The Next-Gen 12" Ultra-Portable is Here (but not from Apple)

by Joe Leo, Columnist April 10, 2007

NEWS/COMMENTARY: (4.10.07)-- As an HP printer customer, not computer customer (gosh, no!), I received an e-mail in my inbox yesterday that advertised, "New from HP! The TX1000 Notebook - the Next Generation Ultraportable" in the subject line. If I didn't hate Windows guts, I would've bought it in an instant. If it ran Mac OS X, I'd have bought it an instant.

Well, maybe. It's only because we're all patiently waiting for Apple to shell out its successor to the 12-inch PowerBook G4--myself included, put me at the top of the list!--that anything labeled "ultra-portable" right now makes your credit card drool, your mouth bug out, and you're ready to swipe your eyes without a second thought.

See? Just mentioning the thought makes all of your senses get twisted inside out!

The only problem is, HP's got everything twisted themselves. First, the laptop is a PC, second, it runs Windows (excuse me, Windows Vista... altogether now, "Wow!"), and inside are dual-core AMD processors. Of course, we're not going to see Mac OS X running on an HP anytime soon--or will we?--but at least they could've gone with Intel chips.

Time to make a call to Cupertino and call our pal Steve to ask what's up already?

I'm sorry-- Apple has already shelled out its successor to the 12-inch PowerBook: it's called the MacBook. But as I've said many times before on these pages, 13 inches is just way too big, and it calls to mind citizens of Tokyo running through the streets in panic. "Gojira! Gojira!" (Godzilla).

'A New Twist on Mobility'

The HP Pavilion TX1000 Notebook PC is the company's newest offering and it does have its lust factors: first, it's ultra-mobile; second, it has a 12.1" screen; third, it's small; fourth, it's designed for portability; and fifth, here's the twist... it's also a tablet PC!!

This laptop has everything that we've been waiting for from Apple Inc.

Here it is straight from the horse's mouth:

Our ultraportable, lightweight (just 3.95 lb.), and powerful new HP Pavilion tx1000z Notebook PC features a high-definition, 12.1" BrightView display that opens for standard use or conveniently twists for viewing files and movies in cramped spaces. The optional touchscreen converts your notebook into a tablet PC. Cloaked in HP's elegant Imprint finish, it's also packed with other optional features, including a fingerprint reader.

I'd continue with the horse's description, but when the next sentence in bold letters is "Windows Vista has arrived" I start to yawn and--no offense to animal lovers--want to put this horse to sleep (humanely). Here's the kicker: "Get things done, stay connected, and enjoy a variety of entertainment in a secure environment with Windows Vista."

Right. Why would I want to put myself through that agonizing experience? I can hear Bill Gates voice repeating his now infamous comedy routine...

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine."

I love the punchline, once a month on Windows. Yeah. Who's twisting whose leg here? Looks like old Bill's been living in some pretty cramped spaces lately.

Then there's the AMD processors that they tout as being powerful but are probably anything but when compared to Intel's offerings. Amidst all those thought-perverting, yawn-provoking drawbacks, there are some pretty good (ack! hairball... which reminds me, isn't Leopard coming soon?) features in this HP on the outside.

Except that fingerprint reader. A little too "Total Recall" for me. Cool, but not really. Besides, my Mac is secure already out of the box, thank you.

But I digress. These are all good features that I want--we all want--to be seen in an upcoming Apple machine. The MacBook Pro mini (what I like to call it), the dream machine we're hoping to see in a few months, or weeks, whatever. If Apple Inc. has learned anything from its team-up with Nike last year...

"Just Do It!"

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