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Gateway loads up latest laptop

Attempting to disprove the maxim that less is more, the PC maker today introduces a new notebook packed with features and multimedia options, weighing in at under 8 pounds.

Attempting to disprove the maxim that less is more, Gateway today introduced a new notebook packed with features and multimedia options.

Gateway today introduced the Solo 9300, designed as a replacement for a traditional desktop computer. The system, which runs on the mobile Pentium II processor from Intel, will start at $2,499.

Gateway is currently ranked fourth among PC makers, according to market research firm International Data Corporation, which tracks desktop and notebook PC shipments. The company, which is best known for selling PCs directly to consumers and businesses, has expanded its core business over the last year to include Internet services and e-commerce.

The PC maker has recently been focusing more on these more lucrative businesses, as well as novel hardware designs to offset increasingly lower prices and profits on standard hardware. Recently, for instance, Gateway announced a futuristic "all-in-one" computer with an attached flat panel screen. In its last earnings report, Gateway said that the average selling price of its PCs was down about 1.7 percent last quarter. The company trails industry leaders Compaq, Toshiba, and IBM in the notebook market.

"We've combined the best of both laptop worlds," said Todd Bradley, senior vice president of Gateway's consumer group, in a statement. "The Solo 9300 has all of the power with less weight--exactly what our clients have told us they want in a portable."

In addition to supporting the high-end processors, the new portable system includes other desktop-competitive features. The Solo 9300 includes a wide 15-inch display, which is the equivalent of a 17-inch monitor on a desktop computer, according to Gateway. The notebook also comes with a 14-inch display. It weighs a little under 8 pounds.

The notebook also includes multimedia features like an 8MB ATI graphics accelerator, integrated DVD hardware decoder, and support for peripherals with USB and IEEE 1394 connections.