When Intel's fast mobile chip debuted three months ago, portables incorporating the new chips typically started above $4,000. Last Monday, however, Intel cut the price of a 266-MHz Pentium II by 30 percent, the second time it discounted the chip in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Compaq's use of the portable K6 in new Windows 98 machines tracks the company's strategy of using the Intel-compatible chip in the desktop consumer market.
Incorporating the K6 helps the Presario 1625 list for $2,199--or $1,999 at some online resellers--a price point that some see as the portable world's equivalent of the sub-$1,000 desktop. The new system comes with a 3.2GB hard drive and a 12.1-inch active-matrix LCD screen plus features like a CD-ROM and a high-speed modem.
Using the same chip, the slightly more powerful Presario 1640 lists for $2,499.
Moving slightly up the chain, a Presario 1650 with a 266-MHz Pentium II and 64MB of memory lists for $2,999. Gateway's similarly configured 2500LS goes for $2,699.
IBM, via resellers such as CompUSA, is now selling a ThinkPad 380XD notebook with a 266-MHz Pentium II chip, 12.1-inch active-matrix screen, and a 3.2GB hard drive for $2,799.