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HP to refresh notebook line

HP will refresh its fleet this spring, coming out with a slimline series similar in size to IBM's popular 560 ThinkPads.

Hewlett-Packard will refresh its fleet of notebook PCs in the spring and come out with a slimline series that will be similar in size to IBM's popular 560 ThinkPads.

The new notebooks' debut will coincide with Intel's release of the first versions of the Pentium II processor for mobile computers. The mobile Pentium IIs, part of the "Deschutes" family of Pentium II processors, will initially run at 233 MHz and 266 MHz and gain speed over time. The mobile Deschutes processors will come in two different types of packages: a larger module, for use in standard-sized notebooks, and a cartridge for slim machines.

Although often a traditionalist in the notebook arena, HP will begin to spread its design horizons with the new introductions. One of the chief innovations in the new notebooks will be the appearance of a series of slim notebooks.

The OmniBook 4100 will be slimmer (around 1.5 inches thick) and lighter than current HP notebooks, said sources close to the company. Most HP notebooks are currently a minimum of 2 inches thick and weigh in at a lumbering 7 pounds.

HP will also release its first full-featured multimedia notebook complete with a DVD drive. In addition, HP's first notebook using a 14-inch screen will make its debut, said sources.

Despite these releases, the company is not ready to release its version of the Pedion, the magnesium-case ultralight notebook codesigned by Mitsubishi and HP, sources say.