Fastest Pentium II for notebook PCs arrives

Compaq, Toshiba, and HP release new notebooks with Intel's newest 400-MHz chip.

Dell, Compaq, Toshiba, and Hewlett-Packard, among others, are releasing new notebook PCs with Intel's fastest notebook processor yet.

Dell Computer today expanded its Latitude line of notebooks for corporate users to include support for the new Pentium II mobile processors. Dell introduced three new configurations, which share common docking stations and peripherals, to allow companies to easily upgrade and swap components.

Dell introduced the Latitude Cpi R400GT, with 400-MHz Pentium II processor, 14.1-inch display, and up to 512MB of memory. Although most users do not require that level of memory capacity, Dell offers these options on its high-end notebooks to help buyers protect against obsolescence, said Jay Parker, product manager for the Latitude line.

"There aren't a lot of customers who need it right now, but most customers that buy on the very high end are doing it for investment protection," he said. "Who knows what software will be out in 2 years?"

The new Latitude Cpi R400GT with 64MB of memory, 4.8GB hard drive, and 400-MHz processor is priced at $2,499. Dell also introduced two new Pentium II Latitudes, priced at $2,999 for a system with 13.3-inch display and $2,499 for the 12.1-inch display.

Toshiba Tecra 8000 The new Toshiba Tecra model uses Intel's newest and fastest chip for notebooks: the 400-MHz Mobile Pentium II processor. To date, the fastest version has run at 366 MHz.

The Tecra 8000 also comes stuffed to the gills with other features including a large 14.1-inch LCD screen, 128MB of memory, a 14.1GB hard drive, and a DVD-ROM drive with MPEG II playback. This configuration is priced at $4,399.

Another model with the 400-MHz chip but with less memory, a smaller hard drive, and CD-ROM drive goes for $3,799.

Compaq Armada 7800Compaq announced new models in its flagship Armada 7800 line and lower cost 1750 with the 400-MHz chip. Like the Toshiba models, the Armada 7800 and 1750 also come with 14.1-inch displays. The Armada 7800 is available immediately with Windows 95 for a suggested price of $4,499, or $4,599 with Windows NT 4.0. The Armada 1750 with Windows 95 is available now for $3,499, while a model with Windows NT 4.0 is $3,599.

Hewlett-Packard updated its lightweight OmniBook 4150 and its 900 models with new chip. Both models are slim notebooks. The 4150 is a thin-and-wide design, while the 900 is an ultra-portable.

HP OmniBook 4150 The 4150 uses a 10.1GB hard drive, a DVD-ROM drive, and a 14.1 inch display. It has an estimated street price of $4,199.

The OmniBook 900 has a 6.4GB hard drive and a 12.1-inch display. This price is estimated to be $3,199.

Advanced Micro Devices also ships a fast mobile chip that runs at 380 MHz. This is used by a number of computer makers.

Toshiba Portege3110CT In related news, Toshiba also announced a new version of its super-slim 3-pound notebook, the Portege.

The 3-pound Portege 3110CT packs a Pentium II 300-MHz processor and a new active-matrix LCD screen technology called polysilicon.

Essentially, polysilicon LCDs provide brighter screens and better resolutions at smaller sizes than traditional active-matrix technology.

The highly-compact Portege, which is less than an inch thick, also uses a 6.4GB hard drive, 64MB of memory, and the 10.4-inch display. An optional external CD-ROM drive is also available. Pricing is set at $2,299.

News.com's Stephanie Miles contributed to this report.

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