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First Transmeta Notebook 80

ggrappone writes: "CNet has a story on the first Transmeta notebook." Looks to be the same as the mini Sony VAIO picture book. Runs a 600Mhz Crusoe chip, and they claim substantial battery improvements with no performance hit. But apparently they'll be available in the states soon, so we can see for ourselves.
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First Transmeta Notebook

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  • Since the Crusoe has lower power consumption, I wonder if Sony was able to use a quieter fan or perhaps eliminate the fan altogether.
  • "real laptops for people demanding tasks", with big screans and more features doesnt seem like the place for transmeta chips, because the increased battery life would be less apparent.

    when you keep adding -stuff- to a laptop the percentage of power that the cpu pulls from the system will become smaller... the big lcd's, etc, will still pull lots of juice in crusoe systems as it would in other systems.

    i think that is why we will see transmeta chips become more dominant in this "little itsy things" line of 'puters.

  • As far as I know the Processors made by Transmeta simulate the X86 command set.
    There are commands which are slower as compared to Intel Processors (I think it was tested with CPU Bench). But the fact is, that this Version of the benchmark wasn't correct. The routines which have been slower are uncommon.
    The developers of this Benchmark said, that they will improve this "mistake". I'm not up to day with the Benchmarks, but I think that the emulation of an Instruction set is always asociated with the loose of performance.
  • by Colin Winters ( 24529 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @09:37AM (#723653)
    But not everyone wants a fancy, frilly laptop. A lot of people want a cheap laptop which can perform adequately. Why should you go out and buy a laptop with the fastest chip when all you're planning on doing is running a word processor, surfing the web, and playing mp3s? You don't NEED anything more, and this is Transmeta's strength-they can deliver to the low-end market. If Transmeta-based laptops started cracking the $1000 barrier, I'm willing to bet that a lot of people would start switching from desktops to laptops. I know I would.

    Colin Winters
  • Last monday Transmeta announced the initial terms for its IPO, including an offering of 13 million common shares from $11-$13...

    one thing i didn't realize about transmeta that's sort of interesting, is that the money they've made (although they've always posted losses) over the years, until Crusoe, has been from licensing fees...but from what??

    (everyone deserves to do a bit of whorin' now n then, right?)
  • Sony makes outstanding laptops - I am glad to see them coming out with one with a Transmeta Crusoe processor. My PCG-Z505RX runs linux flawlessly, except for the blasted winmodem that it came with - overall though, it's an outstanding laptop.
  • Linus Torvalds uses the non-Transmeta version of this laptop, and of course he works for Transmeta.

    I think the odds that this works with Linux are pretty substantial. :-)

  • David Ditzel DavidDitzel.jpg

    Compare x_manifesto/coverpropaganda.gif
  • forgot to also say, sony sells a quad battery for it, so think 4x longer if you can deal with some extra thickness hanging off the back.
  • don't be ridiculous. Sony has clearly tested it, they're about to launch it. While notebook makers do routinely exaggerate their performance, do you truly think that Sony is exaggerating more about this one? I don't see any reason why they would. You don't need independent benchmarks to evaluate this claim, nice as they would be for other purposes.
  • I can think of better things that are also warm, comforting and sitting on my lap.

    mmmm.... hot grits... oh yeah.

    do I have to say, that's not a troll, it's a joke?

  • It won't keep me from getting an iBook and installing YellowDog on one partition, then keeping the other ready and waiting for OSX.

    Sony has some nice looking stuff, but for the money their asking, I want something I can use. It's too fuckin small for my paws.

  • The PowerBook G3 (Pismo) has a 50Wh battery.
    The Tranmeta based PictureBook has a 20Wh battery.

    PowerBook advertised battery life: 5 hours
    PictureBook advertised battery life: 2.5 - 5.5 hours (previously 1.5 - 2 hours with a PII-400).

    Now does the "Trasmeta hype" seem more justified? It's now obvious why the most PC laptop manfactures are ramping up production of Transmeta based laptops.

