Toshiba, Fujitsu roll out new notebooks

New notebooks from Toshiba Corp. and Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. provide evidence of the wide range of designs available to mobile customers as they look to upgrade their older PCs this year.

Toshiba's four new desktop replacement models come packed with as many desktop features as can fit into a notebook-size package, including Intel Corp.'s desktop Pentium 4 and Celeron processors, the company said Tuesday. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Fujitsu, on the other hand, rolled out a new version of its LifeBook P5000 notebook Tuesday catering to the traveler or mobile worker.

Notebooks have been the model of choice for many consumers and corporations replacing their aging PCs over the past year. With the improvements in notebook performance and price, desktop replacement notebooks are an attractive option for consumers who might want to use their PCs in various rooms of the house without having to buy an expensive lightweight notebook.

Toshiba's new Satellite A15/25 notebooks are designed for college students or home users who want to use their notebooks as multimedia devices or for Web surfing and word processing. The A10/A20 notebooks are recommended for small-business customers and come with Microsoft Corp.'s Office XP Small Business software as an option.

The A10-S129 weighs 6.3 lb. and comes with a 2.4-GHz Celeron processor, 256MB of memory, a 40GB hard drive, a 15-in. display and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive for an estimated base price of $1,079. The A15-S129 is virtually the same notebook but comes with Windows XP Home instead of the A10's Windows XP Professional operating system and has an estimated starting price of $1,049.

The A20-S259 weighs 7.9 lb. and comes with a 2.66-GHz Pentium 4 processor, 256MB of memory, a 40GB hard drive, a 15-in. display, a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive and a built-in 802.11b/g wireless chip. The estimated starting price of this model is $1,379.

Tokyo-based Toshiba stocked the A25-S279 with the most expensive components of any of its new notebooks. It comes with a 2.8-GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of memory, a 60GB hard drive, a 15-in. display, a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive and an integrated 802.11g wireless chip for an estimated starting price of $1,549.

All four notebooks are available now through Toshiba's Web site and retail stores.

Fujitsu's LifeBook series is popular among health care workers and others who are rarely behind a desk, the company said. These users need as much mobility as they can get, and the new version of the LifeBook P5000 won't weigh them down at 3.85 lb. with a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive.

The LifeBook uses Intel's 1-GHz Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M processor to consume as little power as possible. With an optional second battery inserted in the modular bay, the LifeBook P5000 can last as long as 11 hours, depending on usage, Fujitsu said.

The modular bay can also accommodate the DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive or a weight saver if the user doesn't need the media drive or extra battery. A 3.4-lb. configuration with a 10.6-in. display, 256MB of memory, a 40GB hard drive, the weight saver and an integrated 802.11b Wi-Fi chip from Intel costs $1,549.

Customers can also opt for the LifeBook P5000D, which is virtually the same model as the P5000 but comes with either an 802.11b/g chip or no wireless chip. With the faster 802.11g chip from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Atheros Communications Inc. and DVD drive, the P5000D costs $1,699.

Both LifeBook models are available now through Fujitsu's Web site and retail channels.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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