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Toshiba unveils sub-$1,400 portable

The new Satellite models comes with a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor, a 2GB hard drive, and 12.1 inch display.

    Toshiba introduced a sub-$1,400 notebook in an effort to put some oomph behind its drive into the low-cost portable segment and reverse its declining notebook share.

    The new Satellite 2505CDS offers a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor, a 2GB hard drive, and a 12.1-inch display for $1,399. The model is targeted at college students and small businesses.

    Toshiba has watched its market share decline since its heyday a few years ago, when it accounted for well over 30 percent of the notebook market. But in the past two years, PC heavyweights such as Compaq and IBM have come on like gangbusters. Compaq, in fact, has taken the No.1 spot in quarterly rankings while Toshiba scrambled to rectify inventory problems.

    Also, erstwhile small players such as Dell Computer and Gateway have also made dramatic gains to become top-tier, high-volume notebook vendors.

    "Toshiba [is] willing to give up the crown to improve profits and inventory," IDC analyst Randy Giusto previously told CNET NEWS.COM. "Profitability--not market share--is now the indicator of success."

    Vendors have been slashing prices on MMX notebooks to make room for the next round of Pentium II notebooks expected to hit the stores this fall, but few vendors have gone as low as Toshiba.

    Online retailer MicroWarehouse is currently listing systems with the same processor and similar componentry from Compaq, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard for between $1,799 and $1,899.

    Insight, another Internet retailer, is listing a Toshiba Satellite 330 CDS, with 266-MHz Pentium MMX processor, 32MB of memory, 3.28GB hard drive, and a 12.1-inch active matrix display for $1,915.99.