    Also, to answer why people would buy that Vaio:

    The Sony Vaio PictureBook at 2.2 pounds is like a motorcycle.
    The PowerBook on the other hand weighs in at 6.1 pounds and is like a SUV.
    Now asking why somebody would buy a motorcycle when they can buy a SUV sounds silly, doesn't it?
  • Sure, just move your entire desktop with you.
  • by mocm ( 141920 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @09:42AM (#723664)
    On the German page they already have a first benchmark result for the notebook. They say its performance lies between a 400 and a 600 MHz Pentium III, while the memory throughput is much better.
  • ...Transmeta notebooks promise to be thin and light (because they need less insulation and no fans)...

    This is Bob Barker, reminding you to help control the comment population. READ THE FSCKING ARTICLE.


  • I don't agree with that sentiment. I think that, when the market for computers gets big enough, there should be different laptops for different uses and people.

    I've got about 5 beefy desktop computers that I either own or control at work. I don't really need a "desktop in a small package".

    Think about PDAs. A PalmPilot is, by any definition and computer, yet it is very limited in its functionality. But, that is precisely the thing that makes it so useful and popular.

    There is a place for small specialized devices. Not everyone needs to do everything all of the time.

  • You're going to run on battery power?
    Probably you'll want to disable that sort of thing when you're not plugged in - I have a picture book and after a year, the battery is about useless - 10 minutes tops. Of course, the battery is pretty small, physically.
    It's a trade-off.
    Jim in Tokyo

  • Looks like either Slashdot or your web browser corrupted that post-many of the kanji have been replaced with question marks and other garbage.
  • the article: here [].
  • Hey - owners of the Picturebook - I have a question! How good is the quality of the camera?
    For instance, our teachers LOVE to give us lots and lots of papers, which I hate more than Pokemon itself. Would it be possible to take a picture of them and still be able to read them on the screen? Would it even be possible for OmniPage 10 to slurp them?
  • by BigDaddyJ ( 38640 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @01:06PM (#723672)
    You can get from 2.5 to 5 hours on that tine little thing. Wow. Amazing. My 1998 Wallstreet G3 gets 3 on one battery and has a 14 inch screen.
    Realize a key fact here: the battery on the PictureBook is small. The G3 laptop batteries are likely much larger. If you look at many of the other x86 laptops that are out there (weighing 4.5-7 pounds) they have very decent battery life. I have a Sony 505TX with a quad-capacity battery, weighing about 4.5-5 pounds, that gives me 6+ hours battery life. But it's not 2.2 pounds!

    (Interesting note: the quad-capacity battery on the SuperSlims such as my 505TX is the same one as the PictureBook C1XS, and hopefully this unit... and did you see the battery times with the quad on the new unit? Up to 20 hours!)

    The battery life on the previous PictureBooks, with any use, quickly dropped to under 2 hours. So, for it, this is a huge improvement. And this is why the Transmeta chip is so useful.

    Of course, we'll have to see whether or not the claims pan out to reality.


  • by Anonymous Coward

    The very nature of the Crusoe, which is based upon code morphing, that is, dynamic code generation, makes it so that artificial benchmarks are completely meaningsless in this context. You simply can't benchmark one x86 instruction because how fast it runs (is simulated) depends on many other things such as in which context it was run and how many times it was run. If you want a useful benchmark, run an application you care about and time it. I conjecture that it'll be plenty fast for anything realistic.

  • buy a desktop....
  • Yes, it will have firewire according to the specs on the sony site and the CNET article about it.

    I don't care much for the ultraproprietary memory stick nonsense, but firewire is cool! ;) the more the better.

    And agreed re: the formfactor ... lots of people are arguing that powerbooks have great battery life etc, and they're right -- but they're much larger. I like the size of the picturebooks enough (I think) to deal with the keyboard. with something that size, I really could carry it everywhere. It's lighter than an SLR camera and zoom lens, it's lighter than most textbooks, it's lighter than even a very premature baby ...


