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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

June 25 - 30 2001

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news by clicking on the link below. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the right-hand column.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Jun 29 IBM Introduces World's Highest-Resolution Computer Monitor
Jun 29 AMD's Multiprocessor Platform Receives Novell's Server Software Certification
Jun 29 Nokia to Deliver New GPRS Phone to the Americas
Jun 29 Scientists Calculate Theoretical Limits of Fiber Optic Communications
Jun 29 DIRECTV Reaches 10 Millionth Customer Milestone
Jun 28 ViewSonic Introduces SuperPDA and Tablet PC Products
Jun 28 Sony Introduces New Handelds, PCs, Displays and Wireless Service at PC Expo
Jun 28 Phonex Broadband announces 14 Mpbs Powerline Home Networking Product
Jun 28 Intel Introduces Wireless Module for Palm Handheld
Jun 28 PlayApp Introduces Anti-Hacker USB Security Key
Jun 27 LaCie Intoduces FireWire DVD-R/RW/CD-RW Combo Drive
Jun 27 Time-Warner Continues to Lead Among Cable TV Service Providers
Jun 27 CMS Offers 80GB Portable Desktop Backup/Storage Solutions
Jun 27 Panasonic's Mobile Data Wireless Display & Mini PC Redefine Portability
Jun 27 Fujifilm Ships New FinePix 4800 Zoom
Jun 26 Lexmark announces All-In-One Inkjet Printers
Jun 26 Fujitsu PC Corporation Unveils Latest Touch Screen Mini-Notebook
Jun 26 Toshiba Introduces 5GB PC Card Hard Disk Drive
Jun 26 SanDisk Introduces 128 Megabyte Secure Digital Flash Memory Card
Jun 26 Casio Introduces Cassiopeia Pocket Manager BE-300
Jun 25 IBM Announces Ability to Manufacture 100 GHz Communications Chips
Jun 25 Transmeta Introduces 0.13 Micron Processors
Jun 25 Toshiba Adds Thin and Light Series to Satellite Notebook Computers
Jun 24 Sunday Shopping Watch

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June 29 - IBM Introduces World's Highest-Resolution Computer Monitor. IBM announces the T220, the world's highest-resolution flat panel monitor, enabling photograph-quality imaging for science, banking, engineering, publishing, medicine and business critical visualization tasks.
The T220, with a screen that shows 12-times more detail than current monitors, becomes the highest resolution monitor to be announced and makes IBM's monitor lineup the industry's most comprehensive.
With 200 pixels per inch and more than 9 million pixels in total on its 22.2-inch screen, the T220 monitor displays photographs with a degree of realism not previously possible.
Applications for this technology are wide-ranging, encompassing any field that requires extremely high resolution images -- medicine, weather forecasting, publishing and graphic design, banking, product development, satellite mapping and more. The T220 also can show several of the highest definition HDTV channels simultaneously.
"The T220 monitor will promote groundbreaking new applications," said Bob Artemenko, director - new market development, IBM Display Business Unit. "It enhances the exchange of all types of visual data between machine and the end user, making it possible to see levels of clarity and resolution in electronic images previously attained only in the highest resolution printed media."
This technology eventually could make its way into displays for laptops, desktops, handhelds and other computing devices, making the viewing of video and digital photos a completely new and more realistic experience.
The IBM T220 will be available in limited quantities this month and with full scale production beginning in 3Q01. The IBM T220 will be available through IBM representatives or through an IBM reseller. The starting price for the new monitor announced today is $22,000.

For more information about IBM Monitors visit: www.ibm.com/options.

June 29 - AMD's Multiprocessor Platform Receives Novell's Server Software Certification. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced that Novell Inc., a leading provider of Net services software, has certified the AMD Athlon(tm) MP processor and the AMD-760(tm) MP chipset, AMD's multiprocessing platform for one- and two-way servers.
This certification, known as "Yes, Tested and Approved," assures business users that through rigorous testing, Novell has evaluated AMD's multiprocessing platform as providing the highest degree of reliability and interoperability with the Novell NetWare operating system.
Novell NetWare is a server operating system that brings non-stop access and Internet-ready security to all types of networks.
"Novell is proud to be the first server operating system to certify the AMD Athlon MP processor and the AMD-760 MP multiprocessing chipset," said Carleton Watkins, director of Worldwide Developer Support for Novell. "The union of Novell NetWare with AMD's innovative hardware provides a stable and robust enterprise and Internet server platform, and we look forward to more collaborative efforts with AMD in the future."
"AMD is excited to earn Novell certification of our one- and two-way server platform," said Ned Finkle, director of Software Infrastructure Relations for AMD. "With Novell's official certification, commercial customers can be assured that servers built with AMD Athlon MP processors provide users with robust and reliable platforms."
Novell has certified server systems using Tyan's Thunder K7 S2462 system board, the world's first dual-processor, DDR-based platform for AMD's new line of AMD Athlon MP processors for servers and workstations. Tyan's Thunder K7 system board utilizes breakthrough chipset technology and includes a host of integrated features.
Visit AMD on the Web at www.amd.com.

