Lenovo have announced that the IdeaPad U110, widescreen "Ultraportable" sub notebook computer will be available in March or April 2008 (depending on which Lenovo web page you read). This will have an 11.1 inch widescreen display and optional flash memory in place of the hard disk. It will weigh one kilogram and be 18 mm high and have and Intel processor. Details of the processor and the price have not been released.
Like the rumored Apple Ultraportable Flash MacBook, this will help make notebooks with flash memory a respectable mainstream product. It will also see the beginning of the end of removable rotating media in notebooks, and possibly desktop computers. The IdeaPad U110 is too small to easily fit a DVD drive and this would have to be an external unit. With the availability of low cost flash USB sticks and broadband Internet access, much of the need for CD or DVDs has gone.
The Lenovo unit is intended to run Microsoft Windows, but it is likely the diskless model will be a candidate for the installation of Linux, as this can make better use of the limited memory.
We are likely to see other manufacturers bring out ultraportable notebooks with a flash memory option. Twinhead have an 11.1 inch widescreen Slimnote F11Y. This is about twice as thick as the IdeaPad U110 at 34.5 mm, but about the same in other dimensions. It includes an internal DVD burner and hard disk (other makers have 11.1 inch ultraportables, but generally without an internal DVD). Twinhead could omit the DVD burner and replace the hard disk with flash memory to quickly make a lighter unit.