CASIO's Fiva Notebook Review

CASIO's Fiva Notebook Review
Casio Computer, most famous for watches or pocket organizers, will be introducing a Crusoe-based sub-notebook at COMDEX, Monday November 13th. The sleek little Cassiopeia Fiva weighs in less than one Kilo, measures less than 1 inch (21mm to be exact) thick, uses a 8.4" TFT screen and can run for an eternal 9 hours with the largest battery option.

In the few days after Tranmeta's IPO arrived there have been a slew of product announcements, and more are expected throughout the week as COMDEX unfolds. The Cassiopeia Fiva is still in prototype stage, but is expected to hit the market as soon as Q1 2001. It is not clear if the Fiva will be available in North America at this time, or just Asia. Currently, most of the notebooks, or sub-notebooks which have made it to market have only been released in Japan where there are more services available to compliment the notebooks. In particular integrated wireless internet access has been a major selling point.

"The prototype unit is the size of an A5 file with a thickness of 21 millimeters (0.8 inch), housed in a lightweight, compact body. The unit weighs less than a kilogram (35.3 ounces) and features an 8.4-inch SVGA TFT LCD."

Casio has managed to squeeze upwards of 6 to 9 hours out of the unit, when employing the largest battery size. It has not been stated what the average battery time will be for the standard battery the unit ships with. The large battery is an extra purchase for would-be Fiva buyers. Although detailed technical specs are scarce at this time, the Fiva, running WindowsMe, will include the following features: "diverse I/O standards, including compatibility with a 100Base-TX LAN, iEEE1394, USB, a CompactFlash (CF) Type II card slot, a PC Type II card slot and a v.90/K56 Flex high-speed modem, and also offers excellent expandability and network connectivity."

With additional notebook suppliers being mentioned on an almost daily basis, it will be interesting to see how Transmeta's (NASDAQ: TMTA) stock will fair in the days after COMDEX. The loss of a potential deal with IBM to include Crusoe in its ThinkPad 240 was a large mental-stumbling point for many investors.