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Sharp launches wide-screen notebooks

Sharp introduced a series of 4.5-pound notebook PCs that use a new wide-format LCD, heralding a generation of mainstream notebooks which sport screens with desktop-class viewing areas.

Sharp today introduced a series of compact notebook PCs that use a new wide-format liquid crystal display (LCD), heralding a generation of mainstream notebooks which sport screens with desktop-class viewing areas.

The new WideNote line sports a 1.6-inch thick, 4.5-pound form factor (design) and has an 11.2-inch wide-format LCD, Sharp said.

The wide-format screens have a 16:9 width-to-height ratio with a resolution of 1,024-by-600 dots, allowing about 30 percent more information to be shown on the screen compared to standard 800-by-600 LCDs, the company said.

For example, Sharp says that its wide-format LCD can display two full Web pages side by side.

The WideNotes come with the 133-MHz Mobile Pentium Processor, a 28.8-kbps fax-modem, 1.08GB hard disk drive, 16MB of EDO RAM (upgradable to 32 MB), a PCI bus, 16-Bit sound card, and a Lithium-Ion battery.

The systems will be available in early October. Pricing is expected to range between $2,999 and $3,499, for the W-100D and W-100T respectively. The 100D has a dual-scan LCD, while the 100T has an active-matrix LCD.

Sharp has developed these screens to deliver the viewing benefits of high-resolution desktop CRT monitors at lower prices than high-end 1,024-by-768 LCDs. The company is also marketing LCDs capable of 1,024-by-768 resolution, but these screens are costly to produce and are only featured on expensive high-end notebook PCs.