On the Road, Again

Intel intends to unveil a prototype double-jointed portable computer that will get people thinking about the future of notebooks.

This notebook can change from a tablet to a mobile entertainment console, with a built-in keyboard. The prototype is called Florence. One of the two sets of hinges in Florence’s chassis allows you to open the screen to use it as a tablet. The other set of hinges separates the keyboard from its bed so that it swings out over a portion of the screen. Florence will be shown publicly later this year. Intel can be contacted at www.intel.com.

The Personal Computer Memory Card Information Association (PMCIA) is developing a new technology named Newcard that will produce an external expansion slot for desktops and notebooks that will accommodate a single format card that is about half of the size of today’s PC Cards. Newcard products will probably include memory storage and wireless communication devices. The Newcard technology is supported by Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Microsoft. We should be seeing notebooks with this technology in December of this year. PCMCIA can be reached at www.pcmcia.org.
Toshiba America Information Systems has the Satellite 2455-S305 Series notebook starting at $1,699. With a 2.4 Gigahertz Intel Pentium 4 processor, a Gigabyte hard drive, MB of RAM (expandable to 1 Gigabyte), a DVD-RW drive (swappable), a 15 inch TFT screen and a Vida GoForce4 420 Go video adapter the notebook weighs 7.7 pounds. There are two Type II PC Card slots and a Secure Digital slot. Toshiba can be contacted at 800-316-0920 or www.toshiba.com.

Dell Computer’s Inspiron 1100 sells for $979 and has a 2 Gigahertz desktop Celeron processor, 256MB of fast 266 Megahertz DDR SDRAM, a 14.1 inch XGA screen, a fixed 8x DVD-ROM drive, a 30 Gigabyte hard drive, a modem, an Ethernet connection, VGA, S-Video out and one Type II PC Card slot. The unit weighs 7.4 pounds. Dell can be reached at 800-388-8542 or www.dell.com.

Sony Electronics offering is the VAIO PCC-ZIA selling for $2,200. This notebook has a 1.3 Gigahertz Intel M Centrino processor, 512MB of DDR SDRAM, a 60 Gigabyte hard drive, a DVD/CD-RW drive, Intel’s Pro/Wireless 2100 802.11b (Wi-Fi) networking hardware, a 855 pm chipset, a 14.1 inch screen, two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, one Type II PC Card slot, iLink (Firewire) port and a Memory Stick slot. Sony can be contacted at 877-865-7669 or www.sonystyle.com.

The Itronics GoBook II is a rugged notebook that sells for $5,200. The notebook has a 1.7 Gigahertz Intel Pentium 4-M processor, 512MB of DDR SDRAM, a 30 Gigabyte hard drive, a DVD/CD-RW drive, a 12.1 inch LCD screen, two USB 2.0 ports, one PC Card slot, an internal 802.11b connection and weighs 9.2 pounds. It seems that you’re paying about $3,500 for the magnesium-aluminum alloy casing of this notebook. It may be worth it to you, but it’s not worth it to me. Itronics can be reached at 800-441-1309 or www.Itronics.com.

Fujitsu has the Lifebook P5000 for $1,999. The Lifebook has an ultra low voltage 900 Megahertz Intel Pentium M processor, 512MB of RAM, a 60 Gigabyte hard drive, a 10.5 inch TFT screen a 855GM graphics controller (64MB of video RAM), a modular DVD/CD-RW drive, two USB 2.0 ports, a CompactFlash slot, a Memory Stick slot, a Secure Digital/MultiMedia Card slot, one Type II PC Card slot, an Ethernet connection, a modem, a Firewire connection and an 802.11b connection. The Lifebook weighs 3.9 pounds in its magnesium alloy casing. Fujitsu can be contacted at 877-372-3473 or www.fujitsupc.com.