June 29 - Nokia to Deliver New GPRS Phone to the Americas. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) today announced that its first GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)- enabled wireless phone is expected to be available in the Americas by the end of 2001.
The feature-intense Nokia 8390 (GSM/GPRS 1900) combines the newest high-speed packet data technology with the signature style that has become the hallmark of Nokia's wireless products.
GPRS technology allows users to stay connected to the Internet using packet switching technology that transmits information via short bursts, or packets. This allows for faster downloads of information and no time spent completing a dial-up connection. Users can stay connected to their favorite information and entertainment services, and are able to stay logged in to the Internet or e-mail account without having to maintain a continuous phone call.
"As the next step on the road to the third generation, GPRS will bring a new level of wireless connectivity that will deliver advanced wireless services that consumers in the Americas want and need." said K-P Wilska, president of Nokia Inc. "Equally as important as the new GPRS technology used in the Nokia 8390 is that, as a Nokia product, this phone is also designed to be intuitive to the user. After all, technology is only valuable if people can easily use it in their everyday lives."
The GPRS-enabled Nokia 8390 can quickly access data by using its Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) mobile Internet browser, or by connecting to a PC using its integrated infrared port. The Nokia 8390 supports the most recent WAP release, WAP 1.2.1, which enables the possibility of 'push' services like continuous news updates. Allowing for a more convenient mobile Internet experience, this newest WAP release also allows for the optional use of 'cookies,' so that information from a previous session can be recalled without entering information for a second time.
Additional product details will be released during Fall Comdex 2001 (November 12 - 16th, Las Vegas) where the new phone will be demonstrated and available for viewing.
Nokia can be found on the Web at www.nokia.com.

June 29 - Scientists Calculate Theoretical Limits of Fiber Optic Communications. Scientists from Lucent Technologies' (NYSE: LU) Bell Labs have calculated the maximum amount of information that can be transmitted over optical fiber, demonstrating that fiber optics technology will result in robust, long-term and scalable communications networks.

The Bell Labs team, whose scientific results appear in today's issue of the British journal Nature, determined that it is theoretically possible to send approximately 100 terabits of information, or roughly 20 billion one-page e-mails, simultaneously per strand of fiber.
As demand for services like high-speed Internet access continues to grow and bandwidth-hungry applications like video-on-demand become increasingly popular, optical fiber will be able to keep up with the demand for these services and those yet to be imagined.

"As networks continue to make communication faster, smaller, cheaper and smarter in the next decade, there will be an even greater emphasis on fiber optics technology," said Rod Alferness, senior vice president of optical networking research at Bell Labs. "As we light more optical fiber, and couple this with all-optical switches like the Lucent WaveStar(R) LambdaRouter, we will continue to improve the speed and quality of metropolitan and backbone networks, helping to enrich the end-user experience."

While current commercial optical systems can transmit just under two terabits of information per second and laboratory experiments have demonstrated transmission rates of 10 terabits per second, it has been difficult to theoretically calculate how much information can be transmitted over a glass fiber because the physical properties of glass make light transmitted over fiber susceptible to scrambling in a very complicated fashion. For example, the speed of a light signal traveling through fiber depends on the intensity of the light and is not a constant as it would be in free space; physicists refer to this behavior as a "non-linear" response. These non-linear effects cause part of a signal traveling through the fiber to turn into noise. As a result, calculating the exact amount of information that can be sent over a fiber becomes a thorny challenge.
For more information about Bell Labs, visit its Web site at www.bell-labs.com.

Jun 29 - DIRECTV Reaches 10 Millionth Customer Milestone. DIRECTV, Inc., provider of the nation's leading digital television service and a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation (NYSE:GMH), announced today that earlier this week it activated its 10 millionth DIRECTV(R) customer.
Less than seven years after its national launch, DIRECTV is now the home entertainment service of choice in one of every 10 TV homes in the United States.
"There's a reason - actually several reasons - why thousands of consumers every day are abandoning cable for DIRECTV. It's because we have changed their television viewing experience by giving consumers more programming choices and channels, better quality and value, and more viewing control than they ever had before," said Eddy W. Hartenstein, chairman and CEO, DIRECTV, Inc. "Thanks to our 10 million satisfied customers, we have grown into the largest digital television service in the world. This milestone is also a testament to the hard work and dedication of all DIRECTV employees and the support of our programmers and partner companies who believed in us from the beginning."
In the process of activating 10 million customers in less than seven years, DIRECTV has:

-- Become the third largest provider of multichannel television in the United States
-- Expanded its channel capacity from 53 channels at launch to more than 475 broadcast channels today
-- Brought local channels to 41 metropolitan markets, representing approximately 61 million households
-- Further revolutionized television by introducing new advanced DIRECTV System receivers that offer access to compelling features such as:
-- digital video recording;
-- dual satellite tuners;
-- Internet access;
-- interactive programming and information on demand;
-- high definition programming; and
-- the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward live television.
-- Launched the DIRECTV PARA TODOS(TM)Spanish-language programming service
-- Registered more than 320 million pay per view purchases

Visit DIRECTV on the World Wide Web at www.DIRECTV.com.

June 28 - ViewSonic Introduces SuperPDA and Tablet PC Products. ViewSonic(R) Corp., a worldwide Visual Technologies(TM) leader, today demonstrated a broad and visionary range of next-generation technology, unveiling a new family of compact SuperPDAs, Tablet PCs, and its most advanced LCD display products at PC Expo 2001.

Headlining the ViewSonic offerings at PC Expo are the ViewPad 100 SuperPDA and the ViewPad 1000 Tablet PC, which offer businesses the combination of ViewSonic display expertise and the latest in portable, wireless computing. The ViewPad 100 and the ViewPad 1000 are designed for mobile users in the office, on the road or at home.

