With the fastest Intel processors and best displays finding their way into all segments of the notebook market, Gateway this week released what it claims is the lightest model notebook with a built-in digital video disc ROM.
The 2.1kg Solo is the first 1.2in notebook that can house an internal, removable DVD-ROM in a bay rather than an external DVD-ROM, according to the company. When installed, however, the unit weighs 2.3kg.
"Portable segmentation over the next year will be more difficult to do as memory, LCDs, and 300MHz processors come all the way down the product line," said Randal Giusto, director of mobile research at IDC.
"Now it will be design, usability, manageability, and security."
However, in the notebook industry, product differentiation usually lasts until a unique feature becomes popular, at which point other vendors soon follow. The IBM ThinkPad 600 series, which was the first to offer a thin-and-light full-featured notebook, is a design that is now being emulated by others, including Compaq's recently announced Model 3600.
The Solo 3100 will also include such manageability features as Desktop Management Interface 2.0 for asset management and remote monitoring of hardware components; LANDesk Client Manager; and SM BIOS 2.1.
The unit will include a 233MHz Pentium MMX processor. Models will include a 12.1in active-matrix display, 32MB of synchronous DRAM, a V.90 modem, 2.5MB of video memory, a 4GB hard drive, and an external floppy drive.