There’s an inherent trade-off involved when it comes to choosing our portable technology. As a general rule of thumb, smaller and lighter laptops aren’t going to be as powerful as their larger, desktop-replacing counterparts. Even raw horsepower aside, the other difference is that smaller laptops must have smaller keyboards. Or do they? King Jim of Japan certainly doesn’t think so and that’s how the Portabook XMC10 was born.
What you get here is a tiny notebook with just an 8-inch display, but they’ve somehow managed to cram a 12-inch keyboard in there. King Jim accomplished this by splitting the keyboard in half and placing each half on a swivel. When you’re ready to bust out your blogging chops, you rotate the two halves to form a keyboard that’s wider than its base.
If you’re thinking that you’ve seen this idea in action before, then you might be thinking about the IBM ThinkPad butterfly keyboard from the mid-1990s. It’s basically the same thing. That being said, while King Jim has kept the footprint small on this 8-inch laptop, it’s hardly the thinnest of machines with its 34mm profile. A 12-inch Macbook this most certainly is not… which might be why it’s not called a Slim Jim. (Sorry.) It’s because the keyboard sits atop a rather large deck.
The specs on the Portabook XMC10 are similarly disappointing with just a 2.4GHz Atom chip, 2GB RAM, 32GB flash storage, and a meh-worthy 1280 x 768 resolution for its 8-inch display. Considering that it’s retailing for around $740, the Portabook XMC10 by King Jim doesn’t look like that great of a value. But hey! The keyboard splits in half! And it rotates! And it’s bigger on the inside!