  • Hi, Besides this.It's all been done before. But just because this is an American company it's all hyped up :-( If Sony had used ARM processors (like Acorn RISC OS users have done since 1987) then they should have low-power high performance machines (similar to crusoe) ages ago. Hype hype hype. I hope Sony chokes in it.
  • It's true that powerbooks have great battery life, nice screens, well-designed port areas (for notebooks) and better keyboards than most laptops, but ...


    In a 2.2lb package, the picturebook is close to a singularity. It's not perfect, but for a bit less money than the G3/400, I would be split between them. It may sound silly and "grass is greener," but a large laptop has the disadvantage of needing a larger surface to work on and higher weight.

    And I hope it costs a bit less in 6 or so months ;) ...


  • the difference is the ARM box wouldn't have run the OS of choice for most of the customers for this product. The reason the crusoe is considered 'better' than an ARM processor(in overall terms for end user stuff) is because it appears an X86 chip to everything. Without all the technical stuff, to the end user it can be considered a low power X86 chip, and they can still run all their off the shelf software.
  • The Crusoe chip may not be using any new ideas but it does take things farther than anyone else has tried. the PowerPC was to be a risc chip that could emulate cisc. crusoe is a riscish chip that emulates the x86 instruction set.

    Actually if i remember correctly, the crusoe is a VLIW core, source:DITZEL.PDF pg10, when the chip was first released. The Document may be here somewhere []

    How every version of MICROS~1 Windows(TM) comes to exist.
  • Vert true, I have a Toshiba 2675dvd w/450PIII and even with the fan running it gets quite warm. I have noticed that it runs cooler running linux vs. win9x. Although if I adjust the power settings properly I can get 3 hours on battery, if I watch a dvd on battery it drops to about 2 hours. I would realy like to get a laptop the is close to the same performence, but that runs a LOT cooler and longer battery life.

  • I'll like to give my 2 cents worth regarding the above.

    Itz a Sony VAIO for crying out loud. They're not exactly cheap: Sony charges for the cool shiny magnesium casing, formfactor etc. heck. VAIO = cool, shiny but expensive laptop. Sony is the first out with a laptop/picturebook thingy: as other laptop manufacturers enter the market, the market forces will help lower prices. Not to mention the fact that simple, plain, cheap laptops will be available without having to pay for the VAIO coolness and chic. :P

    2. Performance
    Crusoe, imho from the German magazine or wotever thingy report, is supposedly between the speed of a 400mhz and 600 mhz Pentium III. The 600mhz version of it that is. THIS IS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD. Considering that it emulates/dynamically translates the x86 ISA on the fly. Remember: this is one of the first few Crusoe chips: the relatively low number of transistors required on Crusoe chip designs allows them to scale clockspeed easily. I wouldn't be surprised to see higher clocked Crusoes in future that perform on par with the fastest Intel mobile Pentium III, while consuming significantly less power and cash.

    3. Battery Life
    The power consumption of a CPU is only one factor: the other 70-90% is due to harddisks, LCD screens, cd-rom, etc etc. One cannot expect amazing battery life improvements unless one builds a laptop that doesn't use any of these components. Most importantly, the size of the battery counts. We probably will be able get an accurate gauge of how Crusoe helps battery life improve when the first fullsized screens laptop come out from the other manufacturers.

  • The lastest win32 client (haven't upgraded the linux one recently to check) has a config option to stop running when you're on battery power. I'd hope that the processor would save power when it was running on batteries and only had idle/low priority processes anyway though..

  • hardware dvd decoders have existed for a long time now... I dont know about power usage, but I guess its less than a CPU cranking at full speed.

    More on topic, the laptop in the article shouldnt even be considered a laptop, its wayyy too small. Some people really love small electronics, but I would rather have a 1 inch thick by 8 inches wide by around the length of a normal desktop keyboard. With a nice 15" screen and all. But if these things get cheaper I can see lots of people(including me) buying them as a replacement for PDAs...
  • No, the sony VAIO Direct []website says:

    "Starts Selling September 25, 2000
    Starts Shipping October 25, 2000"

    Even the only picturebook was sold in the US, I played with one in the CompUSA in Honolulu.
  • All the companies boasting Crusoe-based prototypes are always scaled-down little itsy things, not real laptops for people demanding tasks.