The ViewPad 100 is a generation beyond traditional, limited PDA and e-mail pager devices, and supports personal information management, wireless e-mail, wireless Web access and server-based enterprise applications. The ViewPad 1000 offers full PC functionality in a tablet form factor, evolving from the traditional notebook, while adding stylus support and integrated digital photography.

"From our SuperPDA displays to our large screen LCD displays, more than ever, ViewSonic remains committed to providing the right technology solutions for customers, whatever their visual display needs may be," said James Chu, ViewSonic president and CEO. "Whether it is our SuperPDA products, MegaPanel LCD displays or the latest in Tablet PC technology, the ViewSonic brand stands for innovation, quality and reliability."

Among the new products highlighted at the ViewSonic booth at PC Expo 2001:

-- Two ViewPad handheld computing devices, the ViewPad 100
full-color SuperPDA and the ViewPad 1000 Tablet PC. Weighing
less than 2.5 pounds and 4 pounds, respectively, with
estimated street prices starting around $1,000, they provide
business professionals with full-featured mobile computing at
affordable prices.

-- Two large-format ViewPanel(R) LCD monitors, the VP230mb and
the VP201mb, designed to provide financial, desktop publishing
and engineering environments with a cost-effective,
large-screen flat panel display, packed with the latest
technology, performance and safety.

-- The 15-inch ViewPanel offering, the VX500, is a
state-of-the-art, high-performance LCD display. Priced from
$749, the VX500 features progressive styling for the corporate
executive or the style-conscious business user.

-- Two medium-sized LCD displays, the VA500 and VA700, targeted
at the price and performance-conscious, small office and home
office (SOHO) user. Both products will be available through
retail outlets starting from $449.

For further information, visit www.ViewSonic.com.

June 28 - Sony Introduces New Handelds, PCs, Displays and Wireless Service at PC Expo. Sony Electronics today took the wraps off of several new products, including two new CLIE(TM) handhelds featuring the latest, version 4.0 Palm(TM) operating system, along with its thinnest VAIO(R) notebook PC to date, during a news conference here at Jacob Javits Convention Center on the eve of the annual PC Expo industry confab.

The electronics company also served up a new wireless service with the support of GoAmerica(SM) to make navigating the Web a breeze, whether from one of its stylish PCs or portable handheld devices.

New Product Showcases

In the handheld category, Sony extends its family of CLIE personal entertainment organizers with the introduction of the PEG-N610C and PEG-S320 models for the U.S. market. The PEG-N610C handheld features a vivid, high-resolution color display with an equally attractive price of about $400. The super sleek monochrome PEG-S320 model will sell for an even more attractive price in the $200 ballpark.

The new notebooks include the incredibly thin -- about 1" -- VAIO R505TL PC with the Windows ME(TM) operating system, which will be available next month for about $1,500. The clever design eliminates the needs for cables for adding peripherals (like an optional DVD/CD-RW drive combination) that are built right into a docking station that locks snuggly into the bottom of the notebook.

Mark Viken, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' IT Products Division, also announced that the company has cracked the elusive $1,000 notebook price point (after a rebate) with its new VAIO PCG-SR33 model, which is powered by Intel's low-voltage Celeron(R) 600 mhz processor, has a 10GB HDD hard drive, and comes bundled with an external CD-ROM drive.

While companies have been discussing the concept of "tablet PCs," Viken also announced that Sony's second VAIO Slimtop(TM) Pen Tablet PC is making its debut in the VAIO desktop line-up. The new LX910 model has the same, graphic-friendly user interface as Sony's original model in this line based on a stylus that allows the artist in all of us to "draw" directly onto the flat-panel screen. The unit combines power and style with an upgraded 60 GB hard drive and a Pentium(R) III processor, combined with a screen that can be angled over the keyboard to, in Viken's words, "recreate the old, comfortable pen and paper ergonomics."

Another highlight of Sony's desktop line is the new VAIO Digital Studio(TM) PC with Giga Pocket(TM) personal video recorder, which turns a computer into a digital entertainment system. It has a television tuner, along with an 80 GB hard drive that store up to 100 hours of your favorite TV shows. This beauty even has a built-in DVD-RW drive.

Teaming with GoAmerica, a leading wireless Internet service provider, Sony unveiled a new wireless service called "MYLO," which is short for "My Life Online." This service for Sony's thin monochrome CLIE handhelds and VAIO notebooks will start at $39.95 a month for e-mail, instant messaging and live chatting with a one-year subscription.

The look of Sony also included the introduction of a 16-inch Multiscan(R) LCD, one of only two of this size on the market. Sony's new SDM-M61 model will be available next month for about $850. It features a high-resolution, active-matrix TFT (Thin Film Transistor) panel. And to save desk space, its Zero Footprint Design(TM) allows it to be mounted either directly on the wall or by using an arm-mounting device.

As for sound, Sony trumpeted a new three-piece, active personal speaker system, which will be available in August for digital music multi-taskers. For around $130, the system includes two satellite speakers and a compact subwoofer for an intense computer gaming or music listening experience.

