Here's the skinny on new Compaq line

Here's the skinny on new Compaq line

Compaq's Armada M300 has a

Thinner Armada notebooks are packed with high-end features, vendor says

By Michael Cheek

GCN Staff

To catch up with the thin-and-light movement, Compaq Computer Corp. last month launched slimmed-down versions of its Armada notebook computers with what the PC maker calls workstation-class features.

Current Armada 7800, 7400, 3500 and 1750 models will hang around until early next year, when Compaq will phase in three new notebooks with M and E prefixes, said Bob Polsen, manager of product marketing for North American portables. M stands for mobile, meaning thin and light. E stands for expandable, meaning the portable has most notebook features in a three-spindle design.

Each new Armada will have an integrated 56-Kbps modem, and Compaq will integrate a network interface card later. Each will offer a choice of Microsoft Windows 9x or Windows NT 4.0 as the operating system, and both are ready for Windows 2000 when it is released this fall.

At around 3 pounds, the Armada M300 is the lightest. It has an internal 6.4G or 4G hard drive and a Mobile Expansion Unit, which attaches to the bottom of the M300 and adds a couple of pounds. The expansion unit provides the other two spindles'a 3.5-inch floppy drive and a CD-ROM drive.

The M300 has an 11.3-inch SuperVGA active-matrix display, 64M of RAM expandable to 128M, 4M of video memory, and either a 333-MHz Celeron or a 333-MHz Pentium II processor. The standard lithium-ion battery lasts two hours; a larger optional battery lasts more than three hours. A Celeron unit starts at $1,999 and a Pentium II model at $2,499.

The Armada M700, at slightly less than 5 pounds, has an XGA 14.1-inch active-matrix display, 64M of RAM expandable to 288M, 8M of video memory, a 6.4G or 10G hard drive, and a 366- or 400-MHz Pentium II processor. Its hot-swappable MultiBay holds a floppy, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or Imation SuperDisk LS-120 drive. The M700 costs $3,299 to $3,999 depending on configuration.

The E700, priced from $4,799, comes with a 400-MHz Pentium II, 128M of RAM expandable to 320M, and 8M of video memory. It has two MultiBays, stacked on top of each other; an optional battery can fill both bays for up to 10 hours of operation.

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