Japanese computer maker NEC is preparing a thin and light notebook powered by Google Android. The folks at PC Watch got a chance to check out an early prototype of the NEC MGX, which measures just 9.9mm thick. That’s less than 0.4 inches, making the little notebook thinner than many Android tablets.

Unlike a tablet though, the MGX has a full QWERTY keyboard and a clamshell design that lets you close the lid down over the keyboard.

The mini-laptop has a 1024 x 600 pixel display, WiFi, and 3G. The computer measures 8.5″ x 4.3″ and weighs about 0.8 pounds. It’s said to get about 10 hours of battery life. There’s no word on what kind of processor it uses.

While it’s not clear what version of Android it runs, the photos at PC Watch show that the MGX appears to be running Android 2.3 or earlier — which makes sense since Google hasn’t yet released the source code for Android 3.0 and up and it probably takes a little tweaking to get Android to run properly on a notebook.

The little laptop may not be ready to ship until 2013, and I doubt we’ll ever see it in the US.

Update: It looks like the notebook also has a touchscreen display and a hinge that allows you to push the screen back 360 degrees so that it rests flat against the keyboard. This would let you use the notebook as if it were a tablet.

ITMedia has also posted a video showing what the device looks like when you fold the screen all the way back:

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,504 other subscribers

19 replies on “NEC reveals the MGX 7 inch Android netbook”

  1. The video shows the flipping all the way back.  Just like the good o’ Intermec 6651 (circa 2001)

  2. I’d say that, given Android 3.2 or ICS, it wouldn’t make a bad little notebook even without touch. Before using an Asus Transformer with keyboard dock, I wouldn’t be so convinced, but after using one for a while I think it would be a great business or communication machine using Android 3.+’s mouse support in lieu of touch. I just wouldn’t expect to play multitouch games like Cut the Rope or what not, but someone looking for a highly portable thin-like client probably isn’t 

    1. Thank you for so succinctly illustrating the stupidity that is “Android”.  It’s pretty stunning that consumers actually purchase products that run an operating for which minor and major versions are specifically tied to specific devices.  I think that you understand that it has nothing to do with version numbers because even you identified that what you real want is to gain access to “new features”.  They force you to buy new hardware to get the latest software.  That’s a big clue that Android isn’t Linux but rather a fork of Linux.  If you use a proper distribution of Linux, you can pretty much enjoy which ever version of your operating systems at which ever features you want, unless of course you were a moron that bought a device with proprietary components…like must Android products suffer from.

  3. This form factor is the same as the short-lived classic Poquet PC from 1989, which predates the first computer with a 10″ “netbook” size (the Gateway Handbook from 1991)

    1. I don’t believe the Poqet PC could fold its keyboard all the way back and it didn’t have a touch screen.  Not to mention they sold for $2000 😛

      Though the Atari Portfolio that came out just before it was priced at $3000 and was only a little smaller.

      Anyway, I believe Fujitsu owned Poqet PC and they’re one of the few companies still making UMPC products.  Though not regularly anymore…

      1. There were literally thousands of pocket pc computers produced from 1989 to 2003.  Some designs could bend keyboards behind their screen.

        And not all pocket pc computers had such an outrageous price as you claim, some were as cheap as $99.

        1. Sorry, no claim as those are the listed prices for those products, but don’t confuse calculators and organizers with pocket computers!

          There were literally thousands of gadgets but few were actual computers in the modern sense or gave you the full package of features, at least without buying hundreds of dollars in accessories.

          1. I own several from the 90’s up to the latest in 2003.  The NEC MobilePro running Windows CE could do everything that a computer could do and only cost $999.  Smaller devices that ran Windows CE could be had at a $399 price point that could do everything a computer could like email, games, web browsing and office documents.

          2. You do know this little thing that the industry has been following for awhile called Moore’s Law?

            Of course prices during the 90’s would be better than they were in the 80’s!

            Doesn’t change anything, the previous talked about devices were expensive by today’s standards but not expensive for the time period.

            Really, why the need to exaggerate what was available for the time period?  Things are better now for portable computing power than they ever were then.

          3. The first PDA as we know it came out in 1984. Looked like a little calculator that could store names and numbers. It cost $200. You could of course find more expensive models, but for arguments sake it didn’t have to cost you several thousand.

    2. Actually, it was more like from 1989 TO 2003 when the last Pocket PC came out called the NEC Mobile Pro 900c.

  4. Using the keyboard as a stand reminds me of the Always Innovating’s touch-screen Netbook from back in 2009.  A little different of course as that one you removed the screen as a tablet and plugged it back in backwards to use the keyboard as a stand.

    This isn’t NEC’s first Android Smartbook, they released a Tegra 2 Lifetouch Note Android back about February.  Along with a Android tablet back in January.

    2013 release and the fact they describe the insides as mostly being taken up by the battery suggest the system takes very little space, along with the efficiency required to reach a 10 hour run time, and that suggest ARM.  Though by 2013 Intel could have a SoC design that could fit as well.

    1. The prototype keyboard, with what looks like stuck-on grey labels on some of the keys, reminds me of a calculator.

  5. Brad, you might want to mention in the article that the display swivels all the way around the keyboard to make a tablet. I didn’t notice it at first looking at the PC Watch article, but the fourth picture seems to indicate the hinge allows it to bend all the way back.

    Unfortunately, the keyboard suffers from the old NEC MobilePro single line of arrow keys as opposed to having the up key over the down key. This was one of my only gripes about the MP790. Perhaps they will correct the keyboard layout and get it right this time. Actually, after looking at the NEC LifeTouch Note, another NEC brand Android clamshell, I’m a little confused at the keyboard design choice, because the keyboard layout for the LifeTouch actually looks decent.

    1. The photo certainly shows the screen folded to an angle beyond 270 degrees… but it’s not quite flat. I can’t tell from the picture if you can actually use the notebook like a tablet, or if you can just use the keyboard like a stand and prop the screen up for watching videos or displaying photos or text. 

      1. The caption for the photo was my tipoff: 2軸ヒンジを採用し、360度開閉が可能, Employs a two-axis hinge, can be opened 360 degrees

Comments are closed.