Sony's diverse product offerings at PC Expo also include a variety of its market-leading Cyber-shot(R) and Digital Mavica(R) digital still cameras All of these digital imaging products offer the ability to connect and create using Memory Stick(R) removable memory media, USB and/or i.LINK(R) (IEEE-1394) digital interfaces that link to other products like VAIO PCs -- which in turn connect to Walkman(R) personal stereos, Handycam(R) D8 and DV camcorders, and other consumer electronics devices.

And if all of this is not enough fun for one press conference, Sony also demonstrated its new application software that allows creative types to include pictures of themselves and other amusing two- and three-dimensional images they shoot into select PlayStation(R) 2 games. This middleware, called Picture Paradise(TM), is being built into new Cyber-shot cameras and Sony digital camcorders that have USB connections.

Complete product details can be found at www.sony.com/news.

June 28 - Phonex Broadband announces 14 Mpbs Powerline Home Networking Product. Phonex Broadband Corp., the Utah-based world leader of Power Line Carrier (PLC) voice and data communication devices, Tuesday announced that the world's wait for the first high-speed home networking powerline product is finally over.
The company will be the first to market with the only consumer installable device that can transmit data at up to 14 Mbps speeds over home electrical wiring when it unveils its new NeverWire 14(TM) at PC Expo in New York City.

NeverWire 14 is the only freestanding powerplug-to-Ethernet data network device that turns any AC outlet into a 10 BASE-T Ethernet port, transmitting voice and data signals over standard electrical wiring.

The product, which the user simply plugs into any networkable device and then into an AC power outlet, makes broadband powerline home networking available from any Ethernet protocol device including cable modems, PCs, set-top-boxes and residential gateways.

NeverWire 14, which uses Intellon Corp.'s Power Packet(TM) chip technology and is compliant with the HomePlug Powerline Alliance 1.0 specification, will be the first high-speed networking device to extend the reach of the Internet and broadband access networks to every electrical outlet within the home.

Initial shipments of the NeverWire 14 products are planned for Phonex Broadband's technology partners. Volume shipments to the general consumer market will begin fourth quarter 2001. The product has a U.S. suggested retail price of $99.95 per node.

Phonex Broadband Corp.can be found on the Web at www.phonex.com.

June 28 - Intel Introduces Wireless Module for Palm Handheld. Today at the TECHXNY conference, Intel Corporation announced a new high-speed, wireless LAN module for the Palm m500 series handheld devices. With the new module, Intel provides the industry's first family of wireless connections for the leading handheld devices. Xircom, an Intel company, developed the module.

The Xircom(R) Wireless LAN Module for the Palm m500 series handheld devices is the first WLAN product for the Palm m500 series. The module snaps onto the back of the handheld device and utilizes plug-and-play software for quick installation. Providing Palm m500 series users with high-speed, wireless access to the Internet, e-mail or data stored on the network, the new module can also establish wireless peer-to-peer connections with other WLAN devices.

"Intel and Palm are bringing mobility to a new level for Palm m500 customers," said Barry Cottle, chief Internet officer at Palm, Inc. "The Xircom Wireless LAN Module will greatly expand the functionality of the Palm m500 series by offering users the flexibility to move freely throughout an office or corporate campus with real-time information access."

The new Palm module is based on Cisco Systems, Inc.(1) WLAN technology and joins Intel's existing line of WLAN products for handheld devices, including products for the HandSpring(1) Visor handheld and the Compaq(1) iPAQ. With the introduction of the module, Intel becomes the only company in the industry to offer 802.11b connectivity products for the leading handheld platforms.

The Xircom(R) Wireless LAN Module for the Palm m500 series handheld devices will be available in July for the suggested price of $299. The module will be available through value-added resellers (VARs), direct marketers, e-tailers, system integrators and online at the ShopXircom(SM) store.

In a related announcement today, Intel also announced the Intel(R) Wireless Gateway, which combines an access point, router and firewall into a single, low cost device. It is optimized for home offices, branch offices or small businesses sharing an Internet connection among several desktop PCs, mobile PCs or handheld devices. The Intel Wireless Gateway is part of Intel's family of wireless LAN base stations, which includes the Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2011 LAN Access Point for enterprise organizations and the Xircom(R) Wireless Ethernet Access Point for small- to medium-sized businesses. Additional information on the Intel Wireless Gateway is available at www.intel.com/network.

Visit www.xircom.com for more information.

June 28 - PlayApp Introduces Anti-Hacker USB Security Key. PlayApp, LLC, Internet distributor of protected PlayApps, in the form of digital books, music, videos, business apps, and streaming channels, announced today that they are offering their PlayApp Key as a anti-hacker USB device consumers can use to generate and remember all their personal passwords, encryption codes, and PGP passphrases.

"If you're not careful generating and using your passwords, even the worst hackers in the world will be able to crack them within 60 seconds." says John Willsey, inventor of PlayApps and the PlayApp Key.

Each PlayApp Key is pre-programmed with random algorithms, so no two are alike. Because PlayApp Keys generate random alphanumeric codes, they are future-proof and can be easily used with any application requiring randomly generated security codes. PlayApp Keys are small USB plug & play devices that can be carried around on a key chain and taken anywhere the consumer goes and uses a computer, at home, work, or on the road.

While consumers can use PlayApp Keys to generate and remember all their passwords, administrators of websites employing user id/password protected access are encouraged to make use of the free open-source JavaScript code available at the PlayApp.com main web page. This code can be easily added within minutes to just about any website and will allow owners of PlayApp Keys to instantly log in without having to type in a user id and password.

