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Toshiba, Fujitsu shrink notebooks

Toshiba introduces a low-cost laptop while Fujitsu makes its debut in the ultra-mini-notebook market.

Toshiba introduced a low-cost laptop today while Fujitsu made its debut in the ultra-mini-notebook market.

Toshiba's Satellite offering is priced at about $1,400 with a large LCD screen and Intel's fastest Pentium MMX processor. Fujitsu's first mini-notebook for the U.S. market weighs only about 2.6 pounds but packs a full-blown version of the Windows 98 operating system.

The Toshiba Satellite 2535CDS comes with a 300-MHz version of the Pentium MMX processor and a 13-inch display. It also features a 4.3GB hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, a modem, and a high-end sound system.

Typically, notebooks in this price range have used 12-inch displays and 266-MHz Pentium processors.

Fujitsu is targeting even greater portability than Toshiba's Satellite series. The LifeBook B112 mini-notebook is for "business professionals seeking a highly mobile solution for applications such as reading/sending email, reviewing documents, conducting presentations (with an external projector), and accessing the Internet," Fujitsu said.

Mini-notebooks are small enough to fit into a coat pocket, much like their sibling handheld devices that run the Windows CE operating system. But they use a full-fledged version of the Windows 95 or 98 operating system and Intel processors.

The B112 also has a touch screen and stylus and comes with a built-in modem. It is powered by a 233-MHz Pentium processor and includes a 3.2GB hard drive, an 8.4-inch active-matrix LCD screen, one PC Card slot, and Windows 98.

It is available at resellers at an estimated price of $1,599.