Sharp has crammed a CD-R/RW (CD recordable/rewritable) drive into the latest model of what it claims is the world's lightest and thinnest portable PC with a 12.1in screen — the Mebius Muramasa series.

To make the notebook PC thinner and lighter, the company did away with the usual supporting frame for the LCD (liquid crystal display) screen, and used a metallic case for rigidity instead. The company named the product after a Muramasa sword, a famous weapon from Japan's Muromachi age, reflecting Sharp's hopes that the PC will be at the cutting edge of technology.

The resulting Mebius Muramasa PC-MT1-H1R model is 16.6mm thick, and weighs 1.31kg, making it quite possibly the thinnest and the lightest 12.1in screen laptop in the world. For comparison, Sony's Vaio PCG-R505R/GK, also with a 12.1in screen, is 23mm thick and weighs 1.7kg.

Sharp's PC-MT1-H1R model has a Pentium III 500MHz processor, two USB (universal serial bus) ports, a PC Card slot, a CompactFlash card slot, a 20GB hard drive, a low-temperature black reflective 12.1in TFT (thin film transistor) screen and 128MB of memory. The battery lasts up to 3.3 hours, according to Sharp.

The model equipped with a CD-R/RW drive went on sale on 4 August, priced at the equivalent of £1,377 in Tokyo stores. Sharp did not have information about plans for overseas distribution.