Elitegroup unveils the Desknote

— 1:31 AM on February 5, 2002

What do you call a computer that looks like a laptop, is roughly the same size as a laptop, but is lacking a laptop-specific processor and battery? If you're ECS, you call it a Desknote. EE Times has the scoop.

The two spindle design uses a regular Pentium 4 desktop chip that can run up to 2.2 GHz, and also packs in four USB ports, a IEEE 1394 port, an internal LAN jack, analog modem jack, and the regular complement of parallel, serial, sound and VGA ports. It also includes a 15- to 20-gigabyte hard drive, CD/DVD ROM drive, 15-inch TFT-LCD and up to 1 Gbyte of DDR-266 or DDR-333 in a 184-pin TSOP dual-in-line memory module normally used in a desktop. The unit weighs about six pounds and the retail price should be less than $1,200, the company said.


Stubbornly, Huang insisted that Elitegroup wont' put a battery in its system, even though it can do so. "Notebook is not the target market. It's a portable desktop. More than 95 percent of the time you don't need a battery — only on the airplane. Even in the airport you can find a plug," he said.

Building a notebook from desktop components isn't a totally new idea, but insisting that a battery will forever remain an optional accessory certainly is. The more I think about it, though, the more I think ECS is on to something.

There will always be a demand for powerful desktops and for ultra-light notebooks with batteries that go on for hours and hours. However, for mainstream users whose computer usage consists primarily of surfing and using basic office applications, the Desknote makes a lot of sense. A Desknote could be fast enough for a mainstream user's needs; necessary upgrades could be handled internally, or through external USB or FireWire devices; and it's a lot more portable and potentially unobtrusive than any other desktop system.

With future devices planned for AMD processors, and integrated graphics and sound getting better and better, is it only a matter of time before Desknotes threaten both the desktop and notebook markets?

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