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Texas Instruments weighs in

Texas Instruments introduces a line of ultra-thin notebook PCs, trying to keep pace with similar designs from companies such as IBM and Digital Equipment.

Texas Instruments (TXN) has introduced a line of ultra-thin notebook PCs, trying to keep pace with similar designs from companies such as IBM and Digital Equipment.

The Extensa 900 Series boasts the thinnest profile of any TI notebook to date with some models weighing just below five pounds.

Models in the 900 series come with 12.1-inch dual-scan or 11.3-inch active-matrix LCD screens, a 133-MHz Pentium processor, 16MB of EDO memory standard, 256 KB of level-2 cache, nickel metal hydride or lithium ion batteries, built-in sound, and a 1.35GB hard disk drive.

The notebooks are 32-bit CardBus ready, the company said. CardBus is a 32-bit PC Card technology. To date, PC Card technology--also known as PCMCIA--has been 16-bit.

One PC Card slot also supports the zoomed video standard for running full-motion video, TI said.

A docking station, which TI calls a Mobile Productivity Base, is also available. This holds an 8X CD-ROM drive, a second battery, and an Advanced PCI card expansion slot which can support 100BaseT fast Ethernet cards as well as "FireWire" 1394 interface cards for digital cameras and digital VCRs.

The 900 series will ship in December. Prices will range from $3,299 for an Extensa 900 with a dual-scan LCD to $4,299 for the 900CDT with an 11.3-inch active-matrix screen and the Mobile Productivity Base.