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CeBIT: Flybook takes new angle on laptops

Swivel screens add to ergonomics, but at a price

Flybook has launched two new ultra-portable laptops and said it plans to increase efforts to target the UK market this year.

First up is the Flybook VM, a 1.64kg Windows Vista laptop featuring a 12.1in screen that's attached to a hinged arm so it can be raised and pulled forwards over the keyboard. Flybook spokesperson Rosarrio Salihiano said the ergonomic design is perfect for business executives who regularly travel on planes and want to be able to raise their laptop's screen to the right angle while sitting in cramped economy-class seating.

The company is also positioning it as the ideal communications device – it supports HSDPA and features a SIM card slot. Flybook argues that business people could use the VM as their sole telephony tool, leaving their mobile phone at home when they go on a trip. Other features include a DVD writer and a fingerprint scanner.

Also new is the Flybook V5, an Intel Core Duo and Windows Vista laptop with an 8.9in touchscreen that can be swivelled 180 degrees so users can effectively turn it into a tablet. It weighs 1.2kg, includes a 1.3-megapixel camera and supports HDSPA.

Rather than buying the V5 via the traditional retail channels, you may be able to pick it up from a mobile operator – Vodafone has recently taken delivery of test units with a view to selling it as part of a mobile contract, according to Salihiano. This follows a similar deal in Italy with Telecom Italia.

But you'll still have to dig deep for either of Flybook's new models – the V5's RRP will be £1,350 in the UK, while the V5's will be £1,200.

“We're not trying to compete with Acer or other mass-market laptop makers, this is a premium product designed for those that need a very portable computer,” said Salihiano.

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