This week I have been using a new laptop computer that is about the size of a VHS videotape. In fact, I can carry this powerful laptop in my overcoat pocket. This tiny computer weighs about two pounds (0.92 kilograms). It is an ideal system for use when traveling since it is so portable. This laptop’s keyboard is a bit smaller than standard computers, but one of my touch typist friends was able to use it easily after about five minutes’ practice.
This coat-pocket sized computer even includes more than 40 built-in applications, including a rather powerful word processor (similar to Microsoft Word), a spreadsheet program (similar to Excel), a presentation program (similar to PowerPoint), the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail program, Adobe Acrobat to read PDF files, a complete dictionary on the hard drive, an instant messaging program that is compatible with the most popular IM services, Skype for making free telephone calls, and even two-way video conferencing, an MP3 music player, a video player, a paintbrush program, and a lot more. It also includes a microphone and "voice command" software, a feature that allows you to control the PC by just speaking to it. (This isn't a true "voice recognition" system; it can only "launch" or start certain programs for you. You still need to use the touchpad and keyboard to interact with and end programs.) This tiny powerhouse also includes Solitaire and a few other simple games. All the included programs are included free of charge. If I had to purchase similar, commercially-produced programs, I probably would have to pay more than $500 for software functionality to match what is already included in this tiny laptop.
The list of included hardware is equally impressive: both wired and wireless (Wi-Fi) networking, a built-in video camera, an Intel Celeron processor, a half gigabyte of memory, and more. In short, this tiny powerhouse has most of the functionality of any modern laptop.
Now comes the best part: the retail price is $399 U.S. dollars, a fraction of the price of competitive machines. It also includes a 24-month warranty, longer than most other laptops.
I was surprised at how easy this tiny computer is to use. In fact, I am writing this article on the new tiny laptop PC.
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