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
Written by John G.Spooner, Contributor

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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