Intel debuted its mobile Pentium II just seven weeks ago, and every major notebook vendor duly announced products based on the new chips--at historically low prices. Since then, Gateway has cut prices on those products, and now expanded its Pentium II notebook offerings with a line called Solo.
Back in April, top-flight systems from major manufacturers were unveiled at prices as low as $2,700, about $1,500 less than the typical new, high-end notebook of the past. IBM, Dell, Hitachi, and Gateway all came in at or below $3,000.
The upshot: When high-end system prices come in at this level, midrange and low-end notebooks feel the squeeze and ultimately dive in price, establishing a whole new pricing structure. The phenomenon is known as price "compression."
Today's announcement includes a midrange system for under $2,600. Gateway's Solo 2500LS features a 233-MHz Pentium II, 32MB of memory, a 12.1-inch active-matrix display, a 2GB hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, and a 56-kbps modem for $2,599.
The multimedia-heavy line tops out with the 2500KL, which comes with a 266-MHz Pentium II chip, 32MB of memory, a 13.3-inch active-matrix display, a 4GB hard drive, a CD-ROM, and a 56-kbps modem for $3,599.
The line begins with the low-end 2500SE, with a 200-MHz Pentium MMX chip, 32MB of memory, a 12.1-inch display, 2GB hard drive, CD-ROM, and a 56-kbps modem for $1,899.