The competition for in the Office's Tiniest Office heated up recently as Dauphin Technology, in Lombard, Ill., began shipping the DTR-1, which claims title to the world's tiniest 486 computer. Its central processing unit, separate keyboard, six-inch monochrome screen, carrying case, and internal battery collectively weigh a mere 3.5 pounds.

The lilliputian setup takes up only half a briefcase, but you can save even more space by jettisoning the keyboard in favor of an electronic stylus (supplied), which serves also as a mouse. Through preinstalled Windows for Pen Computing, a user can teach the DTR-1's built-in spreadsheet to recognize even sloppy handwriting. Nirvana it's not, however; the characters must be in printed, rather than cursive, form.

Inside the DTR-1 is a silver-dollar-size hard disk storing about 40 megabytes. A fax/modem is also built in, but, as with most pen-based systems, a floppy drive isn't. Instead, the DTR-1 can hook up to an external floppy or hard drive. Anyway, you can always download via cable from a desktop PC. But while you're there, hook up the machine to a keyboard and monitor that's fit for grown-ups: this miniature marvel may be a chic traveling companion, but when you're back at the desk with the DTR-1 or one of its subnotebook ilk, you'll feel the lack of its, well, size.

The DTR-1 costs about $2,500. For information, call Dauphin at 800-782-7922.

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