Within the next few weeks, Hewlett-Packard (HWP) is expected to introduce the long-awaited revamp of the 600 series of its OmniBook ultra-slim notebook PCs with new models that will feature Pentium processors for the first time.
The new 800 series will sport larger screens compared to the regular 600 series, and bigger hard drives. The aging 600 series was limited to 486 DX4 processors, smallish screens, and relatively diminutive hard disk capacities.
"This is going to flat-out compete with the IBM 560 and the Toshiba Portege," said an industry source familiar with upcoming announcement. The IBM 560 and Toshiba Portege are ultra-slim, ultra-light notebooks but pack desktop-class computing power.
Nonetheless, one industry observer noted that the 800s are for the most part an evolutionary product for HP, and will face extremely stiff competition from more cutting-edge designs such as IBM's 560, a notebook that is ultra-light but comes with 12-inch class active-matrix screens.
New HP Omnibook 800 models will include at the high end the 800CT with a 133-MHz processor, 1.4GB hard drive, and 16MB of RAM with an expected street-price of about $4,650. The OmniBook 800CS will carry a 100-MHz Mobile Pentium processor, 810MB hard disk, 16MB of memory, and a 10-inch class LCD screen, for a street price of about $3,300.