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Gateway cuts notebooks again

Gateway cut prices yet again on Pentium II notebooks, as the company attempts to consolidate on notebook market gains.

Gateway cut prices yet again on Pentium II notebooks as the company attempts to consolidate gains it has made in the notebook market.

While the price drops on the 9100 and 5100 series notebooks amounts to a modest ten percent, it is the third time in two months that the direct vendor has lowered prices on these systems. Gateway's Pentium II notebooks were just introduced in April.

As a result of its aggressive adoption and marketing of these chips, the company reports that over 50 percent of new notebooks sold are shipped with top-of-the-line Pentium II processors.

Gateway attributed the coming price drops to a combination of lower prices on components such as displays, processors, and memory. "It's kind of abnormal to have so many price drops, but...sometimes vendors realize efficiencies quicker than we have planned," said John Costello, senior product marketing manager for portables.

Gateway said a Solo 9100 SE with 233-MHz Pentium II processor, 64MB of memory, a 14.1-inch display, modem, and combination DVD-ROM/floppy drive is priced at $3,499, a reduction of $200. Some configurations are available starting at $3,199.

A Solo 5200XL with 266-MHz Pentium II processor, 14.1-inch display, modem, and 80MB of memory now goes for $3,299, a reduction of $300.

Incidentally, Intel has only cut prices on the mobile Pentium II processor once since the chip's introduction.

The rapid price cuts could help Gateway maintain its run up in notebook shipments. In the first quarter of 1998, Gateway managed to register a 75 percent increase in notebook sales over the same period a year ago, according to figures from research firm Dataquest.

Dataquest ranks Gateway as the seventh largest notebook vendor, behind such notebook stalwarts as Toshiba, Compaq, and IBM.