IBM expects sales of the chips to ramp up much more quickly in small and medium business segments of the market -- large corporations are grappling with Y2K issues and may delay large purchases of new equipment until next year.
"We see the majority of the interest this year primarily from small and medium-size businesses," said Leo Suarez, director of worldwide product marketing for Thinkpad. "Large corporations, what they're after, is an orderly transition, probably into the first quarter of next year." The company also improved its ThinkPad 240 mini-notebook with a 366MHz mobile Celeron processor from Intel. It is priced at £1,199. Hewlett-Packard. also announced new notebooks utilizing the mobile Pentium III chips. The Palo Alto, company's OmniBook 4150 notebook, with the 450MHz mobile Pentium III, a 14.1-inch display, 64MB of RAM and a DVD-ROM drive will start at about £2,249. The notebook also offers ATI 's latest ATI Rage Mobility 3D graphics accelerator, also announced today. A 500MHz configuration is available as well. HP will also offer the 450MHz mobile Pentium III in its OmniBook 900 notebook PC. With the 450MHz chip, a 12.1-inch display and 64MB of RAM, the notebook will cost about £1,619. Dell Computer announced the new Latitude CPx notebook, which offers the 500MHz mobile Pentium III, along with a 14.1-inch display and 64MB of RAM for a price starting at about £1,799. The notebook offers additional features, including a new dual pointer setup with a touchpad and a track stick, 8MB of video RAM and £209 option for a CD-Rewritable drive. The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker is also offering the new mobile chip in its Inspiron 3700 and 7500 models. The Inspiron 7500, with a 15-inch display and 450MHz mobile Pentium III, will cost about £1,589. A version of the notebook with a 500MHz mobile Pentium III and 15.4-inch display will cost £1,829, according to Dell's online product configurator. The Inspiron 3700, with a 450MHz mobile Pentium III and 14.1-inch display, starts at about £1,470.
Gateway aims higher
While most vendors are offering high-performance notebooks, Gateway is aiming at higher performance coupled with lower cost. The company today announced a new entry-level model, the Solo 2550, which offers a configuration with a 450MHz mobile Pentium III and a 13.3-inch screen for about £1,199. Compaq Computer will offer the new chips in several of its notebooks. The Houston, Texas, company added mobile Pentium III processors to three of its notebooks, the high-end Armada E700 and mid-range E500 value notebook will each offer the 450MHz and 500MHz chips. The E500, for example, will offer the 450MHz chip for a price starting at £1,799. NEC Computer Systems Division also plans to offer a number of new Pentium III notebooks. The company, according to sources familiar with its plans, will announce three Versa notebooks on November 1. They will include a mini-notebook along with two full-size models.