The netbook market is a terribly confusing place. The first Asus Eee PC was a seven-incher, but there has been a recent push toward 8.9-inch and 10-inch model. Dell has taken it even further by offering a 12-inch Inspiron Mini, making netbooks bigger than ever. Fujitsu, on the other hand, is taking netbooks in the completely opposite direction.
How small is too small? The new Fujitsu U820 is not officially marketed as a netbook, instead falling into the territory of UMPCs . That would explain the 5.6-inch WXGA display, which is a fair grade smaller than what you’d find on the MSI Wind U100 or the Eee PC 1000H. It’s supposed to be portable. It’s also notable that the 5.6-inch display is a touchscreen, swiveling and rotating like a convertible tablet PC.
Like so many other netbooks, however, the successor to the Fujitsu U810 UMPC is powered by an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor. Rounding out the spec sheet are 1GB of RAM, a 60GB (4200rpm) hard drive, integrated webcam, biometric fingerprint reader, Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and GPS. There is a full QWERTY keyboard there, but you’ll need some pretty tiny fingers to type on it properly. It’s kind of that weird size where it’s not really a thumb-based keyboard either.
The $999 base Fujitsu U820 UMPC retails for $999 and runs on Windows Vista Home Premium. That’s right. No Linux or XP here. If you’re looking for a little more beef, Fujitsu can upgrade you to Vista Business and a 120GB hard drive for $300 more. Personally, I’d be hesitant to run Vista on something like this. I hear Atom (and a mere gig of RAM) doesn’t play friendly with that Microsoft OS.