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Unbearable lightness

Like a lot of people I was getting all excited at the prospect of the Asus Eee PC701 notepad.

Billed several months ago by Asus as the £100 laptop, it had a seven inch screen, weighed 890g, and used a flash drive instead of a hard disk. Its operating system was no-cost Linux. As a veteran of the original laptop computer, the Osborne, actually the size and bruising weight of a small sewing machine, and victim since of various 'lightweight' laptops, I saw the prospect of a virtually weightless jobbie for the jacket pocket at a hundred quid as the ultimate answer. Naturally this was all pre-launch marketing bollocks and the real price is £190 for the very basic model. You can (just) get a real laptop for a hundred quid more. And, with a keyboard only 220mm wide, typing is always going to be problematic. As a deadpan Hot Hardware reviewer (http://tinyurl.com/ys7b9q ) notes , this 'could become a nuisance when writing for extended periods of time'. Years ago an Olivetti notepad of slightly larger dimensions bombed because you needed to put your fingers in a pencil sharpener to avoid pressing adjacent keys. It made for interesting though random text.

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