Hewlett-Packard has introduced what it claims is the lightest full-function notebook computer with the updated OmniBook 800C. It is built with a similar notebook chassis to the original OmniBook 300, which included a 25Mhz 386 microprocessor and 2Mb of RAM more than three years ago. However, the 800C can offer a Pentium 100MHz or 133MHz microprocessor, with 16Mb of EDO DRAM, a SCSI port, a 128-bit graphics accelerator and a 10.5-inch colour screen. It is up there with all the features released in heavyweight-muscle machines from Dell, AST, Acer, IBM, Compaq and Toshiba. It is still a sub-notebook design but is far from being sub-standard in terms of operation, according to Daniel Suen, business development manager of HP's computer products organisation in the territory. He said the one factor that was often overlooked was the size of the keyboard. Many potential buyers are critical of sub-notebooks, claiming 'my fingers can never handle a small keyboard like that'. That is entirely true of some vanilla-flavoured Taiwanese or Japanese clone sub-notebooks that are two-thirds smaller than conventional notebooks. The keyboard on the OmniBook range is fully sized and fully pitched - it has the same space between keys as conventional IBM 101 keyboards. It does not have the narrow, four-thumbnail-width spacebar like many notebooks. The best way to compare the size of the keyboard is to open up the notebook and place it alongside an IBM-compatible keyboard attached to any ordinary desktop PC. The key to this HP design is the width of the notebook casing. OmniBook achieved a wider 'footprint' by eliminating the constraints associated with a touchpad or ThinkPad-type pointing device that requires buttons in front of the qwerty key arrangement, thus extending the depth of the section of the notebook towards the user. The pop-up mouse is the preferred pointing device for HP OmniBooks. The keyboard does not include a numeric pad or separate function keys but, as for the qwerty and number keys, it is full-sized.