New Toshiba, Sony notebooks small but fast

Sony and Toshiba are using Intel's fastest Pentium processors in new ultra-portable models.

Sony and Toshiba are using Intel's fastest Pentium processors in new ultra-portable models.

Sony today debuted a new model with a 266-MHz

Toshiba notebook
Toshiba Portege
Pentium MMX processor, a 12.1-inch active-matrix LCD screen, and a 4GB hard drive. At 1.5 inches thick, the VAIO PCG-729C is one of the thinnest portables on the market to incorporate a CD-ROM drive.

Toshiba also released a new high-end notebook model today, which weighs in at only 3.8 pounds, one of the lightest on the market. The Portege 320 CT also uses a 266-MHz Pentium MMX processor and comes with a 3.82GB hard drive.

Sony is offering customers 90-day limited Internet access free with purchase of its new model. The VAIO model weighs 5.75 pounds with the CD-ROM drive and eight-hour batteries installed.

Sony said that the new notebook began shipping today through Sony Direct as well as its usual retail distribution channels for an estimated retail price of $3,699.

Meanwhile, Toshiba packs in a large 12.1-inch screen into its diminutive Portege design. It also includes two stereo speakers, a USB (universal serial bus) port, and a 56-kbps internal modem. The model will be available in early March for an estimated retail price of $3,699 through Toshiba's traditional retail channels.

Toshiba, long the market leader in notebooks, also introduced a new model in its midrange Satellite Pro line. The 470CDT incorporates a 200-MHz Pentium MMX chip, a 2.02GB hard drive, and a 12.1-inch screen. Speakers and a 33.6-kbps modem are also part of a model that will be available in February for $2,949.

In other notebook news, (see related story), IBM today cut prices up to 32 percent across its ThinkPad line of notebooks.

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