PlayApp Keys can be purchased at PlayApp.com, for $44 plus $5 shipping and handling. Use of the PlayApp Key requires the PlayApp Player software. The free full-featured PlayApp Player software with integrated MP3/PlayApp player and security/browser capabilities is available at PlayApp.com. Use of the PlayApp Player's browser capabilities requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher installed.

More information can be found at www.PlayApp.com.

June 27 - LaCie Intoduces FireWire DVD-R/RW/CD-RW Combo Drive. LaCie, a leading producer of storage and display devices for the content development industry, announced today it has begun shipping the first external DVD-R/RW/CD-RW drive with high-speed FireWireŇ connectivity at the PC Expo DVD Pavilion, Booth #3822.
Priced significantly lower than single-function DVD-R drives, the combo drive provides the convenience and savings of using a single drive to write, edit and read DVD-RW discs, write and read DVD-R General discs as well as CD-R and CD-RW discs.

Designed to store and deliver digital data, video, and audio, the LaCie DVD-R/RW/CD-RW drive records to 4.7GB DVD-R General Use discs at 2x (2.6 MB/sec) speed. The drive will also write, edit and read 4.7GB DVD-RW media. The LaCie drive provides 6x (7.8 MB/sec) read performance for DVD-R, DVD-Video and DVD ROM discs. Smaller files can be stored on lower-cost 650MB CD-Rs at 8x speed or on CD-RW discs at 4x speed. CD playback is at 24x.

“Our new multi-function drive provides Mac and PC users with a fast, easy and economical means of producing and sharing digital content on both DVD and CD media,” said Guillaume Mazieres, LaCie Vice President of Marketing & Sales. “Users will be able to choose from 650MB CD-R and CD-RW media, 4.7GB DVD-R General or 4.7GB DVD-RW discs to meet their specific application needs. In addition, they’ll be able to read all CD formats as well as DVD-ROM, DVD video or DVD Audio with the drive.”

The LaCie DVD-R/RW/CD-RW drive is available through LaCie’s accredited resellers and mail order partners with prices starting at $995. Visit LaCie’s Web site at www.lacie.com.

June 27 - Time-Warner Continues to Lead Among Cable TV Service Providers. Solomon-Wolff Associates, an independent New Jersey-based market research firm released findings from its semi-annual national on-line survey of consumer communications services.

The research indicates that Time Warner (NYSE:AOL) is the Cable TV service with the largest percentage of customers. In January 2001, 14.4 percent of households who use cable or satellite TV report that they use Time Warner Cable. This is down slightly from the 15.5 percent of households it commanded in January 2000.

"While Time-Warner continues to have the largest share of households, the survey findings indicate that satellite television continues to grow," said S. Joey Wolff, partner, Solomon-Wolff Associates. "DirecTV and Dishnetwork together account for over 21 percent of customers, and their share grows every time we conduct a new study. Traditional cable TV companies have a local market monopoly in each franchise area and this lack of competition seems to have left them unprepared for the competition that satellite TV represents."

According to Wolff, 28 percent of satellite television customers reported they were completely satisfied, as compared to only 18 percent of cable customers. This is surprising because satellite TV customers spend an average of $50.51 per month as compared to cable TV customers who spend an average of $42.65. The two companies leading in customer satisfaction among all cable and satellite TV services were the two major satellite TV companies, DirecTV and DishNetwork.

"While satisfaction has generally declined for a number of communications services over the past three years, our data shows that customer loyalty is directly related to satisfaction," said Wolff. "Those individual companies which have lower satisfaction levels are experiencing more problems with customers switching to competitors. This is especially true in those communications services which have operated as monopolies."

The personal communications survey was conducted through Solomon-Wolff's web site, www.consumerviews.com.

June 27 - CMS Offers 80GB Portable Desktop Backup/Storage Solutions. CMS Peripherals(R), a leading provider of hard drive upgrades and portable automatic backup solutions for notebook and desktop computers, Tuesday announced the expansion of their Desktop Automatic Backup System(TM) (ABS) for Windows(R) 98/Me and 2000 users to include 80GB capacity solutions.

Using a USB interface, the ABS delivers up to 1.5 MB/s performance, offering users a stable high data throughput for backup, additional storage and file or system recovery. The USB interface also enables users to backup and share files among multiple USB-enabled notebooks, desktops and workstations.

Once connected, the unit's exclusive patent-pending "Automatic Launcher" technology initiates either a full or incremental backup as designated by the user or IT manager.

The Automatic Backup System for the desktop is available now in capacities of 20GB, 30GB, 40GB, 60GB and 80GB capacities with a three-year warranty. Estimated street prices (ESP) range from $399 for the 20GB solution, to $999 for the 80GB. Desktop ABS solutions are available through major distributors, corporate resellers, mail order and direct from the company's website, www.cmsproducts.com.

June 26 - Panasonic's Mobile Data Wireless Display & Mini PC Redefine Portability. Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, the leading provider of ruggedized notebook PCs, today announced the release of the revolutionary Mobile Data Wireless Display and Toughbook(R) 07 Mini PC, a cordless solution for a wired world.

A unique product in concept, technology and ergonomics, the Mobile Data Wireless Display is designed to computer- and network-enable field-force professionals still dependent on paper, pencils, ten-key calculators, and radio communications for data interchange in such areas as public safety, Telco & Utility-company field service, healthcare, construction, maintenance & inspection bays, and insurance claims adjusters.

