Intel’s ultra-thin, ultra-light, ultra-everything, the “Metro” mobile

By Rob Dunn
Contributing Writer, [GAS] 

If you work in IT in any company, hide this article from your executives. Seriously.

Introducing the exciting Intel Metro Mobile concept… Designed by Ziba, the laptop boasts a mere 0.7″ height, 2.25 lbs, and a staggering 14 hours battery life! My opinion? Besides using the now ubiquitous word “Metro” (short for “metrosexual”), the laptop is making me drool as I type this article.

Intel metro laptop

No detailed technical specs regarding processor/memory architecture have been released as of yet (just try to find any information about it on Intel’s website), but it will have all the latest wireless offerings…WiFi, EVDO, WiMAX, built-in web camera, and while not confirmed, it may offer an ultra-thin kitchen sink as well (OK, not really, but I think it should!). 

The internal drive will be flash-based (the main contributor for the excellent battery life). Also, the leather folio accessory, which has its own “mug me” purse-like fashion strap, appears to have a display built in for Windows Slideshows. This folio, while plugged in, will allow the laptop to recharge its batteries, merely by placing it inside.

The display glass will reach to the very corners of the lid, getting rid of those flabby “lid lips” that the rest of us have. The back-lit keys will have a completely smooth design, while the external casing will have gold-trim. Note that there is not one iota of plastic on the laptop casing at all, which smacks of luxury while at the same time, grants a firmness to the wafer-like form-factor.

This should most definitely set a new standard for PC design, while hopefully not making function take a backseat to form.

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13 Responses to Intel’s ultra-thin, ultra-light, ultra-everything, the “Metro” mobile

  1. 2 Things I want to know:

    1. Is it Linux compatible?

    2. Does it have a proper keyboard? I doubt you can get buckling spring keys into something so small (unfortunately), but something with a similar feel (ex Thinkpad keyboards) would be nice.

  2. 2 Things I want to know:
    1. Is it Linux compatible?
    2. Does it have a proper keyboard? I doubt you can get buckling spring keys into something so small (unfortunately), but something with a similar feel (ex Thinkpad keyboards) would be nice.

  3. 2 Things I want to know:
    1. Is it Linux compatible?
    2. Does it have a proper keyboard? I doubt you can get buckling spring keys into something so small (unfortunately), but something with a similar feel (ex Thinkpad keyboards) would be nice.

  4. It is an Intel-powered PC, so my expectations are that, yes, this will be able to run Linux, and in style, at that!

    Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to the keyboard question, but if I had to venture a guess, I would expect that it uses the same type of kb tech as other ultra-slim models. Since there are no moving parts, most of the higher-profile components will probably sit under the wrist-rest (all this is conjecture, though!), leaving enough room for the buckling springs…?

    • Anyone who's used Linux for a while knows that "Intel CPU" isn't the only requirement (isn't even a requirement as there are Sparc, PPC, mips, amd64, arm, hppa, and quite a few other architectures supported…I only listed about half of Debian's supported ones). Assuming Intel uses their own wireless cards, it'll be easy to get wifi. Assuming they use their own graphics instead of getting Nvidia, the graphics will work fine and have 3D acceleration with open source drivers, but not really be all that great. If it's Nvidia graphics (I doubt it'd be ATI since AMD owns them), there are sometimes problems getting them set up with 3D acceleration. I believe there are still issues with JMicron chips on certain mobos, and I'm not sure ACPI problems on Core 2 Duos have been worked out yet (suspend/hibernate/CPU throttling)–they've just recently been worked out for Core Duo. I would hope there's not a Marvell Yukon NIC (the driver for it is terrible and dies at high throughput, I have that NIC), and also that it has a real modem (not a winmodem). And if it has a built-in Texas Instruments card reader, Sony Memorystick and xD cards don't work on those yet (only through USB readers).

      • True, but the ingenuity that is abundant in the Linux crowd cannot be denied, if there is potential in the hardware, then driver developers (OEM or 3rd party coders) will jump at the chance to get this gem running a Linux distro ASAP.

        If you can 'nix an Ipod, then surely, this laptop will be a piece of cake.

  5. It is an Intel-powered PC, so my expectations are that, yes, this will be able to run Linux, and in style, at that!

    Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to the keyboard question, but if I had to venture a guess, I would expect that it uses the same type of kb tech as other ultra-slim models. Since there are no moving parts, most of the higher-profile components will probably sit under the wrist-rest (all this is conjecture, though!), leaving enough room for the buckling springs…?

    • Anyone who’s used Linux for a while knows that “Intel CPU” isn’t the only requirement (isn’t even a requirement as there are Sparc, PPC, mips, amd64, arm, hppa, and quite a few other architectures supported…I only listed about half of Debian’s supported ones). Assuming Intel uses their own wireless cards, it’ll be easy to get wifi. Assuming they use their own graphics instead of getting Nvidia, the graphics will work fine and have 3D acceleration with open source drivers, but not really be all that great. If it’s Nvidia graphics (I doubt it’d be ATI since AMD owns them), there are sometimes problems getting them set up with 3D acceleration. I believe there are still issues with JMicron chips on certain mobos, and I’m not sure ACPI problems on Core 2 Duos have been worked out yet (suspend/hibernate/CPU throttling)–they’ve just recently been worked out for Core Duo. I would hope there’s not a Marvell Yukon NIC (the driver for it is terrible and dies at high throughput, I have that NIC), and also that it has a real modem (not a winmodem). And if it has a built-in Texas Instruments card reader, Sony Memorystick and xD cards don’t work on those yet (only through USB readers).

      • True, but the ingenuity that is abundant in the Linux crowd cannot be denied, if there is potential in the hardware, then driver developers (OEM or 3rd party coders) will jump at the chance to get this gem running a Linux distro ASAP.

        If you can ‘nix an Ipod, then surely, this laptop will be a piece of cake.

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