The laptop as we know it comes in just one familiar, time-tested configuration: a slab that opens like a clamshell to reveal a screen on top and a keyboard on the bottom. This design is so ubiquitous that we might not even call a computer without it a “laptop.” Of course, this basic clamshell design is popular for a reason. It’s a very elegant solution to the very complex problem of keeping a display tightly integrated with a computer, yet also adjustable for different people and situations. Two cheap, durable hinges are all it takes to keep a screen firmly planted on top of a computer, ready at a moment’s notice, and comfortable to look at in any position. Sort of.
While a single-hinged display works fine in most scenarios, such as sitting at a couch or working at a table, the lack of flexibility in the design can prove to be a real challenge in the confines of an airplane or other tight space. With only a few inches between your knees and the seat in front of you, flipping a laptop screen into the right position can prove to be either impossibility or an exercise in contortion. In steps the VM notebook from Taiwanese manufacturer Flybook. The VM has a unique 12.1” widescreen display that slides up to 2.3” on a double-hinged arm, making it adjustable in a number of new ways, including craning it over the keyboard to give you the few inches of clearance you need for that airplane seatback.
The Flybook VM Closed
Besides the off-beat hinge design, the VM otherwise is otherwise equipped like an ordinary notebook in its compact class. The $2699 version features a Intel Core 2 Duo processor clocked at 1.06 GHz, 2GB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive, and DVD-RW drive. If you kick in another $250, though, you can get the version that provides mobile Internet even when you’re away from Wi-Fi hotspots, via a variety of cell-carrier-supported data services such as HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE, and GPRS. That’s a huge plus for business travelers. It’s available in black and silver for the suit-and-tie crowd, but free spirits with deep pockets can also pick it up in vibrant red and yellow.
Flybook VM Open
The Flybook VM will practice yoga so that you don’t have to, but it does come at a cost, both literally and figuratively. Even the $1999 base model, doesn’t compare favorably to similarly equipped models with standard displays when you look at price, and the arm and hinge add a rectangular mound on the back of the display that make it bulkier as well. If extensive airline travel is in your future, though, there’s no other notebook that will unfurl itself in tiny spaces quite like the VM.
You can purchase the Flybook VM from Dynamism.com