Based on proprietary, broadband, wireless technology providing instant screen updates up from 150 to 300 feet in open spaces from a 2 pound standalone Toughbook(R) 07 Mini PC or enabled notebook PC utilizing a LAN card, the Wireless Display PC was designed to improve users' productivity through added portability and significantly reduce the amount of time needed to access and file work reports from the field in all areas of data entry and management.

The heart of the Mobile Data Wireless Display is an 8.4-inch SVGA transflective touchscreen display that combines ambient light--including direct sunlight--and high-intensity backlighting to provide equally optimum screen brightness for police officers working under the noonday sun, telephone repair crews called out in a midnight storm and quality-control inspectors electronically filling out and filing checklists from a fluorescent-lit factory floor.

Weighing just 1.5 pounds and under one inch thick, the 8.74 x 6.38-inch transflective touchscreen is sealed and ruggedized for shock, vibration, 4 foot drops, dust, water, heat and cold conditions. It is encased in a magnesium alloy with a stylus for inputting. The MDWD has a backlit option for low lighting or nighttime usage. Battery is rated a 2.5 hours with a backlit screen on and 5 hours without. A special screen capture on-board function allows users to capture and save up to 100 screen images.

The Mobile Data Wireless Display was also designed to work in unison with the Toughbook(R) 07 Mini PC weighing in at only 2 pounds and featuring an Intel(R) Pentium(R) III 300MHz CPU, 64MB of PC100 SDRAM, and a shock-mounted 5GB 1.8-inch hard drive in a 7.87 x 3.61 x 2.05-inch aluminum case. Onboard ports include mini-USB, serial, DC-input, Wireless Display interface, and one Type 2 PCMCIA card slots.

Suggested pricing starts at $ 2,299 for the complete system. More information can be found at www.panasonic.com/toughbook.

June 27 - Fujifilm Ships New FinePix 4800 Zoom. Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. continues its tradition of exceptional picture quality and technological innovation in digital imaging with the announced nationwide shipments of the stylish and versatile FinePix 4800 Zoom.

In addition to the same distinctive and elegant body design as the popular FinePix 6800 Zoom, the FinePix 4800 Zoom has Fujifilm's acclaimed 2.4 million-sensor Super CCD, with High Definition Color technology, that generates a 4.3-megapixel image file for crystal-clear pictures with rich, true-to-life colors. Offering a wide range of useful features, the FinePix 4800 Zoom comes with its own cradle for quick and easy picture-viewing and download, and direct connection for both videoconferencing and convenient recharging of the camera's lithium ion battery.

"Consumers are intrigued by digital photography, but many are still hesitant to embrace it due to the perception that digital technology is complicated and expensive," said Darin Pepple, Brand Manager, Consumer Digital Products, Consumer Markets Division, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. "Offered at a competitive price, Fujifilm's FinePix 4800 Zoom allows picture-takers, both beginning and advanced, to maximize their photographic interests with innovative technology and quality results. It also adds to Fujifilm's already diverse choice of digital photography products."

The FinePix 4800 Zoom allows consumers to produce stellar images while offering a host of useful features that will appeal to a wide range of consumers and businesspeople, such as videoconferencing, image voice annotation, the ability to capture either up to 80 seconds of AVI video with sound or record up to 30 minutes of audio. The camera's sleek and stylish look -- which is based on the compact, vertical form of Fujifilm's 700 series cameras -- was conceived by F.A. Porsche, the same designer that brought the world the distinctive and timeless look of the classic Porsche(R) 911(TM) sports car.

With the FinePix 4800 Zoom, users can now attach 30-second voice notes to each picture and create business trip-travelogues or narrated family albums. Also, the camera can be used for videoconferencing, permitting users to communicate, live, with loved ones, friends and business associates online. And because they can record up to three minutes of AVI video with QVGA motion JPEG at 10 frames-per-second, FinePix 4800 Zoom owners can capture and then forward special moments over the Internet to others around the world. Finally, with audio recording capabilities of up to 30 minutes, Fujifilm's FinePix 4800 Zoom can be used for dictation.

While offering the ease of a point-and-shoot camera, the camera is also equipped with functions that are of interest to the more discerning photographer. These include a fast (f/2.8) 3x Super EBC Fujinon aspherical zoom lens with a focal length equivalent to a 36-108 mm zoom on a 35mm camera, while offering macro capability to approximately 10.8 inches. The FinePix 4800 Zoom has the highly acclaimed 2.4 million-sensor Super CCD found in the Fujifilm FinePix 4900 Zoom, which is capable of producing a file image as large as 2400 x 1800, and also includes a smooth 3.75x digital zoom.

The FinePix 4800 Zoom is available at a suggested list price of $699. Access the Fujifilm USA Web site at www.fujifilm.com.

June 26 - Lexmark announces All-In-One Inkjet Printers. Building upon a legacy of leadership in providing consumers with breakthrough technology and performance at unprecedented price points, Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE:LXK) today introduced the Lexmark X83 and X73 All-In-One Print Centers. These value-packed digital imaging centers combine Lexmark's award-winning inkjet print technology with scan and copy capabilities, enabling creativity and enhanced functionality for home and small office/home office (SOHO) users.

