Gateway to launch Tualatin-based notebook

Gateway Inc. plans to launch a new high-end notebook on Monday based on Intel Corp.'s latest mobile processor, the Pentium III processor-M, Gateway officials said this week.

Dubbed the Solo 9550, the notebook will be priced from US$1,799 and offered with Intel's mobile processor at clock speeds of 933MHz, 1GHz and 1.13GHz. The Pentium III processor-M, formerly code named Tualatin, uses Intel's latest manufacturing technology designed to boost performance without compromising battery life.

Gateway said the notebook will be available in the U.S. on Monday and aimed at business users and "high-end" home users. International availability will be announced in the coming weeks, a Gateway spokeswoman said. The notebook is Gateway's first based on Tualatin; other vendors including Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Computer Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. are already selling notebooks based on the chip, which was launched last month.

The Solo 9550 has a 15.7-inch (39.8 centimeter) SXGA (super extended graphics array) TFT (thin film transistor) screen, which provides about the same viewable area as a 17-inch desktop monitor, Gateway said.

For an additional $159 users can configure the notebook with integrated support for the 802.11b standard for wireless access to a LAN, Gateway said. Gateway will also include for free three months of MobileStar Network Corp.'s wireless service with the purchase of the 9550 -- or any of its other wireless-enabled notebooks, the company said.

MobileStar provides wireless Internet access in public areas in the U.S. including hotel lobbies, airports and Starbucks coffee shops. The notebook also features dual modular bays. The first bay can support a second hard drive, a CD-RW (CD rewritable) drive, a DVD (digital versatile disc) drive, or a combination CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive. The second bay can house a floppy drive, an extra battery or a hard drive, Gateway said.

The hard drive included with the standard configuration comes in 10G-byte, 20G-byte or 30G-byte versions. If a user chooses to have all three hard drives the machine can offer up to 70G bytes of total drive space.

At 1.65 inches thick, the notebook weighs 7.1 pounds in a basic configuration and includes as standard 128M bytes of RAM, expandable to 512M-bytes, and a built-in modem and Ethernet card, the company said.

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