    This just takes the cake, however. At first I though the Thinkpads IBM was using were bad (lowest, cheapest model) but this is just sad.

    When are the cool laptops coming out, with lots of niceties and less "efficiency" (in a laptop efficiency almost always means less features)
  • If battery life really lives up to claims, then I think this could wind up filling the space between PDAs and desktop-replacement notebooks quite handily.

    Only one question - white Mobile Linux?

  • by atrowe ( 209484 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @09:14AM (#723687)
    "Runs a 600Mhz Crusoe chip, and they claim substantial battery improvements with no performance hit. "

    No performance hit as opposed to what? What other processor are you comparing the Crusoe to. I seriously doubt it could compete with most mid-range laptops on the market today in terms of performance.

  • What's the catch? Transmeta's claims haven't been tested by third parties. Although the Crusoe family debuted in January, neither the chips nor products containing the chips have been released on the open market. Analysts and independent benchmark testers have also complained about a lack of access to demonstration models.

    Hmmm, is Transmeta hiding something, or is it just their trademark secrecy in action?


  • by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @09:18AM (#723689)
    I am really sick of reading these stories too, but remeber that our Lord and Savior, Linus is 'employed' by Transmeta!

    Transmeta is a nice company that has lost billions of dollars in their 4 year history. They are going to put those evil, profitable chip companies like Intel and AMD out of business.

    Transmeta is going to change everything. The Crusoe is soo amazing it will simulate p3's sparcs, powerpc, and a kitchen blender at the same time! It actually generates electricity and will probaly improve your sex life too. You can even build a beowulf cluster of S/390's in your basement, all thanks to Transmeta and the miracle Crusoe chip, aka mircoprocessor-o-matic.

  • This comes out. Figgures. I was heading to the store to purchase a laptop, (SERIOUS) and this comes out. Hmm.. decisions, should I wait, or just get the Sony I orignally wanted?

    I hate product announcements.
  • >Not to be a jackass, but is this sarcastic?

    If I said that I would give my left nut for the slashdot crusier, would you ask the same question?

  • Maybe that is the use for the Transmeta chips, their niche! Crusoe wasn't meant to blow away the current Intel/AMD top chips, but an energy-efficient, fast chip for applications where power consumption plays a role.
    Transmeta is really getting too much attention here on /., and their products are hyped beyond all recognition. Hey, wake up guys! this isn't the solution to all your CPU power needs, it's just a specialized processor for a specialized market.

  • will have these later this month, and they'll be preconfigured for Linux. They already sell the non-Transmeta version of this notebook (Sony PictureBook w/ Pentium II). The camera does work under Linux, and I suspect the Transmeta chip will improve the battery life and performance quite a bit. If you want to get one of these soon, I can recommend these people (and no, I don't work for them, I just know them).

  • Japanese subscripts on the kbyd is a definite plus. what style!
  • I am now convinced that we will never get a decent low priced laptop. This thing is over US$2,000 and if you look at the picture, is only about twice the size of a human hand. C'mon Just give me a 350 Mhz laptop that will run for 6 hours. This is tempting, and I really *want* to support another chip competitor, but this just isn't quite good enough yet.

    Give me something that I can sit in a cafe with for hours upon hours finishing up my programming assignments.

  • Hell yeah, impress those 31337 4514n chix0rs! :)
  • Exactly.

    The last time I went looking for a laptop, I was seriously disappointed by the time one can run those things on battery. I travel a lot and often I simply wouldn't be able to plug my laptop to an outlet for days.

