Update: Thinnest notebook crown belongs to Sharp

The Muramasas from the mid 00s are the skinniest computers we can dig up.

Tech Culture

On Tuesday, we wrote that the 1998 Mitsubishi Pedion was the thinnest notebook ever.

On Thursday, we learned that isn't the case, thanks to Jorge Pullin, at the Horace Hearne Jr. Institute for Theoretical Physics at Louisiana State University.

Back in the first years of the decade, Sharp released the Muramasas. Measuring 0.54 inch thick, the Actius MM10 Muramasa notebook, which hit shelves in 2003, came with a 1GHz Crusoe processor from Transmeta, 256MB of memory, a 15GB hard drive and a built-in Wi-Fi module. It ran 2.5 hours on a regular battery, and cost $1,499. Sharp also had a Mebius notebook in the Muramasa family that measured 0.65 inch thick. Jorge bought the Mebius.

There might be one or thinner notebooks out there, but not many. If you know of one, let us know. The Muramasas (named after a renowned sword smith) were quite attractive. They also had a definite gap over the Pedion (just over 0.72 inch) and the MacBook Air (at 0.76 inch) in thinness. The MM10 weighed 2.1 pounds, less than the 3-pound MacBook Air.

Too bad about the Transmeta processors, though.

We wrote about them back in 2002 and 2003, but completely forgot about it.

Sharp has had a good number of firsts and near-firsts. It came out with the first LCD calculator, for instance, as well as one of the first cell phones with a camera. That came out in 2000. (Philippe Kahn claimed he invented the cell phone camera, but the theory has been debunked.) Japanese colleagues also say that the company's TV phones are quite popular because of the screen quality. But people forget about them in the U.S. sometimes.

And, like a lot of Japanese companies, it didn't start out in computers. Sharp's first product was a mechanical pencil that came out in 1915.

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