Dell and Hewlett-Packard have released new notebooks as the PC market enters its busiest season.
Dell has unveiled the Inspiron 700m notebook, its first with a 12.1in display. HP has introduced three new Compaq Business notebooks for small and medium-sized business customers more concerned with price than mobility.
The Inspiron 700m aims to deliver enough computing power for everyday business applications in a lightweight form. The HP models are cheaper and almost as powerful as Dell's new system, but are also heavier.
More PCs are sold in August than any other month as students and parents around the world gear up for the return to school. This time of year is also important in the competition for market share between Dell and HP, the world's two biggest PC companies.
HP tends to outsell Dell in the home market, which peaks in the second half of the year, while Dell usually cleans up in the first half, selling to businesses. So far this year, there has been no change to that script.
At 1.8kg the 700m is the lightest in Dell's Inspiron series, although its Latitude D400 and X300 notebooks are even lighter. It uses Intel Centrino technology - Pentium M processor, mobile chipset and integrated 802.11b wireless chip. The Pentium M can be a 1.6GHz version (the M 725) or the 1.8GHz chip (the M 745), and the wireless chip can be upgraded to an 802.11g.
Prices start at $1,499 (£825) for a Pentium M 725 chip, 256Mbytes of memory, 30Gbyte hard drive, DVD-Rom/CD-RW drive and 802.11b chip. It is available now on Dell's website.
HP's three new notebooks come with either Pentium M or Celeron M processors and 14.1in or 15in screens.
The nx9030 and the nx9040 both use Intel Centrino. The nx9030 has a Pentium M 705 chip at 1.5GHz and costs $1,199 with 256Mbytes of memory, 40Gbyte hard drive, 15in display, DVD-Rom/CD-RW drive and integrated 802.11b/802.11g chip.
The nx9030 weighs 3.3kg, which is a little heavier than most frequent business travelers would prefer. HP plans to sell the notebook to users with mobile offices.
The nx9020 comes with a Celeron M processor, which has less cache than the Pentium M for storing frequently used data close to the processor.
The nx9020 and nx9030 are available in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The nx9040 is available in Asia-Pacific and Japan only. All models are available now from HP's website or through local resellers.
Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service