Think of it as the world’s smallest “big-screen” TV. Panasonic’s Viera Ketai handset boasts a 3-inch screen with a contrast ratio of 2000:1 — comparable to that of many full-size LCDs, along with powerful image processing and a tuner for Japan’s 1seg (“one seg”) mobile broadcasting service. You can use it as a standard vertical flip phone to make calls, or turn it 90 degrees and flip the screen open horizontally to watch TV and play 3D games. High-speed broadband, GPS tracking and a 5-megapixel camera complete the package.
Run, Baby, Run — Raon Everun UMPC
The diminutive Raon — 7 inches long and just over a pound in weight — is for travelers who want their laptop to feel not much heavier than a densely woven doily. This Windows XP-based handheld sports a full QWERTY keyboard, a 4.8-inch touch-screen that can shift between portrait and landscape modes, and your choice of either a standard 60GB hard drive or 6GB of energy-saving solid-state storage. Integrated Wi-Fi lets you log onto the Internet; a docking station, a car mount and an external keyboard are optional. This ultramobile PC (UMPC) earns its name with a battery life rated by the maker at seven hours for the standard battery and 12 hours for a larger, enhanced unit.
This superthin notebook breaks the 2-pound barrier with virtually no compromises, thanks to its durable yet lightweight carbon-fiber casing. Its 12-inch screen and full keyboard mean that you won’t be forced to squint or engage in two-finger typing. You can choose a 100GB hard drive or a 64GB solid-state drive (SSD). Because they have no moving parts, SSDs are faster, quieter and more power-efficient (though also much pricier, at least so far). If you and your flight attendant muff a drink exchange, spilling club soda on the drip-proof keyboard, the G2 shuts down automatically before anything gets fried.
Availability: Japan (and on Dynamism.com).
Drip Insurance — Fujitsu F705i
At last, there’s a 3G cell phone that you can drop into the pool without taking a financial bath. Fujitsu’s F705i is the slimmest, most sophisticated waterproof phone on the market — you can even wash its keypad with water. But the cool features don’t stop at the marge of Lake Lebarge. Eight levels of zoom simplify reading e-mail in different lighting conditions, and the F705i’s “super clear voice” feature automatically adjusts the volume of incoming calls to a comfortable and audible level based on the amount of ambient noise.
Availability: Japan only; distributed by NTT DoCoMo.