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Gateway has cutting-edge notebook

The Solo 9100 boasts a 13.3-inch display, a combination CD-ROM and floppy drive, and a processor module with a 166-MHz MMX Pentium chip.

Gateway 2000 (GATE) announced today a new cutting-edge notebook computer with a 13.3-inch display, a combination CD-ROM and floppy disk drive, and a new Intel processor module containing a 166-MHz MMX Pentium chip.

Gateway joins a select group of companies offering the 13.3-inch LCD displays, which roughly match a 15-inch desktop CRT monitor in viewable screen real estate. Toshiba and NEC are currently shipping notebooks with a 13.3-inch display, and IBM is expected to announced this quarter a new notebook in its 760 line with the large screen.

Supply of the 13.3-inch displays are limited, meaning that the cost of the component carries a heavy surcharge. Most notebooks using the 13.3-inch displays are priced at around $6,000, including Gateway's. Currently, 12.1-inch and 11.3-inch screens are the displays most commonly found on new notebook models.

Gateway's new Solo 9100 line is also significant in that it is one of the first products to use an Intel notebook circuit board, or "module" as Intel calls it. The small motherboard contains most of the core electronics, including the MMX Pentium processor, high-speed cache memory, the processor's power supply, and circuitry for controlling the PCI bus and memory. Intel claims the module will speed time-to-market for notebook PC vendors as new processors come out.

Other features of the notebook include a CD-ROM drive and a floppy disk drive that are stacked on top of each other, allowing for the simultaneous use of both drives as well as the hard drive.

The 9100XL offers a 166-MHz MMX Pentium processor, a 3GB hard disk drive, 64MB of memory, Zoomed Video support for accelerated graphics display, USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports, and support for 32-bit CardBus expansion cards. The 9100XL is priced at $5,999.