Apricot Computers has staged a Commodore-style comeback and re-emerged as a sub-notebook brand. Apricot's first new product since the 1980s is a 8.9in mini laptop that runs off Linux and costs £279.

The Picobook Pro runs off a 1.2GHz ultra-low voltage VIA C7 processor and is described by Apricot as a UMPC (ultramobile PC), rather than being one of the fashionable 'netbooks' that typically use Intel's Atom CPU. It has 1GB of RAM and a 60GB hard drive and (optionally) comes with WiMax connectivity as well as Bluetooth and a, b and g versions of Wi-Fi.

While the Linux Suse operating system will suit many users, those who crave the familiarity of Windows will be able to install XP at no extra cost.

The Picobook Pro weighs a modest 0.95kg and has a built-in 1.3Mp webcam, a four-in-one card reader and two USB 2.0 ports. A VGA connector allows users to attach an external display.

The Apricot Picobook Pro is available direct from apricotcomputers.com.

Apricot's re-entry into the computing market follows a similar move by Commodore - another cult 80s computing brand. Commodore Gaming was acquired by its current owners three years ago and Commodore is now established as a high-performance gaming PC brand. The Apricot brand was originally under the Mitsubishi umbrella but is now under the direction of CEO Shahid Sultan.

Apricot Picobook Pro