    Now if I remember correctly, the screen is the largest consumer of power, but the processor comes next. Now I don't need a 500 MHz P-III that not only is ridiculously fast for someone who wants to run Linux, emacs and gcc in text mode while on a trip, but is also uncomfortably warm in my lap. I can think of better things that are also warm, comforting and sitting on my lap. ;-)

  • This is great news for me. The Sony Picturbook is the perfect formfactor for carrying around on my bike or in my backpack. I just bought a used one off of eBay. I like it, but the battery life is horrible (about 90 minutes). Will this new model also include a FireWire port?


  • You can get from 2.5 to 5 hours on that tine little thing. Wow. Amazing. My 1998 Wallstreet G3 gets 3 on one battery and has a 14 inch screen. My brother's pismo G3 ($2495) gets even more time on just one battery. And now that the G4 energy usage has been lowered to about the same as a G3 why would anyone buy that Vaio laptop? The only reason i see for it is to run Windows (not in this lifetime) since there are various linuxppc distros available already. You could even get an ibook and get like 5 to 6 hours out of the bettery and pay 800 less for it. This transmeta hype is silly.
  • by Star_Gazer ( 25473 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @02:14PM (#723700)
    Hi all.
    As I said in the subject, Andreas Stiller from c't-Magazin has a TM5600-Vaio in test.
    Check it out on heise news [].

    For all non-germans out there: Basically it says that the speed of the systems lies between a P-III 400 and a P-III 600. Memory transfer rates are quite good, approximately like a Coppermine 800 in an i815-Motherboard.

    But: The Code Morphing Software of the Crusoe seems to generate a CPU-ID (that means: Not hardcoded into the Chip), which cannot be switched off at least in the VAIO. Nevertheless, the Athlon-compatible "real" CPUID-Command doesn't report a number.
  • by isaac_akira ( 88220 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @02:27PM (#723701)
    These are only officially sold in Japan, but this web site imports them (expensive though!):

    (this one has the DVD) l [] l []
  • Back in '92, when I got my first laptop (Powerbook 140), I got to travelling with a nice long (15') extension cord. Thankfully, the Powerbook used 2 prong, so the extension cord could be relatively light. It's actually impressive how many places you can find a 'public' power outlet if you look.

    If you get yourself a statpower (or clone), then you can also get 110V out of a cigarette lighter plug in a car. The 50W NotePower unit [] is a little bit larger than a (US) cigarette package and will run most laptops. I actually wander around with a small jell-cell (originlly put together for remote video work, it now gives me 2 day standby for my analog cellphone), so combined with a note-power I'm rarely short on emergency power.

  • Talk to an over-clocker. I'm sure that they can do it in the other direction (although they'll probably ask you for a psychiatric report first).
  • The picture makes it look just like the other Sony Picturebook... The battery life (5.5 hours) seems less than what was first claimed--maybe for the other Crusoe chip.

    wrong. the same picturebook with the old chip has 1.5 hrs batterylife with the standard (tiny) battery pack... 5.5 hours is a huge improvement.

  • Sony is a member of the RIAA []. Remember to practice wise consuming.
  • The Linux option's useful if you're using software that you've the source to. Most of the applications out there for Linux are Intel only

    How so......most Linux apps are open source, and if you can't find any precompiled binaries for your distro, you can always download source and compile.
  • The big reason for me to go with this as opposed to a 'normal' subnote would be the widescreen formfactor which is perfect for inflight DVD viewing.

    However, to date, I have yet to find a firewire DVDROM that I could use for this. I assume also that the system's CPU is fast enough for anamorphic DVD playback in software.

    Any clues?

    Your Working Boy,
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Has anyone ported Linux to Transmeta yet?
  • Transmeta's claims haven't been tested by third parties.

    That is never a good sign. Enough hype, already! Let's see some 3rd party benchmarks, Transmeta!

  • They are actually comparing it to itself. IIRC, the Crusoe will throttle back the clock speed when the processor is not being used to its maximum potential. This on the fly clock speed changing will not show any performance decrease compared to a Crusoe that is not using this feature.
  • If this bad boy runs Linux, I might throw in a wireless networking card in this and my main machine, and I'll have a portable X server to use when I'm not in front of my desktop machine, such as in front of the TV, outside, etc...

