Compaq notebook nears $1,000 mark

Notebook computers are usually costly, but now Compaq has closed in on the elusive price point with its new Notebook 100

Compaq Computer has introduced a new low-cost notebook for budget-conscious small businesses and consumers. Called the Compaq Notebook 100, the machine starts at $1,099 (£681). The Compaq Notebook 100's price is significant because of its potential for those who might ordinarily purchase a desktop to jump into portability.

The notebook offers a 475MHz mobile K6-2 processor, from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and a 12in. display in a 6.8lb package. It is 1.7in. thick.

That the Notebook 100 comes close to shattering the $1,000 (£620) price point is no coincidence. PC manufacturers have been striving to build sub-$1,000 notebook PCs for the past two years. However, component costs and the overall complexity of the portable PC continues to keep notebook prices higher when compared to a similarly configured desktop PC.

Due to the cost of components, many major manufacturers find it nearly impossible to deliver models priced under $1,500 (£930) without making serious compromises. Toshiba, for example, offers some models priced at about $1,200 (£744), and Winbook offers a $999 (£619) notebook, called the Winbook XL2. However, each model represents a compromise.

Then again, Compaq makes several compromises with the Notebook 100, too. To reduce component costs, it has chosen to use a dual-scan screen technology, which costs less than the active matrix screen found on more expensive notebooks. The Notebook 100 also utilises a less powerful nickel metal hydride battery and comes with only 32MB of RAM.

For those with slightly larger budgets, a version of the Notebook 100 will come with a 12in. active matrix thin film transistor (TFT) display and 64MB of RAM. It will cost $1,499 (£929), according to the company.

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