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HP will redo subnotebook line

Hewlett-Packard will revamp its subnotebooks as it faces new competition.

Hewlett-Packard will do a badly needed makeover of its subnotebooks as it struggles to keep up with an intensifying market.

The current 600 line has aged quickly in the face of an onslaught of feature-rich subnotebooks and "ultra-portables"--as some analysts refer to the new genre of thin-and-wide designs. "They need to do something--and fast," said one analyst, who asked to remain anonymous, referring to HP's lack of breadth in its notebook product lineup.

HP is expected to maintain the diminutive size and the extremely light weight (less than four pounds) of the 600 notebooks but upgrade the features to include a 10.4-inch (or larger) active-matrix LCD, docking capabilities, large hard disk drive capacities, and the fastest Mobile Pentium processors (which currently peak at 133 MHz).

The current 600C line carries processors no faster than a relatively slow 75-MHz 486 DX4, a smallish 9.5-inch LCD screen, and paltry hard disk drive capacities which in most models do not exceed 340MB.

HP would not discuss pricing or an introduction date.