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Ultra Mobile PC
Are Small, Cheap Notebook Computers a Good Buy?
Ultra Mobile PC is also known as a netbook or notebook. What is the best notebook pc? Do small,cheap notebook computers work as well as more expensive pcs? What are the best hard drives for notebook pcs (e.g. SSD hard drive)?
The Ultra Mobile PC (abbreviated as UMPC) originated as a code name used by a joint project between Microsoft and Samsung. The project was to create a small form factor (form factor is a term used to describe the size and layout of a motherboard) tablet PC.
However, over time, the term has evolved to include many types of small "notebooks" known as subnotebooks (and also used interchangeably as netbook).
UMPCs are now considered a class of lightweight portable computers that have most of the features of a standard laptop, but are much smaller.
They are normally sized between a full size laptop and a handheld computer such as a Blackberry or Palm.
This class of netbook is distinguished by its ability to run full operating system versions such as Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP Tablet, or Linux, as opposed to Windows CE or Palm operating systems.
UMPCs that use Windows XP Tablet or Vista can run any software that was written for the operating system.
This makes ultra mobile PCs great for traveling because of their light weight.
UMPCs average a screen size of around 7", but can go up to 10". They measure around 8.8" x 6.4" x 1.3", and weigh in around 2 lbs. The processor that powers UMPCs can range from a Celeron 900MHz to a Core 2 Duo running at 1.3GHz or higher.
For storage most will use a notebook size hard drive ranging from 30GB up to 80GB. Some however are starting to use a SSD hard drive (Solid State Drives) that range from 2GB - 16GB. Onboard memory ranges from 256MB - 2GB and some will even have a mobile video card installed. Prices for ultra mobile PC's currently range from $250.00 all the way up to $2400.00, depending on which features you choose.
One of the most successful ultra mobile PC's today is the Asus Eee PC (pronounced like the letter e). There are many different models of the Eee that range from $250 to over $1000 USD.
All Eee's use SSD hard drives that range in size from 2GB to 8GB. On the higher end models, the SSD hard drive can be upgraded to a larger size.
The processor is a 900MHz Celeron, and memory ranges from 512MB DDR400 to 1GB DDR667. All models are right around 2 lbs and measure 8.9" x 6.5" x 1" - 1.4". All Asus Eee PC's come with a Linux version installed as the operating system that is Windows XP compatible.
However, there is nothing to stop you from installing any operating system you want, as long as there is enough room on the hard drive. With USB ports however, you can always install the OS on the hard drive, and put all applications on an external drive which will allow more room for the operating system. Choose the best notebook pc (and there are lots on the market) for your specific needs.
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