NEC launches laptop without hard disk

NEC announced that it has developed a laptop minus the hard disk or HDD for corporate users.

The “PC Parafield” has been developed as a replacement for existing thin-client systems and combines both high data-security with the ability to be used anywhere, said Hitoshi Onodera, a spokesman for the Tokyo Company.

“PC Parafield” uses flash ROM to store the OS and other applications enabling it to work even in the absence of a network. For storing all other files and data it uses the RAM that automatically clears when the machine is shut down, dispelling any fear of data theft. The backup can be taken on a central server or to a USB memory device if no network is available.

To the lookers “PC Parafield” is just like any other B5-size laptop with standard specifications with just notable difference, the absence of a hard disk.

The machine is based on an Intel Pentium M processor running at 1.73GHz and runs on the Windows XP Professional operating system. It has 3GB of ROM space for the operating system and other software and 512M bytes of main memory. The screen is an XGA resolution (1024 pixels by 768 pixels) 12.1-inch TFT (thin film transistor) LCD (liquid crystal display). It also has a PC Card slot, Ethernet socket and USB2.0 port.

The computer is available immediately in Japan for ¥448,000 (US$3,742). NEC said this works out to be cheaper on a per-user basis than a thin-client system because the PC Parafield doesn’t require a company to deploy a comprehensive network access system or central server.

At present, there are no plans to sell it overseas.

“We haven’t heard of another company offering such a product so at first this is something like a concept product,” he said. “We’ll launch it and see what the market response is before considering an international launch.”