PC vendors break new ground

There's no question portable computers were hot at last month's Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, but they also shared the spotlight with some noteworthy nonportable products. Here we round up a sampling of both types, including two notebooks that fall somewhere in between.

In the portable category aimed at road warriors, IBM Corp. and Panasonic introduced new notebooks with innovative features.

IBM's ThinkPad R50 notebooks come with the company's new Active Protection System, an integrated technology that parks the hard disk drive head when it detects a fall. IBM combines the system with its Hard Disk Drive Shock Absorber to reduce the chance of notebook failure when the machine suffers a fall or bump.

For added security, the ThinkPad R50 comes with IBM's Embedded Security Subsystem 2.0, a combination of hardware and software protection. Another interesting feature is a one-button backup and recovery solution called IBM Rapid Restore Ultra.

IBM markets the R series as its best blend of portability and essential features for users who are frequently on the go. A sample R50 configuration includes a 1.4 GHz Intel Corp. Pentium M processor, 40G hard drive, 15-inch display and 256M of memory, and costs $2,460 on IBM's Web site (www.ibm.com/us). Depending on the battery size, the notebook weighs between 6.2 and 6.8 pounds with the 15-inch display.

Panasonic's latest Toughbook ruggedized notebook, the Toughbook 29, is ideal for government users because of its ability to simultaneously support up to four wireless communications protocols: 802.11b, Bluetooth, Global Positioning System, and Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service or 1x Radio Transmission Technology.

The Toughbook 29 meets Mil-Std 810F standards for ruggedization and is the first Toughbook to use Panasonic's new double-cross-rib technology to increase the rigidity of the case.

Other enhancements include a dispense gasket for increased water resistance, improved drop-shock resistance, hardened case hinges and anti-twist LCD mounting technology. In addition, fanless heat distribution technology prevents dirt, dust and moisture from entering the machine.

A sample configuration costing $3,876 on the General Services Administration schedule includes an Intel 1.2 GHz Pentium M processor, 13.3-inch touch screen display, 40G hard drive, 256M of memory and an internal floppy drive. For more information, visit www.panasonic.com/toughbook.

Gateway Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. both showed off desktop replacement notebooks with wide-format displays, otherwise known as widescreen notebooks.

The models we saw were Gateway's M675 and HP's Pavilion zd7001us. These notebooks weigh around nine pounds each, so they're portable but not designed for road warriors. Instead, they're aimed at users who want desktop and multimedia features in a system they can take home in the evenings or on weekends.

With the wide screens, DVD-RW/R/CD-RW optical drives and high-end graphics, these notebooks are perfect for graphics buffs and power users. Desktop processors power both systems — 3.06 GHz Intel Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading Technology.

A Gateway M675 configuration costing $2,000 features a 17.1-inch display, ATI Technologies Inc.'s Mobility Radeon 9600 8x graphics interface with 64M of video memory, a 60G hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11g wireless. For more information, visit www.gateway.com.

The HP Pavilion zd7001us features a 17-inch display, nVidia Corp. GeForce FX Go5600 graphics processor with 64M of video memory, an 80G hard drive and 10/100 Ethernet. It does not have wireless capability.

In addition to the optical multimedia drive, the system features an integrated digital reader for Secure Digital Cards, MultiMedia Cards, Memory Sticks, Memory Stick Pros and SmartMediaCards. This configuration costs $2,100 on the Web after a $100 rebate at www.hp.com.

HP is also breaking new ground with its blade PC solution called the Consolidated Client Infrastructure. The CCI consists of an HP Compaq thin client that connects to a blade PC residing in a data center.

Users are not assigned to a specific blade; instead, the system dynamically allocates blades to users depending on availability. Because each user's personal settings are maintained in a separate network storage device, users experience the look and feel of a personal desktop computer no matter which blade PC they are using. This also means users maintain the same profile even when logging on to different thin clients.

Customized CCI solutions start at less than $1,500 per seat.

NEXT STORY: AT&T exec to join Input

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.