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Mini-Me Strikes Again

Sub-subnotebooks

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This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

It reads like a novel: lighter than a , morepowerful than a palm PC and code-named "Jupiter." Thesesub-subnotebooks are a little heftier than Palm PCs but share manyof the same traits. They all run Windows CE (you Mac users willwant to go read something else), 's low-cal version ofthe Windows operating system. The Windows CE interface synchronizeswell with your standard Windows desktop but suffers from a shortageof applications and minor incompatibilities between what'savailable and the desktop versions.

The handhelds themselves are lightweight, cost under $1000 andusually feature a color touchscreen--sort of a Palm PC/laptopcomputer hybrid. If you've been lugging an 8-pound laptoparound, a sub-3-pound handheld starts to look pretty good. Most ofthese machines feature "instant-on," so there's nowaiting. CE software on all these puppies includes Microsoft PocketWord, Pocket Excel, Pocket PowerPoint, Pocket Access (notice apattern here?), Pocket Outlook and Pocket . Sowhat's it good for? Packing around, for sure. It's a nicemid-dle ground if you need more than a palm PC but don't needall the baggage of a notebook computer. Definitely take a fieldtrip over to CompUSA or someplace similar and try one out. See ifyou can handle the less-than-full-sized keyboard. Glorified palmPC, or scaled-down notebook? You make the call.

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