Gateway notebook adds rolling print sensor

The Gateway 450+ notebook PC has a new bump on its face: a ceramic fingerprint reader for biometric log-ins.

The 6-pound, 1.3-inch-thick, magnesium-backed notebook already was one of the company's best government sellers, Gateway spokesman Ted Ladd said, but it can now automate passwords with a biometric sensor from STMicroelectronics of Geneva.

After the user rolls a fingertip over the ceramic ridge and reconfirms the print, it is stored under a MySafe icon along with the user's passwords. Afterward, that fingerprint will boot the notebook and open the password-protected applications. A multiuser switching feature lets several people keep their prints and data separate on the same system.

Ladd said MySafe can store hundreds of passwords, which a user can revise as they change.

The 1.3-GHz Pentium-M notebook, starting at $1,799 from General Services Administration schedule resellers, has an UltraXGA display, integrated Centrino IEEE 802.11x wireless connectivity, a touch pad, an eraser-style pointer, and multiple RAM and video upgrade options.

Gateway showed off the notebook along with other products at the FOSE trade show in Washington this week.

Among the other devices on display were:
  • A smaller Gateway 200 notebook with a button to turn off Centrino wireless frequencies during air travel or in radio-silence zones

  • Gateway's so-called LAN-in-a-can portable network. The padded case, the size of a small refrigerator, packs notebooks, preracked servers and an uninterruptible power supply.

'We've sold hundreds of these into the Army and Air Force, and there are 50 or so in Iraq,' Ladd said.


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