"Lexmark is the first to deliver consumers industry-leading 2400 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi) print resolution on all paper types, a flexible flatbed scanner, and top-quality copy capabilities - all under $200," said Tim Craig, Lexmark vice president and president of its Consumer Printer Division. "The new All-In-One Print Centers set a precedent for value-packed, compact solutions that not only handle a variety of imaging needs, but bring memories to life in the form of brilliant photo-quality output."

Photo-Quality Printing

The X83 and X73 All-In-One Print Centers offer a maximum 2400 x 1200 dpi print resolution in black and color on all paper types and deliver a seven picoliter color droplet size for smoother color blending and more vivid output. Boasting competitive print speeds, the X83 generates speeds up to 12 pages per minute (ppm) in black and up to six ppm in color, while the X73 is capable of up to nine ppm in black and up to five ppm in color. The All-in-Ones feature USB connectivity and Windows compatibility. The X73 will also support Mac operating systems at launch, with a Mac compatible X83 to follow later in 2001.

High Resolution Color Scanning

Suited to handle photographs, reports and books, the All-in-One Print Centers feature flatbed scanners with removable lids for the utmost flexibility. Both units offer up to 600 x 1200 dpi optical resolution and 48-bit color scan depth. In addition, the X83 boasts up to 19,200 dpi enhanced resolution, while the X73 features up to 9600 dpi enhanced resolution.

Black and Color Copying

The X83 and X73 All-In-One Print Centers deliver up to 99 copies from one original and have a zoom range of 25 to 400 percent for reducing and enlarging images. Users benefit from several job-finishing functions for added usability, such as duplex and booklet printing in PC-attached mode. The X83 produces up to 10 copies per minute (cpm) in black and up to three cpm in color, and the X73 produces up to nine cpm in black and up to three cpm in color.

Standalone Copying

An added benefit of the X83 All-In-One Print Center is its functionality as a standalone copier. Copies are as easy as one, two, three - place a photo or document on the scanner, close the lid, and push either the black or color copy button. With the help of the LCD screen, PC-free poster copying, cloning, and auto fitting capabilities are also fast and simple functions.

Scan to Fax Capabilities

The X83 and X73 also ship with easy-to-use software that allows users to edit, store, send, and receive documents via fax and e-mail through their computers. The Scan to PC Fax capability features fully functional black and color fax applications. To use, simply select "Scan to Fax," which launches the fax software and scans the file, input the fax number, and send.

More information can be found at www.lexmark.com.

June 26 - Fujitsu PC Corporation Unveils Latest Touch Screen Mini-Notebook. Fujitsu PC Corporation (FPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu, Limited (TSE:6702), today released the most powerful version of its award-winning, mini-notebook -- LifeBook(TM) B Series.

Ideal for the mobile professionals in the field and on the road, the small yet versatile LifeBook B Series features a 10.4" SVGA TFT touch screen with pen input for easy navigation and data access. Its sleek body measures 9.92 inches wide by 8.5 inches deep by 1.26 inches high and weighs less than three pounds, making it perfect for productive computing on the go.

"The integration of a touch screen increases the overall appeal of the LifeBook B Series for mobile professionals and is especially useful in applications such as sales or customer relations, where the mini-notebook's intuitive pen input facilitates efficient access and navigation of customer data." said Sara Nelson, FPC's vice president of marketing. "Additionally, its compact form factor and bright screen make it easy to share data with customers on the spot."

Although the LifeBook B Series retains its compact size, it now boasts a new, more powerful ultra-low voltage 600MHz mobile Pentium(R) III processor featuring Intel(R) SpeedStep(TM) technology for improved performance and extended battery life. Users have the choice of either Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 98 Second Edition or Windows 2000 Professional pre-installed.

The LifeBook B Series units are now shipping in two recommended configurations and can be customized to meet individual user needs by utilizing FPC's Configure To Order (CTO) Program. The estimated street price starts at $2,199. FPC's LifeBooks are sold through FPC's retail and reseller channels as well as at www.fujitsupc.com.

June 26 - Toshiba Introduces 5GB PC Card Hard Disk Drive. Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC), Storage Device Division expands its industry-leading 1.8-inch hard disk drive (HDD) line with the 5GB Type II PC Card HDD. The new drive packs high capacity into a PC Card format, providing additional portable storage and increased mobility for notebook PC users.

"Everything is better with a hard drive in it," said Amy Lian, director of Toshiba's HDD business unit. "Building on Toshiba's established leadership in the 2.5-inch hard disk drive market, we are helping to write the next chapter for the storage industry with our powerful 1.8-inch family."

The new 5GB PC Card HDD offers mobile computer users the highest capacity available in a sub-2.5-inch form factor and the most cost effective solution especially when compared to other small-footprint HDDs. Boasting the industry's highest areal density per platter at 21.1 gigabits per square inch, the 5GB HDD's powerful, lightweight design makes it an ideal "bridge" device for sharing data between systems such as two notebooks, a notebook and digital camera or other digital gear. The new drive also functions as an external hard disk drive with robust back-up storage capabilities for large multimedia files and presentations.

The data back-up capacity is equivalent to 3,472 floppy disks or more than 7 CDs, and the 1.8-inch line's low power consumption makes it an ideal choice for mobile users concerned with battery conservation. With a sleek design measuring 5mm high, 54mm wide and 85.6mm deep and weighing in at less than two ounces, Toshiba's new 5GB HDD has a smaller footprint than a credit card and is lighter than a traditional pager.

