New midrange and high-end notebooks flood show

PC Expo is shaping up as the place to be as vendors galore will be trotting out new and upgraded notebook lines in New York this week.

PC Expo is shaping up as the place to be as vendors galore will be trotting out new and upgraded notebook lines in New York this week, each attempting to woo IS managers with the latest technology for portables in the value-, mid-, and high-end pricing range.

Among the expected vendors showing new products are Texas Instruments, Acer and Olivetti.

TI is shipping its next-generation high-end notebook, the TravelMate 6000 series, which has two models, the 6020 and 6030. Both will be available in July for US$4199 and US$4999, respectively. The 6020 sports a 120-MHz Pentium processor, 8Mb of RAM, 256KB Level 2 cache, 1.08Gb hard drive, 11.3in active matrix screen, 2Mb Extended Data Out video memory, and swappable six-speed CD-ROM. The 6030 features a 133-MHz Pentium processor, 16Mb of RAM, 256Kb Level 2 cache, 1.35Gb hard drive, 12.1in active matrix screen and swappable six-speed CD-ROM.

Industry analysts point to the lightness of the 6000 notebooks, which weigh abut 2.7kg, including the CD-ROM drives, and the option of Windows NT OS as two distinguishing features of the TI products.

TI officials attribute the weight to use of a magnesium alloy in the structural design of the box.

In addition to portable veterans such as TI, Acer and Olivetti aim to make a splash with their portables, too.

Acer is touting the long battery life on its new line of AcerNote Nuovo notebooks. The company is claiming five hours of battery life at full power and 10 hours when using power management that does not drive down CPU speed or other performance features.

The two Acer models include the Nuovo 972, which is priced at US$3499 and includes a 133-MHz Pentium processor, 256Kb Level 2 cache, 8Mb of RAM, 11.3in dual-scan screen, 1.2Gb hard drive, and swappable six-speed CD- ROM. The Nuovo 971 is similarly configured but includes an 11.8in active matrix screen. It costs US$3999. Both models will be available Aug. 1.

Olivetti, which is one of the top 10 notebook makers in Europe, brings to PC Expo its Echo line ranging in price from US$2499 to US$4999 and sporting Pentium processors from 100 MHz to 133 MHz in clock speeds. The flagship P133S features a 133-MHz processor, 16Mb of RAM, 256Kb of Level 2 cache, 11.8in active matrix screen, 1.3Gb hard drive and swappable six-speed CD-ROM.

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