NEC MobilePro 900

There was a time when I wouldn’t walk out of the house without my MobilePro 770. An instant-on Windows CE device, it had the right form factor to allow me to type as fast as I could think. That’s something no other device has ever given to me, an uncramped keyboard, light weight (under 2 pounds), immediate startup. I was even willing to live with the quite quirky operating system.

Actually, the first subnotebook that really worked for me was the Olivetti Quaderno. Built in 1992 by Olivetti, it was a marvel in design and functionality. Unfortunately it came ahead of its time and was marketed in quite a silly way. The price in the beginning was of about 1,400 DM, making it a solution only for the rich. In the end, it cost 500 DM, but by then there were better options on the market.

Still, the Quaderno had the same advantages that the MobilePro had. Oddly enough, it had the same two disadvantages, too: (a) its clamshell is fairly easy to scratch, and (b) it processor is quite slow.

Center stage for the MobilePro 900. This one uses a fast-paced (400 MHz) processor from Intel, compatible with the old processor for continuity of operations. That’s the one I ordered just today from PC Connection for an absurd amount of money. There is nothing like having a notepad with built-in cut and paste!

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