DEC to launch 14.1-in screen HiNote Monday

Digital Equipment Corp. will take its HiNote Ultra notebook line to new heights next week when it announces a system equipped with an eye-popping 14.1-inch display.

The company plans to announce on Monday the HiNote Ultra 2000, the first notebook to feature a 14.1-inch XGA active matrix display on the market.

With a 1.3-inch profile, the unit will weigh in at just over 6 pounds, according to Stephan Godevais, vice president and general manager of mobile products at Digital, in Acton, Mass.

The machine, which ships in September, will come with an Intel Corp. 166MHz Pentium Processor with MMX Technology, a 512K L2 cache, 32MB of RAM (expandable to 144MB) and a 2.1GB hard drive as standard equipment.

It will also include a 20-speed CD-ROM drive, which can be swapped out and replaced with a floppy drive, as well as an integrated U.S. Robotics Corp. 33.6K-bps modem, two PC Card slots, two speakers and an RJ-45 plug for Ethernet.

Despite the power drain of a 14.1-inch display, which is made by LG Electronics Inc., Godevais said the 2000 -- with its 12-cell lithium-ion battery -- averages between 4 and 6 hours of operation, depending on usage.

Also available for the Ultra 2000 are a docking station and port replicator designed as wedges that fit atop each other. The $899 one pound Multimedia Dock is also very thin, at about an inch, and includes a CD-ROM/floppy drive bay, two additional PC Card slots, two additional speakers as well as a subwoofer, and a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port, among other features.

The $399 Enhanced Port Replicator features a USB port, a second battery charger, and network and desktop hookups, among other features.

Pricing for the 14.1-inch model will be about $5,999; a 12.1-inch version with an 11-speed CD-ROM will be available for $4,999.