IDG News Service - Gateway Inc. unveiled five new notebooks Monday that update the original lineup of notebooks it sells through retail partners, the company said in a release.
The notebooks span several different categories of mobile computing, from full-featured desktop-replacement models to lighter units designed for portability. One of the models features Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Athlon 64 Mobile processor, while the others stick with Intel Corp.'s Celeron M, Pentium M and Pentium 4 processors.
After closing its chain of retail stores, Gateway has used the retail contacts of its eMachines division to obtain shelf space for its PCs in prominent U.S. retail stores such as Best Buy Co., CompUSA Inc. and Circuit City Stores Inc. Gateway closed its retail stores when it pulled back from the consumer electronics market after it acquired eMachines.
Sharp increases in retail sales have brought Gateway to the brink of profitability. The Irvine, Calif.-based company recorded a net profit for the first time in several quarters in the fourth quarter of 2004, but those results included a $100 million one-time gain. The company still lost money on an operating basis but thinks it can be profitable in 2005 with the bulk of its restructuring work completed.
The new notebooks will help Gateway reach several different types of customers, a Gateway spokeswoman said. The 3018GZ notebook carries a suggested retail price of just under $1,000 with Intel's Celeron M 350 processor, 512MB of memory, a 60GB hard drive and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive. At 5.25 pounds, this system is aimed at users who need a portable PC and who only require basic computing power.
Meanwhile, the 4024GZ is slightly heavier and features a larger display, a DVD+/-RW drive and a slightly more powerful Celeron M processor for $1,049. The 4540GZ is a more powerful mobile unit than the 4024GZ, with Intel's 715 Pentium M processor and an 80GB hard drive for $1,249.
The other two notebooks, the 7320GZ and the 7422GX, won't appeal to mobile users: Each one weighs 8.65 pounds. However, consumers who want a notebook for watching movies or playing games are willing to trade mobility for performance, especially if they rarely plan to take the notebook out of their homes. Heavy notebooks with desktop features have been very popular among home users in the past few years, although shipments of lighter notebooks are catching up with their heavier counterparts as the price of Intel's Pentium M processor comes down.
Intel's desktop Pentium 4 518 processor is the engine for the 7320GZ, which also features a DVD+/-RW drive, 512MB of memory, an 80GBhard drive and a 15.4-inch wide-screen display. The suggested retail price for that unit is $1,199.
The 7422GX features AMD's Mobile Athlon 64 3400+ processor, 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, as well as the same optical drive and display found on the 7320GZ. It costs $1,399.
All five notebooks have built-in 802.11g wireless chips.
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