    Tell me what makes you so afraid
    Of all those people you say you hate

  • You can get most Japan market laptops imported from Japan Palmtops Direct [] and Dynamism []. They'll prolly have this model now or within a week or so. The only issues are that the Japan imports cost a lot and have Japanese subscripts on the keyboard.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You, sir, are an Idiot.
  • Sometimes it's cheaper or the same price to fly to japan and pick one up in Akihabara - Tokyo yourself and have a little fun in town while there (although everything else is a lot more expensive!).
    You will have to smuggle it thru the customs to avoid your local taxes, best thing is to put it in an old laptop bag with some computermags and your favourite distro, so you have some fun while flying back.
  • Hey, my laptop has that. It's called turning OFF the laptop. You see, when I'm not using the processor, i just shut it down. Hence, the battery is not used! My car gets better gas mileage when I don't let it idle in the praking lot all day when not in use!

    Aha, longer battery life when you don't use the processor...
  • The article claims a performance improvement vs. other members of the Sony VAIO line.
  • One of the major issues that I have with the new Sub-NoteBooks containing the Transmeta is the price. Back at this time last year we were told that the Cursoe was not only a less battery intensive solution but a more cost effective one as well. Are all of their claims that they made last year not stacking up now that the actual devices are hitting the market. I was so excited and now I just feel let down. I can buy a Pentium 600 for cheaper and with only an expected 10-20 percent gain in the longevity of the battery it becomes almost a moot point. Give me a WebPad with a Crusoe, that I would love. However, this just seems like another rehash with a different name. Give me some benchmarks on actual marketed systems not lab tests.

    Bingeldac denies any responsibility for the
    spelling and/or grammatical errors above.
  • Actually the crusoe is supposed to slow down the processor for short derations stuff as well. ie. when you are typing something in and pause for 10 seconds to read from the page. I seriously doubt that you turn your laptop off for such things.

    The Crusoe chip may not be using any new ideas but it does take things farther than anyone else has tried.
    the PowerPC was to be a risc chip that could emulate cisc. crusoe is a riscish chip that emulates the x86 instruction set.

    the Intel Speed step slows the processor down when on batteries. The crusoe slows the processor down when not in use.
  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @10:53AM (#723719) Homepage
    Run MacOS 8/9/X or run Linux.

    The Linux option's useful if you're using software that you've the source to. Most of the applications out there for Linux are Intel only and the only games other than Civilization:CTP is the open source ones (Because of a distinct lack of support for the 3D accelerator on the laptops. While I'm working to fix that, it's going to be a while yet before I get it working and Loki and others makes versions for sale for PPC.)

    The MacOS option's useful if you like being in the same boat as the Windows people with a cooler looking OS with more limited options for software.

    Why would anyone buy a Crusoe- to run Windows or Linux on it. While I agree with your appraisal of the Windows option, the Linux option holds merit as everything worth having on Linux is available for x86- and Crusoe runs x86 applications surprisingly enough.

    I want it NOW- not later.
  • by SIGFPE ( 97527 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @10:54AM (#723720) Homepage
    I use a Vaio 505TX with a quad capacity battery. It easily lasts 6 hours and is great for intercontinental flights. If you're happy with 300MHz you'll easily find one 2nd hand or reconditioned for a good price. The battery costs $500 though and you want that new. Runs Linux, FreeBSD and Windows 2000 with very little difficulty.
  • They are comparing it to a desktop PIII.

    At least in my experience, the special laptop CPUs from Intel are noticibly slower than the regular versions.
  • Um, how long have you been following the crusoe news? (Read: you don't know what you're talking about.)

    First of all, the Crusoe implements the x86 instruction set on top of a VLIW 128-bit processor. The x86 portion is performed in software where the code is broken down and optimized. (The more often a piece of code is run, the faster it gets.) Does this sound like calculator material to you?

