Vendors note an increase in online sales of the latest portable systems

Vendors note an increase in online sales of the latest portable systems

By Chris Driscoll

GCN Staff

As the quality and speed of notebook PCs improve and prices drop, portable units are becoming top-sellers on the Unisys Federal Online ordering site, according to Mark Root, director of communications for Unisys Corp.

Gateway Inc.'s experience is similar, said Phil Kennett, recently appointed vice president of federal government sales in Lanham, Md. Kennett said the federal work force has always been highly mobile, but there are increasing numbers of telecommuters.

'When you consider the technological advances, there is no reason why the notebook can't take the place of the desktop PC, and in fact it does,'' he said.

Short battery life is the biggest complaint Kennett said he hears about notebooks. ''If you're more than five hours between places to plug it in, then that'll be a problem,'' he said.

Intel Corp.'s forthcoming Geyserville technology for mobile processors, according to Robert Jecmen, general manager of mobile and handheld products, will operate mobile processors at a higher clock frequency when plugged into a wall outlet and automatically switch to a lower rate and voltage when running on a battery. Pentium III mobile processors with Geyserville technology are expected to operate at 600 MHz and faster.

The 400-MHz Pentium II mobile processors fabricated by Intel's 0.18-micron process already pack more components per chip than ever before.

Notebook makers now selling 400-MHz Pentium II units include Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Gateway and Micron Electronics Inc. of Nampa, Idaho.

Gateway's $3,030 Solo 2500XL has 64M of synchronous dynamic RAM, a 10G hard drive, a DVD II ROM drive, a 120M Imation SuperDisk drive and a 13.3-inch color display.

Dell's Inspiron 7000 A400LT, priced at $2,899, comes with 128M of SDRAM, a 6.8G Ultra ATA hard drive, a DVD-ROM drive and a 15-inch XGA display.

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