(PhysOrg.com) -- With the way that the world of mobile devices has opened up in the past few years, as dozens of netbooks and tablet PCs make their way into the market, the optical drive is no longer really a requirement to make a marketable piece of hardware.
In most cases, when the optical drive is removed it is in order make the device smaller, or to make it lighter. Simple removal is not, of course, the only choice that hardware makers have, as Fujitsu has shown with its new line of Lifebooks. Instead of simply leaving this space out, they have re-purposed it as a space for a tiny pico projector.
The Fujitsu Lifebooks (E741/C and S761/C) come in a dizzying array of options. A potential consumer can choose either the 12.1 inch or the 13.3 inch screen size. They then have a choice of processors that varies between the Celeron, the Core i3 and the Core i5, but each model comes with the pop-out projector standard.
Fujitsu has yet to disclose any of the specification about the projector, except for the screen resolution, which is 800 x 600. When you compare this to the screen resolution of the computer, 1,366×768, it is easy to see how consumers will really be missing out on the image quality with the projector. Pico projectors however are known for giving a decent image quality in darkened environments, as long as the projector is not too far from the screen.
The Lifebooks are expected to go on sale in Japan in April. They will cost $2,690, which is fairly expensive for the machine you are getting. On the whole, it might be better to stick withe optical drive. The average user is likely to get more use out of the drive anyway.
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Fujitsu press release (Japanese)