Notebook PCs test the $1,000 level

Notebook PCs test the $1,000 level

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

MARCH 20—Compaq Computer Corp. today began pricing its 6.8-pound, 475-MHz Notebook 100 computer as low as $1,112, a price that includes shipping to government buyers.

The notebook price break echoes the desktop PC's plunge through the $1,000 level several years ago. Notebooks have historically cost about twice as much as desktop systems with comparable components.

The $1,112 Notebook 100 has an AMD K6-2 processor, 32M of RAM, a 12.1-inch display, Accelerated Graphics Port 2X graphics on a dedicated 100-MHz bus, a 56-Kbps modem, a 5G hard drive, a 24X CD-ROM drive, a floppy drive, and Microsoft Windows 98 and Word 2000. With 64M of RAM, it goes for $1,212 including shipping. A thin-film-transistor display adds another $300 to the price. Compaq officials said the nickel-metal hydride battery averages two hours of operation.

Prices so far are undetermined for the Notebook 100's PortStation and PortGear port replicators, which have Ethernet and Universal Serial Bus hub interfaces. Neither replicator can accept Compaq's other notebooks.

Compaq's lowest-priced Armada V300 notebook currently sells for about $1,400. A comparable Latitude from Dell Computer Corp. with a 400-MHz Pentium II CPU, 64M of RAM and a slightly larger display costs about $2,000, and a comparable IBM Corp. ThinkPad is slightly higher.

The Notebook 100's processor comes from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., which this month beat rival Intel Corp. to market with a 1-GHz Athlon desktop processor that itself costs about $1,000. Compaq and Gateway Inc. are building desktop systems with the top-speed Athlon, while other makers such as Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Micron PC Inc. are touting their 1-GHz Intel Pentium III desktop CPUs.

Contact Compaq Federal at 800-727-5472.

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