A bevy of new notebook PCs are set to steal the limelight at the PC Expo
trade show in New York this week.
Toshiba, Texas Instruments, Compaq Computer, and
Acer America are all slated to announce
new notebook lines introducing technologies that significantly raise the bar
on both performance and features.
The new breed of notebooks will feature new, cutting-edge features such as:
--high-end 64-bit and 128-bit graphics chips
--"Zoomed Video" technology for displaying full-motion video
--integrated 28.8-kbps modems
--desktop-class 32-bit Card Bus PC Card slots to replace the old 16-bit
PCMCIA PC Card slots
--LCD screens equal in size to desktop CRT screens.
Notebook market leader Toshiba will lead off with the introduction of the
new Tecra 500 series of high mid-range notebooks, new Satellite Pro and
Satellite value notebooks, and a revamped Portege
The new 4.8-pound Portege 650CT is a much-needed replacement for the current
which has been losing its appeal in the market because of its relatively old
90-MHz Pentium processor and a small 9.5-inch LCD screen.
In contrast, the Portege 650CT will include a 133-MHz Mobile Pentium
processor, 256KB pipelined burst level-2 cache, 16MB EDO RAM, 16-bit audio,
an 11.3-inch active-matrix SVGA display, and a 1.26GB hard disk drive (HDD).
On top of a more powerful basic configuration, it will also include new
technologies like the Chips and Technologies HiQVideo 64-bit PCI
graphics chip with 2MB Extended Data Out (EDO) DRAM, Zoomed Video support,
and 32-bit Card Bus PC Card slots.
Like other new offerings from Toshiba, the Portege will come bundled with
Windows 95 or Windows 3.11, Syncro Multimedia Connect, Mediamatics MPEG
Arcade Player, America Online, Compuserve, and Netscape
The 650CT is expected to be priced around $4,500.
The new line of Tecra 500s will be represented by a flagship 500 CDT to
replace its current 700 series of Tecras. The 500 CDT will feature a PCI
bus, a 120MHz Mobile Pentium processor, a
256KB level-2 cache, a 12.1" SVGA active-matrix display, a 6X CD-ROM drive,
a 1.26GB hard disk drive, a 64-bit PCI graphics chip, Zoomed Video support,
an integrated 28.8-kbps fax modem, and two 32-bit PC Card slots.
The system will weight just under eight pounds and cost just under $5,000.
The Tecra 500CS is similar to the 500 CDT but uses a 12.1-inch dual-scan SVGA
display and will be priced at just under $4,000.
At the low end of Toshiba's new line, the new Satellite 110CT will feature a
processor, 11.3-inch active-matrix SVGA display, and a 772MB HDD for an
estimated retail price of $2,799.
Meanwhile, Texas Instruments will announce its TravelMate 6000 line, the
long-awaited upgrade to its current TravelMate 5000 series. The 6000 series
notebook will weigh just under 6 pounds and is designed to be modular so
that users can add devices like CD-ROM drives or other batteries.
6000, for example, the TravelMate series will for the first time have bays
that can accommodate swappable CD-ROM drives, batteries, and floppy disk
drives, sources said.
The 6000 series will come with a 12.1-inch active-matrix display--a first
for TI--32-bit Card Bus PC Card slots, Zoom Video ports, and will be
"DSP-ready, sources said.
Other features will include 1.08GB or 1.35GB hard disk drives, 11.3-inch or
12.1-inch SVGA active-matrix displays, an integrated 28.8-kbps modem, a new
Cirrus Logic PCI graphics controller, and 16-bit SoundBlaster Pro16 audio
with 3D Spatializer sound.
The first model out the door, the TravelMate 6020, will ship this month with
a price of about $4,200, while the 6030 will become available in July at a
street price of just under $5,000.
As for Acer, it will haul out new AcerNote Nuovo premium notebooks to
AcerNote Light series.
The AcerNote Nuovos will feature a 133-MHz Pentium processor, a 1.2GB HDD,
11.3-inch dual-scan or 11.8-inch active-matrix displays, a NeoMagic 128-bit
PCI graphics controller, a modular 3.5" floppy drive, a modular 6X CD-ROM,
two 32-bit PC Card slots, and an integrated DSVD (Digital Simultaneous Voice
and Data) 28.8Kbps PC Card modem.
The AcerNote Nuovos will be available in August at an estimated street price
of just under $4,000.