Yup! It’s another gadget article! This time we’re gonna look at the coolest computers that have come out over the past decade (2004-2014), as PCs come in many different shapes and sizes. Of particular interest to me are PCs that are quirky or unique in some way, as Handheld PCs and Ultra Mobile PCs interest me greatly, being very niche devices. That said, a lot of people may not know some of these PCs exist, which is the purpose of this article to provide some rare PCs that have been available.
Sony P series (2009)
This is a Handheld PC from Sony that weighs only 1.4lbs, has the potential to have up to 256GB SSD, a single core Intel Atom processor, 2GB RAM, and 8″ 1600×768 screen.
Samsung Q1 (2006)
This is the first UMPC that came out. UMPCs are like small PDA sized devices that run full blown windows, this one comes with up to Intel Core Solo 1.33GHz processor, split keyboard, 2GB RAM, 60GB HDD, SD card slot, 1024×600 screen, and weighs 1.72lbs.
OQO Model 02 (2007)
This is another UMPC thats pretty cool. Runs on a VIA 1.6Ghz CPU, 64GB SSD, 2GB RAM, 5″ 800×480 OLED screen, only weighs 0.91lbs, and runs full blown Windows Vista, has a built in keyboard and comes with a docking station as well.
Dell XPS M2010 (2006)
This is Dell’s discontinued 20″ desktop-replacement “laptop”, and the form factor was pretty darn cool. It came with a Core Duo 2.16Ghz processor, 2GB RAM, ATI X1800 GPU, 2 100GB HDDs in RAID 0 configuration, and also came with a Media center remote and detachable keyboard. Did I mention this thing has a handle on it??
Sony Vaio Multi Flip (2014)
There’s a lot of Windows 8 convertible ultrabooks out there, and this is one of the coolest. It looks like the evolution of the Vaio Duo series. Intel Core i7 1.8Ghz, 12GB RAM, 2880×1620 resolution, Geforce GT 735M, 1TB HDD, has a multitouch screen and weighs 5 pounds. The coolest part of this notebook is that the screen flips into three configurations: presentation mode (reversed), normal mode, and tablet mode.
Asus Taichi 31 (2013)
It’s an ultrabook that has two screens. Two. Screens. The one on the inside is non touch and the lid itself is a touch screen. They can be dual-screened or mirrored for presentations too. Comes with Core i5 1.7Ghz, 4GB RAM, 2 13.3″ 1920×1080 FHD screens, 256GB SSD, and weighs 3.4lbs.
Asus Lamborghini VX7 (2011)
Now this looks like a high performance machine! Looks like a car… performs like one too: Core i7 CPU, Nvidia GTX 460M graphics, FHD display, 16GB RAM and a whopping 8.4lbs.
Asus NX90 (2010)
Asus just doesn’t stop with the cool looking PCs. This one is designed with audio in mind, with massive Bang and Olufsen powered speakers attached to it. It also comes with the Core i7 processor, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Nvidia GT 335M GPU, FHD 18.4″ display, and weighs a massive 9.7lbs. For a multimedia laptop though, can’t get better than this.
Asus U43 (2010)
What’s next Asus? How about a PC made with Bamboo? Like a high end piece of furniture? This elegant notebook comes with a Core i5 processor, 6GB RAM, Nvidia 310M GPU, 14″ 720p display, and weighs 5lbs.
Sony UX Micro PC (2006)
Sony’s VAIO series of PCs are very diverse, and this is Sony’s UMPC entry. It came with Core 2 Solo 1.2Ghz processor, 1GB RAM, 48 GB SSD, 4.5″ 1024×768 screen, a keyboard, a fingerprint reader, weighed around 1.2lbs and ran full blown Windows Vista. This was probably the most powerful UMPC out there at the time.
Dell Adamo XPS (2010)
Well Dell makes some pretty cool laptops too. This one is only 10mm thin, and fits the keyboard inside the display when closed, which acts as a stand as well. It came with a 1.4Ghz Core Duo, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 13.4″ 720p display, and weighed 3.2lbs.
Razer Edge Pro (2013)
This is probably the most powerful “tablet” I’ve seen yet. Razer made a tablet (actually a full PC) that could play heavy games with a proprietary controller joystick that attaches to it. The specs? HD display, 8GB RAM, Core i7 1.9Ghz CPU, Nvidia GT 640M GPU, 256GB SSD, and weighs 2.1lbs. Have you ever seen a tablet that had that kind of specs??
