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PC company Apricot returns with £279 netbook

UK launch of PicoBook Pro by Apricot Computers

Apricot PicoBook Pro netbook

Apricot, a brand which has been absent from the UK for almost a decade, has launched its comeback product – a £279 netbook, or ‘ultra-mobile PC’ (UMPC) as the company calls it.

The PicoBook mini-laptop ‘exudes quality’ and has a keyboard that is up to 30% larger than the competition, according to Apricot.

The Picobook’s features include:

  • 1.2GHz Via processor
  • 60GB hard drive
  • 1GB Ram
  • 1.3Mp webcam
  • 8.9inch Widescreen with 1,024×600 resolution
  • Bluetooth
  • Li-ion battery with claimed 3-4 hour life

Which? has recently reviewed a wide range of laptops and netbooks from Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba, and has a guide to buying the best laptop.

Apricot chasing Asus netbook market

The Apricot brand was originally founded in 1965 as the Birmingham-based Applied Computer Technologies (ACT), becoming Apricot Computers in the 1980s. It built a series of innovative products, including launching a PC with wireless mouse in 1985. In the 1990s it was absorbed into Mitsubishi, but the brand ceased producing PCs in 1999. Nine years later, having been purchased by new CEO Shahid Sultan, the Apricot brand returns to the UK.

Which? computing expert Al Warman said: ‘Whether Apricot can return to its success of the 1980s remains to be seen, but ultimately will depend on the quality and pricing of its product in the competitive netbook sector of the PC market. Clearly the Asus Eee-PC and its rivals have blazed a trail that Apricot is keen to follow.’

Pricing is £279 with the Suse Linux operating system or £328 with Windows XP Home. The PicoBook Pro is available to buy direct from the Apricot website.

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