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NEC lightens notebooks

NEC introduces two Versa 5000 models with a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor in a 1.5-inch-thick package weighing less than 5 pounds.

NEC Computer Systems Division today unveiled its newest "thin and light" notebooks, two models in the Versa 5000 series that feature a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor in a 1.5-inch-thick package weighing less than 5 pounds, as reported by CNET's NEWS.COM.

The Versa 5080 and the 5080X demonstrate the increasing prevalence of high-end features such as 13.3-inch screens and 233-MHz chips in midrange machines. Midrange notebooks, which typically include 150-, 166-, and 200-MHz Pentium MMX processors and 12.1-inch displays, represent the largest portion of the market in terms of product shipments.

The Versa 5080X comes with a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor, a 13.3-inch active-matrix display, 32MB of memory, and a 2.1GB hard drive for a starting price of $4,150. The Versa 5080 offers with a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor and a 12.1-inch active-matrix display for an estimated street price of $3,699.

All models come standard with a 20X CD-ROM drive that fits into a modular bay. The bay allows users to "warm-swap" peripherals, meaning that when a peripheral such as a CD-ROM, floppy disk, or LS-120 drive is removed, the notebook automatically goes into "suspend" mode and returns to normal after the new drive is inserted. Typically, a notebook has to be shut down and then restarted, a process which can take between three to five minutes, say company officials.

The Versa 5080 and 5080X are manufactured under NEC Now, a build-to-order scheme.