UK direct seller Rock Computers is emulating Toshiba by releasing a notebook with a 13.3-inch XGA screen. The huge Panasonic panel is part of the firm's latest Mentor line which also packs 166MHz or 200MHz Pentium MMX processors.
Rock managing director Nick Boardman said that the largest screens are not having the supply problems that have plagued the mainstream LCD displays. "Only the newest machines can accommodate 13.3-inch screens so there's no problem getting hold of them. 12.1-inch has been the biggest volume size for a year now but some of the stories regarding short supply are overstating the issue." Boardman expects notebooks with 14.1-inch screens to be available in the July-September timeframe.
One other unusual feature of the Mentor is that it supports 3-inch as well as 2.5-inch hard drives. Western Digital makes 3-inch drives but capacities are currently no match for the smaller format disks.
A 200MHz Pentium MMX with 48Mb EDO RAM (expandable to 80Mb), 256Kb pipeline burst-mode cache, 13.3-inch XGA TFT screen, 2.1Gb hard drive, eight-speed CD-ROM drive (swappable for floppy drive), nickel metal-hydride, infra-red and CardBus slots costs £3,499 + VAT.