The new HiNote Ultra 2000 will be ahead of the curve, in as much as the largest screens available in notebooks so far this year are 13.3-inch displays. About 10 percent of the notebooks shipped this year will have 13.3-inch displays, while the majority of notebooks sold in 1997 will come with 12.1-inch displays, according to DisplaySearch, a market research firm covering the LCD display industry.
By 1998, users can expect 45 percent of the notebooks to be offered with 13.3-inch screens, the company says. More vendors will offer the 14.1- and 14.2-inch screens by next year, but limited availability of the displays and higher cost will mean they be used on a relatively small number of desktops. Digital expects to ship its 14.1-inch systems in limited quantity by September.
Digital says it has worked to keep the new notebook in fighting trim. Even with the larger screen, which adds weight to a system because of the extra glass, the new notebook weighs 6.2 pounds and is in a case 1.35 inches thick.
The Ultra 2000 GTX 5166M comes with a 166-MHz MMX Pentium processor, a 2.1GB hard disk drive, and a 20X CD-ROM.
Digital also introduced the VTX 5166M, which has a 12.1-inch display and a 11X CD-ROM in a package weighing slightly over five pounds.
One can also purchase a multimedia dock that attaches to the bottom of the system, offering the ability to connect to USB (Universal Serial Bus) peripherals and three built-in speakers. A third optional unit, a port replicator, provides connections to desktop peripherals and a AC power adaptor.
As is typical, two PC Card slots are available for expansion, but Digital has incorporated a third, internal PC Card slot which holds a 33.6-kbps modem that is software upgradeable to 56 kbps. The card can be replaced with a combination modem/ethernet card by a service representative, the company says.
The estimated street price for the HiNote Ultra GTX 5166M and VTX 5166M will be between $4,999 and $5,999. The multimedia dock and port replicators will be priced at $899 and $379, respectively.
The GTX 5166 with 14.1-inch screen will be available in limited quantities until later in the fourth quarter, while the VTX will be generally available in September.