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Packard Bell joins UMPC fray in Singapore

It's the latest to produce a 7-inch portable computer.

If people are wondering whether the UMPC concept will catch on, the growing list of manufacturers pumping out ultra-mobile devices should silence the critics. Packard Bell is the latest to produce a 7-inch portable--christened the EasyNote XS20.

Crave Asia

Available at the upcoming SITEX show in Singapore, it will have to contend with the ASUS Eee PC, which will be making a maiden appearance at the same time. At S$1,298 (US$853.95) it is twice as costly as its ASUS rival, so the EasyNote XS20 will have to rely on its impressive hardware to make a good showing.

The design is not exactly awe-inspiring. In fact, the Eee PC looks a lot better. However, like the Gigabyte U60, the X20 is based on the VIA chipset with a blazing-fast (for a UMPC) 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of memory. The default operating system is Windows XP Home, though it should have no issues running Vista as well. The screen, unfortunately, is a 7-inch display with a native resolution of only 800x480 pixels, which means side-scrolling for some of the wider Web pages you might visit.

An interesting addition is a DVI port in place of a common VGA output. On the one hand, DVI is certainly the way of the future; on the other, the frequent traveler is more likely to encounter a VGA display than a DVI one. Other features include an integrated Webcam, two USB 2.0 ports, memory card reader, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios as well as an Ethernet slot. The battery is rated for an impressive 3 hours with wireless turned on and 5 hours without.

For now, the X20 will be available only in Singapore for S$1,298 (US$853.95).

(Source: Crave Asia)