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TI forges ahead with notebook

Texas Instruments is out of the notebook business, except for just this last one.

    Texas Instruments (TXN) is out of the notebook business, except for just this last one.

    The company today announced a new midrange 166-MHz Pentium notebook with MMX technology, a product that was already under development when the company decided to sell its notebook division to Acer Group.

    Since it will be a while before the sale to Acer is complete, TI decided to go through with the introduction of the new model. Acer, which already manufactures the Extensa line of notebooks for TI, says it will continue marketing the Extensa and TravelMate notebooks, including this latest model, under the Texas Instruments brand for the time being. Acer may consider changing the names later this year.

    During the transition period, TI is forging ahead with a new Extensa 660 model that includes technology for better networking performance. The company says the notebook is intended for use by small offices/home offices and corporate mobile professionals.

    The Advanced PCI Card expansion allows for direct connection to the system bus for faster data transfer. TI says that network-direct connections of 100BaseT Ethernet and higher are possible with optional networking cards.

    Other high-performance expansion options include two CardBus slots, which are backward-compatible with PC Card peripherals. Card Bus is a 32-bit PC Card technology, while PC Card technology is 16-bit. FireWire (IEEE 1394) technology, which allows for a direct connection between the notebook and devices such as digital cameras and VCRs, is also included.

    The Extensa 660CD will include a 12.1-inch dual-scan display with 128-bit graphics controller and Zoomed video support as well as a removable 10X CD-ROM and 1.35GB hard drive. The 660CDT adds a 2.1GB drive and an active-matrix display.

    TI says the estimated street price of the 660CD will be $3,299 and the estimated street price of the 660CDT will be $3,999. The notebooks are to ship in mid-February, the company says.