Budget computer-maker, EMachines, is moving its notebook line-up into the fast lane by juicing two new models with Advanced Micro Devices' recently announced speedy 64-bit mobile processors.
Pricing on the two new notebooks, the M6805 and M6807, starts at $US1549 for the M6805 laptop, which runs a mobile Athlon 64 processor 3000+ and comes with 512MB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive, a combination CD-burner/DVD-ROM drive, and Wi-Fi 802.11g capabilities.
The top-of-the-line model, the M6807, is priced at $US1649. Its features mirror the M6805, except that it ships with a DVD±RW drive. Both units weigh in at 3.4kg and include a 2.5-hour lithium ion battery, as well as ATI's Mobility Radeon 9600 video card, a 6-in-1 media reader, and the Microsoft Windows XP Home operating system.
The chief advantage of 64-bit chips over the still-dominant 32-bit chips is improved performance of data-intensive tasks such as audio and video encoding, design applications, and games.
"We are trying to crack the notebook market,"EMachines executive vice-president of platform development and operations, Greg Memo, said.
However, the vendor can't take quite the same approach as it does when selling budget desktop PCs.
Notebook components were expensive, compared with desktops, Memo said.
Rather, EMachines is positioning these power notebooks as desktop replacements.
"Our 64-bit offerings are geared toward power users, gamers, and anybody ready to ditch their desktop," Memo says.
EMachines wass the fourth largest US computer maker according to fourth quarter 2003 sales figures, research analysts at IDC said.
However, EMachines does not share the same leadership in U.S. notebook sales.
With these announcements, EMachines hoped to profit from the growing popularity of desktop replacement machines, IDC analyst, Roger Kay, said.
By 2007 almost 40 per cent of PC shipments worldwide would be notebooks, IDC forecast.
"64-bit notebooks give EMachines cachet amid its otherwise low-cost budget PC image," Kay said.
EMachines began promoting notebooks in its product line in mid-2003.
When the company was launched in 1998, it sold a notebook for a brief time, but then concentrated on desktop systems.
E-Machines is one of several US computer manufacturers preparing the release of 64-bit notebooks.
Voodoo PC and Alienware have both announced similar plans.