Sharp claims thinnest, lightest notebook yet

The machine, which has the unwieldy name of PC-MT1-H1, is 16.6 millimeters (0.7 inches) in height at its thinnest point and weighs 1.31 kilograms, according to Sharp.

The computer measures up well against other leading 12.1 inch screen-equipped notebooks. Sony Corp.'s Vaio R505 is 23.0 millimeters thick and weighs 1.7 kilograms while IBM's Thinkpad i-1620 machine is 30.2 millimeters thick and weighs 1.6 kilograms and NEC's Lavie M-series machines are 28.6 millimeters thick and weigh 1.6 kilograms.

Sharp's new notebook is based around Intel Corp.'s a Mobile Pentium III processor running at 500MHz and also includes 128MB of main memory, a 20GB hard disk drive, Fast Ethernet port, a single slot each for PC Card and Compact Flash cards and two USB (universal serial bus) ports. The 12.1 inch TFT (thin film transistor) LCD (liquid crystal display) is capable of maximum XGA (extended graphics array) resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels and 16.8 million colors.

To keep the size down, Sharp kept the floppy and CD-ROM drives outside of the notebook and supplies them as external units. The company said battery life is 3.3 hours on the standard power pack with up to 10 hours available on an extended battery.

The new computer will go on sale in Japan from June 30 and has an estimated street price of 200,000 yen ($2995). The company has plans to sell the machine outside of Japan, although a spokeswoman said precise launch plans have not yet been decided.

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