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Hitachi launches mini-notebook

Hitachi will introduce its mini-notebook in November, following on the heels of the Toshiba?s Libretto and Mitsubishi's Amity models.

Hitachi is set to follow in the footsteps of Toshiba and Mitsubishi and announce a mini-notebook that runs Windows 95.

Hitachi will introduce its mini-notebook in November, following fast on the heels of the Toshiba?s Libretto and Mitsubishi's Amity mini-notebook models, according to sources familiar with the roll out.

Mini-notebooks run Windows 95 and are much lighter and smaller than typical notebooks, though generally slightly larger than diminutive Windows CE handhelds, which run the less-powerful Windows CE operating system.

The Hitachi notebook will have a 133-MHz Pentium processor, feature an 8.4-inch screen, and weigh about 2.7 pounds. Most mainstream notebooks weigh five pounds or more and come with 150- or 166-MHz processors. The Hitachi product should be priced at around $2,000 or slightly less, according to sources.

The 8.4-inch active-matrix LCD screen is the largest on a mini-notebook to date, and from a screen-size perspective, actually harks back to some of the earliest laptop computers which came out in the early '90s. Many of these carried 8.4-inch active matrix screens.

By comparison, the Mitsubishi notebook has a 7.5-inch color display, while the Toshiba Libretto has a 6.1-inch display.

The Hitachi mini-notebook is also expected to have a relatively big keyboard.

Prior to the introduction of the Libretto, mini-notebooks with reduced-size keyboards had not sold in very high numbers in the U.S. market, mostly due to the difficulty of typing on them. But so far, the Libretto has been a big seller at retailers.