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DEC notebook combines speed and light

Digital Equipment today announced a sweeping update of its ultraslim HiNote notebook PC line, delivering the first notebooks in the industry to pack high-speed Pentium processors into an ultralight design.

Digital Equipment today announced a sweeping update of its ultraslim HiNote notebook PC line, delivering the first notebooks in the industry to pack high-speed Pentium processors into an ultralight design.

The new notebooks, unveiled at the CeBIT exposition in Hannover, Germany, are also the first HiNotes to use Pentium processors, and selected models are the first examples of a top-tier vendor preloading the Windows NT operating system.

The 1-inch-high, 3.9-pound, HiNote Ultra II is due to ship in the second quarter and will come with a 100-, 120-, or 133-MHz Mobile Pentium processor, removable hard drives with up to 1.35GB in capacity, a 10.4-inch active-matrix color display with resolutions of up to 800 by 600 pixels, and a high-performance VL local bus.

A HiNote Ultra II with a 133-MHz processor, 800-by-600-pixel active-matrix LCD, 1.35GB hard disk drive, and 8MB of RAM will cost $4,699, including Windows 95 and software for Digital ClientWorks, America Online, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, and the Dow Jones Personal Journal software. With Windows NT and 24MB of RAM, the same system will be priced at $5,999.

At the low end, the HiNote VP line offers a 75- or 100-MHz Mobile Pentium processor, a high-performance PCI bus based on Intel's Mobile Triton chipset, hard drives ranging up to 810MB in size, and the 10.4-inch display. A HiNote VP with a 75-MHz Pentium, 540MB hard drive, 8MB of RAM, and a dual-scan LCD screen is priced at $2,000. HiNote VP systems are available immediately.

Both the Ultra II and VP lines have a port replicator that can use an optional Ethernet interface for instant network connection.

Officials said the decision to offer Windows NT as an optional preloaded operating system is a response to requests from customers who want a secure, high-end operating system to run on their notebooks. While Windows 95 has lower system requirements, it's less crash-proof and less security conscious than NT.

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