It's just relentlessly small. I brought it out on a plane over the weekend and the guy next to me looked up from his PSP playing I, Robot to gawk at it. He (like the TSA) thought it was a portable DVD player. It's actually smaller than most of those. Over lunch at a local diner, it dominated the conversation of a neighboring table of octogenarians, prompting one to ask me if it had wireless, and how big the hard drive was. That was worth it.