The Stone UMPC is a small laptop with a design that mirrors the Asus Eee PC and RM miniBook, and adds the killer feature of Bluetooth connectivity.
The Stone UMPC is built around the same chassis as, and similar specification to, the Belinea Laptop VIA C7-M ULV, FLC CE260, Everex Cloud Book and Packard Bell Easynote XS20.
The Stone UMPC has a 4-in-1 card reader but only two USB ports for external device connectivitiy. This may not prove to be a problem, however, as the rest of the hardware is very well specified.
With a 40GB hard drive (not solid state) and 1GB RAM, the Stone UMPC is powered by a VIA 1.2Ghz mobile processor.
Stone's tiny laptop weighs a mere 968g and runs Windows XP Tablet edition.
It also has the most bizzare pointing device, a miniscule (about the size of an adult's thumb) trackpad. Small though it is, the Stone UMPC's trackpad works well.
A stylus is included tucked away at the top of the screen to assist in the tablet mode of operation, unfortunately the Stone UMPC's screen does not flip around to lay flat as a tablet normally does.
Networking is extensively catered for with 802.11b\g, Bluetooth and 10\100 ethernet connectivity. For external VGA the Stone UMPC has a DVI output capable of 1024x768 whilst a native resolution of 800x480 keeps the 7in screen usable.
The killer feature on the Stone UMPC though is a module docking bay located on the righthand side of the screen. Modules inlude webcams, GPRS and, fitted to this unit, a tiny detachable bluetooth VoIP phone.
The only critisism we had was that the tiny touchpad may prove fiddly for some, and that the screen seemed a little cramped running Windows.
Tiny touchpad aside, the battle for the UK ultramobile market has been joined by a novel, usable device. The Stone UMPC has plenty of storge and beats the Asus Eee PC with options for connectivity to business-orientated Bluetooth devices such as smartphones.