    Not only that, but the processor is "equivilent" in power to a P-III 500. Now, I don't know about you, but I think Quake plays quite well on a machine that fast. Not to mention, the 3D card is the more important link in that chain anyway.

    So to sum up, get your facts straight before spouting off verses of opinion as fact. It'll make you happier in the long run.

    you may quote me
  • "So Tiny, So Sexy"?
    What are you, some kind of pedophile?

  • Yep. It's an option in the 2.4 kernel.

  • by EricEldred ( 175470 ) on Saturday October 07, 2000 @09:30AM (#723725) Homepage

    All I can see at Sony's site [] under VAIO C1 PictureBook Computer, PCG-C1VN is the following. The picture makes it look just like the other Sony Picturebook. The half-height (480 pixel) screen display is innovative but I don't know if I can get used to it. The battery life (5.5 hours) seems less than what was first claimed--maybe for the other Crusoe chip. Does it have a headphone jack? Is the USB port the only way to dock it?

    Take an innovative digital camera. Then, build a small, yet very powerful notebook computer around it. The result An ultra-portable, ultra-powerful notebook computer which can instantly take stunning photos or digital video clips, add special effects like 360 panoramas and instantly transfer those images via email anywhere in the world! The new VAIO C1 PictureBook[tm] notebook computer is not much bigger than a paperback book - only about 2 pounds light and a little over an inch thin. This is the most functional, ultra-portable notebook computer you'll ever own.
    • Starts Selling September 25, 2000
    • Starts Shipping October 25, 2000
    • Transmeta[tm] Crusoe[tm] Processor
    • Simple one-button movie and still image capture with
    • Sony's Smart Capture software
    • 128 MB SDRAM
    • Integrated V.90 56K modem
    • High-capacity Lithium-Ion battery
    • Durable magnesium-alloy case
    • 8.9" UWXGA width (1024 x 480) TFT screen with
    • XWIDE[tm] polysilicon display technology
    • i.LINK® (IEEE 1394) S400 interface for DV editing and simple networking between equippedVAIO computers9
    • 1 type II PC card slot with CardBus support
    • 1 USB port
    • Built-in stereo speakers
    • Bundled standard battery(2.5 - 5.5 hours)
  • Aha, longer battery life when you don't use the processor... but can it tell genuine processor usage from the client?


    ...another comment from Michael Tandy.

  • From what I understand, Crusoe is really meant for embedded computing applications. For instance, (assuming it's small enough), it could be installed into a TI calculator, or into a cell phone. It never was intended for desktop tasks, was it? If it was, than Transmeta is dead. It might have some cool applications in various embedded fields, but not for Quake-playing.

    For doing things like word-processing or Power Point, the Crusoe chip should be fine. Most laptops are used in the corporate world for taking demonstations on the road - often times, you don't need massive computing power. (Except for one project I saw which had something like SQLServer, an HTTP server (dunno which one), and a Java client as the demo, all running on one laptop. One expensive laptop.)

    Don't forget, for most corporate people, their laptop is where they write up next quarter's report on, and what they use to explain things to their investors and peers. It's not a development platform, it's not a server. And it's not really any good for some serious Quake-playing. (Or, if you're like me, some Counter Strike [] action.) Sounds like the Crusoe would do most tasks that you really need a laptop for nicely.

    I dunno what you'd do with a laptop, but I know why I want one. It's not for "serious tasks." It's for being able to do development work anywhere I can. I'd love to get a laptop running Linux so that I can work on my current pet project anywhere I am. Crusoe should be fine for that, assuming I'm not doing something with millions of lines of code.

    Seriously, it's a laptop. It's not the latest Alpha server from Digit- uh, Compaq. You don't need something overly powerful. The long battery life should make up for speed difficencies.

  • to see this chip in a PDA using with a flashable memory card allowing the user to determain what OS they felt so deemed to use.
  • Another page at Sony says it comes with Windows ME, a 12 GB hard drive, is one kilogram and 2.54 centimeters thick, and costs $2299.99 (what is that in Euros now?)

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.