updated 03:20 pm EST, Mon December 4, 2006
NEC VersaPro Ultralite VC
NEC today said its new VersaPro Ultralite VC is one of the few ultraportables to combine strength with its slim profile. Though weighing only 2.1 pounds without an optical drive, the 12-inch system's hardened outer shell is capable of supporting 330 pounds of pressure, preventing the case from easily shattering during a drop or the screen from cracking while inside a tightly-packed bag. The computer has a rubber-mounted hard drive and an extra-durable USB port for frequent use of flash drives and other add-ons.
NEC also claims to deliver an extreme level of efficiency: by using a low-voltage 1.06GHz Core Duo, the system can run on its own power for at least 4.5 hours and as much as 14.5 hours when using the extended-capacity battery. A fingerprint reader is standard, as is a FeliCa sensor for making wireless payments in NEC's native Japan. The VC is available now at an open price on the Japanese market; a North American launch has not yet been announced.