NEC notebooks aim at mobile power users

With large, high-resolution screens, hardware-based MPEG-I video, 16-bit sound, and six-speed internal CD-ROM drives, the latest notebook offerings from NEC are courting the multimedia corporate power user.

NEC officials are touting the Pentium-based, modular Versa 6000 series as an "integrated solution" for mobile workers.

"It's a good product, kind of NEC's whiz-bang, high-end, latest and greatest notebook," says Bruce Stephens, an analyst at International Data, in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Industry analysts say it appears the company is pitting its new series against top-of-the-line offerings from heavyweights such as IBM, Compaq and Toshiba.

Of the line's three models, the Versa 6000H boasts a 100MHz Pentium processor, 16Mb of RAM, a 1.08Gb hard drive, a six-speed internal CD-ROM, an 11.3in active-matrix Super VGA (SVGA) display, infrared ports front and rear, and a built-in 28.8Kbit/s fax/modem.

The Versa 6030H is similarly configured but features a 133MHz Pentium processor, a 12.1in active-matrix SVGA display, and a 1.3Gb hard drive.

At the high end, the Versa 6030X also includes a 133MHz processor and 16Mb of RAM, and improves on-screen quality with an XGA (1,024 x 768 pixels) resolution active-matrix display. Hard drive capacity has also been increased to 1.44Gb.

All models feature a lithium ion battery, which NEC says has an estimated four hours to run down with power saving features invoked, weigh 3.1kg including battery, and are 53mm thick.

The models will be priced at US$5399, US$5999, and US$6499, respectively. The 6000H and 6030H will be available at the end of the month. The 6030X will ship in July.

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