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Micro Express speeds notebook

The company is going ahead with a notebook based on the 200-MHz MMX Pentium, even before a "mobile" version of the chip is ready.

Micro Express is raising the speed limit for Intel-based mobile computing.

The company today released a notebook based on the 200-MHz MMX Pentium. The new system, the NP7200MMX, is a mid-range business system designed for use in sales presentation or as a replacement for a desktop computer and is one of a handful of notebooks this fast on the market.

Micro Express, a small but relatively well-known PC maker, was one of the first to sell a 166-MHz Pentium laptop. It in fact brought out its system before the chip was available in a "mobile," low-power version designed for notebooks. The $3,399 NP7200MMX follows the same strategy.

Canon is already offering a portable computer in Japan that uses the 200-MHz processor, but the rest of the notebook industry is waiting for a "laptop" version of the chip.

Desktop versions of chips generally use more power and produce more heat than the mobile versions. For users who intend to use the laptop for presentations or as a replacement for a regular PC, however, the loss of battery life may not be a major problem.

The fastest Intel-based laptop chip is the 166-MHz Pentium with MMX. The fastest mobile chip on the market is the 240-MHz PowerPC 603e processor from Motorola.

The 7.9-pound NP7200MMX comes with a 12.1-inch screen, TV and video output, and zoom video port for making presentations. It also has a built-in 10X CD-ROM drive, dual stereo speakers, and the option to add a Magneto-Optical drive to one of its three modular bays. Other bays can hold batteries, hard disks, floppy drives, or an internal AC adapter.