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Hitachi discounts notebooks too

Hitachi joins the rest of the major vendors in offering a portable with a high-quality screen and a fast processor for as little as $1,599.

Hitachi is falling in line with the rest of the major notebook PC vendors in offering a portable with a high-quality liquid crystal display (LCD) and a fast processor for as little as $1,599.

Hitachi is slashing selected notebook prices by up to 20 percent. The cost reductions affect its VisionBook Pro, VisionBook Plus,

Hitachi price reductions
Model Old price New price
VisionBook Pro 7580 $4,199 $3,799
VisionBook Pro 7590 $4,799 $4,199
VisionBook Plus 5260 $1,699 $1,599
VisionBook Plus 5280 $2,999 $2,199
VisionBook Traveler $2,499 $1,999
and VisionBook Traveler lines, and give the company two models under the $2,000 price point.

The pricing action follows cuts by notebook leaders Compaq, Digital, IBM, and Toshiba, who previously announced deep reductions to their Armada, HiNote, ThinkPad, and Satellite lines, respectively. In Compaq's case, the discounts pushed the price of a notebook with a 12.1-inch active-matrix LCD under $1,000 for the first time.

Although Hitachi's discounts do not send a model into the sub-$1,000 range, they do drop the VisionBook Plus to $1,599. The low-end portable, cut by $100, comes with 166-MHz Pentium MMX processor, a 2.1GB hard drive, and a 12.1-inch active-matrix display.

On the high end, the VisionBook Pro with a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor and a 13.3 active-matrix display is being discounted from $4,799 to $4,199.

Hitachi also announced that it is expanding distribution for the VisionBook Traveler, its smallest notebook offering. The 2.7 pound mini-notebook with an 8.4-inch active-matrix display will now be available at Best Buy, DataVision, Fry's Electronics, and other retailers for $1,999, discounted $500 from the original $2,499 price tag.