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Gateway's sleek new Solo

President Clinton is one of the first users of the new two-tone, Pentium II notebook, which sells for under $3,000.

Gateway today introduced a new Pentium II notebook with an integrated DVD-ROM drive for less than $3,000, becoming one of the first vendors to offer a DVD drive at this price point and in such a compact design.

Gateway solo 3100
Gateway solo 3100

The new Solo 3100 laptop emphasizes style and form, following in the wake of sleek notebooks such as IBM's popular 560 ThinkPad and Toshiba's recently-introduced Portege notebook.

The product, code-named FireAnt, boasts President Clinton among its first users, Robert Chu, managing director of Gateway South Asia, told a news conference.

"When President Bill Clinton visited Dublin [this month], he had a chance to tour the Gateway factory," he said.

"He was one of the first users of FireAnt," he added, noting that the president signed the document with a digital signature using the FireAnt.

The Solo 3100 is the company's first entry into the ultraportable market, Gateway representatives said.

The Solo 3100 is two-tone silver and jet-black, with a new briefcase-style carrying case, Gateway said. It weighs around 5 pounds and measures about an inch and a half thick. (Click here for detailed specifications.)

The new notebooks include a 12.1-inch active matrix LCD screen and an integrated V.90 56-kbps modem. Top-of-the-line models include Intel's fastest notebook chip, the 300-MHz Pentium II.

At the high end, the $2,999 3100XL features a 300-MHz Pentium II processor, 64MB of memory, an integrated DVD-ROM drive, and a 4GB hard drive, Gateway said.

At the entry level, the 3100SE includes a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor, 32MB of memory, CD-ROM, and a 2GB hard drive, for $2,099, Gateway said.