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Fujitsu beefs up mini-notebook

The PC maker ratchets up the performance of its LifeBook P2000 with a faster processor, Transmeta's Crusoe TM5800, which runs at 933MHz.

Fujitsu ratcheted up the performance of its LifeBook P2000 notebook on Monday.

The PC maker fitted a new iteration of the 3.4-pound notebook with a faster processor, Transmeta's Crusoe TM5800, which runs at 933MHz. The notebook also has larger hard drives and a faster interconnect that uses USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0. USB 2.0 offers a higher bandwidth connection between PCs and accessories such as disk drives.

The tiny notebook, introduced last June with an 867MHz Crusoe TM5800 chip, features a 10.6-inch screen and a built-in bay for a CD-rewritable/DVD-ROM drive or an extra battery.

Fujitsu expects the main audience for the new machine to be PC enthusiasts and executives who travel often. The LifeBook P2000 offers a competitive price compared with most notebooks of its size, as well as more offerings aimed at consumers.

A new P2000 model with the 933MHz Crusoe TM5800 chip, 256MB of RAM (random access memory), a 30GB hard drive, and Microsoft's Windows XP Home Edition starts at $1,499. A version with a 40GB hard drive and Windows XP Professional starts at $1,699.

Fujitsu says the new LifeBook P2000 can run for three hours on a single charge of its standard battery and up to 12 hours when a consumer purchases two higher capacity batteries, which fit in its main battery bay and the drive bay.

After suffering through delays with the first versions of the Crusoe TM5800, Transmeta has begun to assert itself again with faster versions of the chip and new agreements with PC makers. The company recently inked a deal with a computer manufacturer that will sell Crusoe notebooks in China.

Fujitsu is the first manufacturer to offer the 933MHz Crusoe TM5800 chip in the United States. The company is already shipping a similar model in Japan.

Sony includes the 933MHz chip in its Vaio C1 PictureBook and Vaio U notebooks in Japan.

But the electronics maker currently offers only an 867MHz Crusoe TM5800 in its Vaio C1MW PictureBook in the United States. The 2.2-pound machine features an 8.9-inch screen and a starting price of $2,099. The company is expected to use the newer 933MHz chip in this notebook at some point as well.

Transmeta has promised the first run of its 1GHz Crusoe TM5800 chip to Hewlett-Packard, which will use it in a forthcoming Tablet PC.