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Tech Industry

NEC notebooks hit 150 MHz

Performance features are NEC's survival strategy for the competitive notebook market.

Against a backdrop of stiffening competition for notebooks aimed at small business and home users, NEC Computer Systems has introduced two new series of notebooks in its Versa line, including one with a 150-MHz MMX-enabled Pentium processor.

NEC, the sixth-largest U.S. notebook vendor according to preliminary fourth-quarter results from IDC Research, appears to want to bolster its position against competitors such as Dell Computer and Texas Instruments by adding performance features. NEC Computer Systems is a division of Packard Bell NEC.

NEC's Versa 2600 series, aimed at business and home users, comes with a 150-MHz Pentium processor that includes MMX technology or with a 133-MHz Pentium and 256KB secondary cache.

The Versa 2600s will have a 12.1-inch dual scan or active matrix screen, 10X CD-ROM and 1.44GB hard drive. The system comes with 16MB of EDO memory.

According to NEC, the Versa 2500 series is aimed primarily at mobile users in small-office settings and medium-sized corporations with "average computing needs." The 2500 series notebooks will offer a 133-MHz Pentium processor with 256KB secondary cache and 16MB of EDO memory.

A 12.1-inch dual scan display is standard, as is a 1.08GB hard drive and built-in infrared port for data transfer to other computing devices. An optional 8X CD-ROM is available for use through a built-in bay.

NEC says both the 2500 and 2600 series of notebooks will also feature a PCI bus architecture for faster data transfer between peripherals such as the hard drive and the processor.

The 2600 series notebooks start at $2,399 for the 133-MHz Pentium model, which is now available. No prices were announced for the models with 150-MHz MMX-enabled Pentium processors; availability is expected in mid-March. The pricing for the 2500 series notebooks starts at $1,999.