Lenovo Horizon (2013)
Yes, this is a PC!! Actually its a 27″ table-top PC that you can either use flat on a table to play party games, or as a massive desktop computer. The specs? 27″ FHD resolution display, 1.8Ghz Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GT620M GPU, 1TB HDD, and weighs a massive 15.7lbs.
Panasonic Toughbook 19 (2012)
Panasonic Toughbooks are renowned as incredibly durable laptops. They are military spec tested and they look like a tank. Fully rugged, 10″ swivel screen, Wacom stylus, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, fingerprint reader and weighs about 5.1lbs. You will not find a tougher looking notebook than this.
Fujitsu ST5100 (2006)
Fujitsu makes some very interesting looking laptops and tablets. In fact they were one of the first to make slate tablet PCs. This one came with Core 2 Duo CPU, 10.4″ 1024×768 display, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD, fingerprint reader and weighed 3.5lbs.
Fujitsu Lifebook U810 (2007)
This is a UMPC/Handheld PC from Fujitsu, slightly smaller than the Sony P series, but also a convertible tablet that has a digitizer and fingerprint reader as well (!). It comes with an Intel A110 processor, 1GB RAM, 40GB HDD, 5.6″ screen, a webcam, and weighs 1.5lbs.
Vulcan Flipstart (2007)
I know a lot of PCs in this post are Handheld or UMPCs, but they are all very unique and niche PCs so I want to cover this one as well. The Vulcan Flipstart has a 5.6-inch screen with 1024×600 resolution, a 30GB hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi, bluetooth, VGA webcam, Pentium M ULV processor running at 1.1 GHz, and 512MB RAM. Curiously, this unit has a small screen on the lid when closed, that displays PIM information like Calendar, time, email, etc.
Flybook VM (2008)
Manufactured by a company called Dialogue Technology, the Flybook VM has a unique design that allows the screen panel to be lifted up, swung forward, and tilted into a more ergonomic position, or used in a traditional position. It came with a 12″ screen, 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 80GB HDD, a DVD burner, a sim card reader, fingerprint reader, webcam, and weighs 3.5lbs.
Lenovo Yoga 13 (2012)
The Lenovo Yoga is another unique Windows 8 convertible design, with the screen being able to fold back all the way into a tablet, with the keyboard disabled in this mode. It can also be used in ‘tent’ mode with the screen folded halfway. It comes with a 13″ FHD touch screen, Core i7 chip, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and weighs 3.3lbs.
Alienware M11x (2010)
I put this one here only because its the smallest gaming laptop that has been released recently (barring the Razer Edge Pro). Yes, it’s an 11″ gaming laptop with all the fancy AlienwareFX lights, with an 1.3Ghz Core 2 duo, 4GB RAM, 11.6″ 720p display, 160GB HDD, Nvidia GT 335M GPU and weighs 4.4lbs. It’s an ultraportable gaming laptop.
Asus EeePC T91 (2009)
Asus’ EeePC’s started the netbook trend, and this one is the original convertible netbook. 8.9″ touch screen, 1.33Ghz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB SSD, and weighing 2lbs put its in the standard netbook/UMPC territory.
Wibrain B (2008)
Can I say UMPC’s look cool? Yes they come in all sorts of flavors, but most of them didn’t catch on because they were too expensive and too underpowered. This one had looks like an oversized Sony PSP, had a 4.8″ screen, a 1.2Ghz Via processor, 30GB HDD, only 512MB RAM, and weighed 1.2lbs.
Similar to the Fujitsu Lifebook U810 and U900, Viliv makes quite a few UMPC/Netbooks (you can also check out the S5 and the S7, and this one is the lightest of the lot, weighing a mere 0.85lbs!! It had an Intel Atom 1.33Ghz CPU, 64GB SSD, 1GB RAM, and 4.8″ touch screen.
OLPC XO-1 (2007)
The OLPC Project, or the One Laptop Per Child Project, was designed to provide a cheap computer to children in developing countries. They were powered by a 433Mhz AMD CPU, 256MB RAM, 1GB Flash disk space, 7.5″ LCD display, and averaged 3 hours of battery life. They had a handle, could be rotated into ‘e-book’ mode as a convertible laptop, and can be powered by a hand-crank generator. Unfortunately, they still ended up costing $200, more than the $100 target price, with specs that are lower than the average netbook.