The most basic laptop imaginable

Does anyone know of a laptop that is just about only a typewriter? I’d like to bring something to use for writing when I am on the road and in places that are known for theft. I’d like something that is just a lightweight word processor for text only.
Is there such an animal?
Thanks in advance.

[quote=“wolf_reinhold”]I’d like something that is just a lightweight word processor for text only.

If you want to write Text only, then… a cheap b/w Palm with external not-so-full-size keyboard?

You can use it for text, spreadsheets and other stuff including checking your email on the go (via IR, Cable or Bluetooth and a GPRS Mobile.)
Small and light, batteries run for quite a while on black/white devices, build-in rechargeables have acceptable capacity.

Cheap Laptops have short battery runtimes due to desktop CPUs and power eating LCDs… so you need to sit near a power outlet most of the time. Back in Europe, I would go with a M-Pentium II IBM Thinkpad from eBay for that purpose, no Idea what to get in Taiwan though.

Wasn’t there a thing released a little while back that ran on Palm OS, hence low battery consumption, but was housed in a tough case with an integral almost-full-size keyboard? That looked interesting and maybe the kind of thing Wolf is looking for.

Try this:


AlphaSmart Dana? Littlebit more expensive (US$379) but comes with more software.


Black and white Palm OS model (I like the Visor series, bigger screens, or the Clies for the higher resolution) plus a Targus folding keyboard, and Bob’s yer uncle. If the darn things had a USB port and would run my translation software, I’d probably never use a computer again…you can get software packages ( for WordSmith, for example) that do everything Word does and then hotsynch back to your desktop or notebook later on without losing any formatting.


What is your budget?

Budget? Given the price now of basic laptops (and maybe even used ones) I’d expect to find something pretty cheap. Or maybe I am a skinflint.

I know you can get a Twinhead mini notebook for around 30k, it has a smaller screen I believe 12". However, this only comes with Win XP, no MS Office, though you can get a copy of that pretty cheap. This is the cheapest notebook I have seen. Depending how good your eyes are you may consider just buying a PDA like mentioned above. I have seen very mini notebooks but I don’t know the price exactely, the last ones I saw were much over 30k. I am sure you can get a used one for less than that but are you willing to take the risk of it crashing on you in a few months?

Don’t try Twinhead!

Lousy service.



Do you mean from Twinhead or from the retail outlet?

I used a NEC Mobilepro 770 (WinCE 3.0) for a similar purpose (taking notes in class). It’s 1.7lbs but the keyboard was big enough to touchtype and it has a 10 hours battery life.

A few drawbacks:
-No drives. You either use IR, CompactFlash or the sync cable
-You get a lot of questions about it. Why don’t people just gawk in silence?! =)

The 770 is going for around USD 200. You can also look into the 780 or 790.

is CE3.0 relilable? Where did you get it? In Taiwan?

Twinhead - oh, goodness, let’s see.
everytime I touched the surface, I got an electric shock; I got no windows with it; I had to take it in for service so many times; eventually, I just gave up getting it fixed.

The biggest reason I wouldn’t buy a twinhead, though, wasn’t the product. Lemons happen. It was the poor after sales service. I was pissed that when I saw an IBM on sale, when the other one was being serviced, that I went and bought it. The contrast was night and day.

IBM was already set up to run, all I had to install was my favorite program for word processing, and I was away. It never gave me a moment’s complaint, until my wife accidentally stepped on it, and broke the LCD. I have since bought another IBM, and it has been great, too.

My own desktop systems have been diy builds, but again no problems like the twinhead.
What can I say?


[quote=“KenTaiwan98”]is CE3.0 relilable? Where did you get it? In Taiwan?

Depends what you mean by reliable. Since the OS is hardcoded into ROM, there’s not too much you can mess up. It doesn’t crash, doesn’t freeze, etc. I got mine off eBay in the US.

I’ve got a PII Crete that is fine for the Internet and/or Word Processing and maybe light image applications. (Crete specializes in those rugged computers. This one I have has even been dropped at full force and the damn thing still runs.) I won’t really be needing it after Feb. 7. Can you wait that long?

Otherwise, I would just recommend you go to Guanghua and get a $25,000 Celeron special.

PM me with the details, Flicka. I might be interested.

crete’s homepage doesn’t come up. Are they still in business?


You can get it for about NT$15000 in Taipei.

where? drool! drool!

Is it Japanese only system? I can’t find anything in English about it!

:bouncy: :notworthy:

I think it could handle English.

You can get it here:

Or try this email:

It has a really awesome spec. I want one, too. :slight_smile: