Hitachi launches mini-notebook

Hitachi will introduce its mini-notebook in November, following on the heels of the Toshiba?s Libretto and Mitsubishi's Amity models.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
Hitachi is set to follow in the footsteps of Toshiba and Mitsubishi and announce a mini-notebook that runs Windows 95.

Hitachi will introduce its mini-notebook in November, following fast on the heels of the Toshiba?s Libretto and Mitsubishi's Amity mini-notebook models, according to sources familiar with the roll out.

Mini-notebooks run Windows 95 and are much lighter and smaller than typical notebooks, though generally slightly larger than diminutive Windows CE handhelds, which run the less-powerful Windows CE operating system.

The Hitachi notebook will have a 133-MHz Pentium processor, feature an 8.4-inch screen, and weigh about 2.7 pounds. Most mainstream notebooks weigh five pounds or more and come with 150- or 166-MHz processors. The Hitachi product should be priced at around $2,000 or slightly less, according to sources.

The 8.4-inch active-matrix LCD screen is the largest on a mini-notebook to date, and from a screen-size perspective, actually harks back to some of the earliest laptop computers which came out in the early '90s. Many of these carried 8.4-inch active matrix screens.

By comparison, the Mitsubishi notebook has a 7.5-inch color display, while the Toshiba Libretto has a 6.1-inch display.

The Hitachi mini-notebook is also expected to have a relatively big keyboard.

Prior to the introduction of the Libretto, mini-notebooks with reduced-size keyboards had not sold in very high numbers in the U.S. market, mostly due to the difficulty of typing on them. But so far, the Libretto has been a big seller at retailers.