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Toshiba and Fujitsu show off latest notebooks

Toshiba and Fujitsu have unveiled notebooks aimed at tempting PC users who are considering upgrading their machines.

Toshiba's four models come packed with as many desktop features that can fit into a notebook-sized package, including Intel's desktop Pentium 4 and Celeron processors. Fujitsu, on the other hand, rolled out the latest version of its LifeBook P5000 notebook, targeting travellers or mobile workers.

Notebooks have been the model of choice for many consumers and corporations replacing their ageing PCs over the past year. With the improvements in notebook performance and price, desktop replacement notebooks are an attractive option for consumers who might want to use their PCs in various rooms of the house without having to buy an expensive lightweight notebook.

Toshiba's Satellite A15/25 notebooks are designed for college students or home users who want to use their notebooks as multimedia devices or for web surfing and word processing.

The A10/A20 notebooks are recommended for small-business customers, and come with Microsoft's Office XP Small Business software as an option.

The A10-S129 weighs 2.8kg, and comes with a 2.4GHz Celeron processor, 256Mbytes of memory, a 40Gbyte hard drive, a 15-inch display and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive for an estimated base price of S$1,079.

The A15-S129 is virtually the same notebook, but comes with Windows XP Home instead of the A10's Windows XP Professional operating system and has an estimated starting price of $1,049.

The A20-S259 is slightly heavier, and comes with a 2.66GHz Pentium 4 processor, 256Mbytes of memory, a 40Gbyte hard drive, a 15-inch display, a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive and a built-in 802.11b/g wireless chip. The estimated starting price of this model is $1,379.

Toshiba stocked the A25-S279 with the most expensive components of any of its new notebooks. It comes with a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512Mbytes of memory, a 60G-byte hard drive, a 15-inch display, a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, and an integrated 802.11g wireless chip for an estimated starting price of $1,549.

All four notebooks are immediately available through Toshiba's website and retail stores.

Fujitsu's LifeBook uses Intel's 1.0GHz Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M processor. With an optional second battery inserted in the modular bay, the LifeBook P5000 can last as long as 11 hours, depending on use.

The modular bay can also accommodate the DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, or a weight saver if the user does not need the media drive or extra battery. A 3.4lb configuration with a 10.6-inch display, 256Mbytes of memory, a 40Gbyte hard drive, the weight saver and an integrated 802.11b Wi-Fi chip from Intel costs $1,549.

Customers can also opt for the LifeBook P5000D, which is virtually the same model as the P5000 but comes with either an 802.11b/g chip or no wireless chip. With the faster 802.11g chip from Atheros Communications and DVD drive, the P5000D costs $1,699.

Both LifeBook models are available immediately through Fujitsu's website and retail channels.

Tom Krazit works for IDG News Service


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