NEC's MobilePro 780: Slim and Portable

SAN FRANCISCO (06/23/2000) - Once again, I'm squeezed into a coach seat on a cross-country flight. But while fellow business travelers grapple with huge, battery-draining notebooks, I type quietly away on NEC Corp.'s MobilePro 780, a Windows CE-based device that's more portable than my nearby copy of GQ. I'm happy, I'm productive, and the MobilePro's 8-hour battery life gives me enough juice to compute from coast to coast.

Closed, the US$799 MobilePro is smaller than a rolled-up newspaper. The shipping unit I evaluated measured 9.6 by 5.2 by 1.1 inches and weighed just 1.7 pounds. Yet it's not a palmtop: The unit's keyboard is wide enough for comfortable typing, and the 640 by 240 color display--while only half of VGA resolution--won't make you squint. The standard configuration includes 32MB of memory (generous for a CE device), a 56-kbps V.90 modem, and a port for an external monitor.

Like earlier MobilePros, the 780 provides a stylus, not a mouse; this model also has a thumbwheel for document scrolling. The business-oriented software bundle contains utilities for remote access and networking, plus fax and backup tools. You also get Windows CE's standard productivity software, which consists of scaled-down versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, Internet Explorer, and PowerPoint.

Like any other CE machine, the MobilePro can't serve as a primary computer.

(Instead, use the included serial cable and synchronization software to shuttle files between it and your PC.) In view of its small screen, lack of CD-ROM and floppy drives, and inability to run desktop Windows apps, this device is less a notebook replacement than an antinotebook. But if your mobile computing needs are modest, the featherweight, inexpensive MobilePro merits a look.

--Harry McCracken

NEC MobilePro 780

PRO: Small; light; reasonable price.

CON: Half-size screen, stripped-down apps, Windows CE limitations.

VALUE: Good portable extension of your desktop PC.

Street price: $799

NEC Computers


Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

More about NECNEC Computers Australia

Show Comments