Compatible with any Type II PC Card slot, Toshiba's 1.8-inch PC Card eliminates the need for and hassle of carrying data from multiple diskettes or CDs while on the road. The rugged design and reliability of Toshiba's 1.8-inch HDD line offers the right capacities to meet today's increasingly diverse range of storage needs. In addition to storing large files, it also serves as a "bridge" device to transfer digital data from electronic equipment with PC Card slots -- such as high-end digital cameras -- to computer systems where editing and file sharing can take place.

In addition to the 5GB drive (MK5002MPL), Toshiba's 1.8-inch family also includes a 2GB PC Card hard drive (MK2001MPL) for applications requiring data back-up capacity equivalent to three CDs of storage. Both 1.8-inch PC Card HDDs are 100 percent plug-and-play compatible, support data transfer rates of up to 20MB per second and can withstand non-operating shock of up to 1000g. Toshiba also offers a 1.8-inch 5GB embedded drive (MK5002MAL) to serve the non-PC appliance and emerging applications markets.

Pricing, Availability and Warranty

Toshiba's 5GB 1.8-inch Type II PC Card HDDs will be in volume production in June and begin shipping in late July. Manufacturer's suggested retail price for the new 5GB 1.8-inch PC Card is $499 with a one-year warranty, and it can be purchased through distributors and on Toshiba's Web site -- www.shoptoshiba.com.

June 26 - SanDisk Introduces 128 Megabyte Secure Digital Flash Memory Card. SanDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK) today introduced the 128 megabyte (MB) Secure Digital (SD) Memory Card, a removable, stamp-sized flash memory card capable of storing up to four hours of music or 40 minutes of video. SanDisk's announcement, made at the PC EXPO show, doubles the capacity of SanDisk's highest capacity SD cards currently shipping. SanDisk is demonstrating products at the show in the Palm Pavilion (booth 3722) at the Javits Center.
Thomas Climer, SanDisk's SD card product manager, said, "The SD card is rapidly emerging as the universal storage card for portable digital devices such as the Palm handheld computers, digital cameras, digital video camcorders, audio players and cell phones. As these memory cards are commonly shared between devices, higher capacity cards are becoming increasingly important among consumers who want to store more data, images, music files and even video on their cards. With the introduction of the 128MB card, users will have the capability of storing up to four hours of music, over 100 high-quality digital images or more than 40 minutes of MPEG-4 compressed video."
SanDisk is currently shipping 8, 16, 32 and 64MB SD Cards and expects to start production shipments of the new 128MB SD Cards in the third quarter of this year. The suggested retail price of the card will be $200.
SanDisk's web site/home page address: www.sandisk.com.

June 26 - Casio Introduces Cassiopeia Pocket Manager BE-300. Casio, Inc., Dover, N.J., in conjunction with its parent company, Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, announced today at PC Expo, the new CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300, a 32K color personal digital assistant (PDA) that has an open development framework based on Windows CE 3.0 and is priced under $300.

Casio has launched the CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300 platform to create a user-friendly operation, through a unique user interface, that maintains robust connectivity with Windows PCs and provides expandability and application support - all at an accessible price for the business professional. Casio anticipates worldwide shipments will reach 500,000 units during the current fiscal year, and expects 1,000,000 shipments within a year.

This powerful and versatile device offers a robust line of business accessories, software and expandability features including wireless access (with an optional modem and ISP subscription sold separately) for the business professional. The product will ship in September.

The BE-300 is very expandable and features a USB/Serial Connector, a CompactFlash card slot (Type II), and optional PC Card unit that accepts a variety of expansion modules from memory to camera cards as well as wireless modems.

"By launching the CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300, Casio will be able to cover a large amount of territory in the rapidly growing PDA market. By putting continued effort into improving both this product line called Pocket Manager and the Pocket PC product line, and through our partnership with ISV/IHV, I feel certain that we will be able to offer attractive mobile computing solutions to end users, covering not only hardware, but also extending to software, peripherals and service," said Yozo Suzuki, managing director of Casio Computer Co., Ltd.

To support the CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300 and other CASSIOPEIA products with relevant content, Casio has also announced "myCasio.com". This is a Web-based service that expands the utility and enhances the enjoyment of CASSIOPEIA products. It offers an easy to use system that delivers a complete spectrum of mobile content and services for personal, business and entertainment.

"myCasio.com" plans to provide the user with the ability to have access and manage content services like: Entertainment Services that offer music, games, movies, and animations; Information Services, with news, finance, sports and weather; and Personal Agent Services, with travel and local information. MyCasio.com will be operational September 2001.

For more information visit www.casio.com.

June 25 - IBM Announces Ability to Manufacture 100 GHz Communications Chips. IBM today announced it has built the world's fastest silicon-based transistor, a basic building block used to make microchips.

IBM expects the new transistor will drive communications chips to speeds of 100GHz within two years -- five times faster and four years sooner than recently-announced competitive approaches.

The transistor uses a modified design and IBM's proven silicon germanium (SiGe) technology to reach speeds of 210 GigaHertz (GHz) while drawing just a milliamp of electrical current. This represents an 80 percent performance improvement and a 50 percent reduction in power consumption over current designs.

"Just as aircraft were once believed incapable of breaking an imaginary 'sound barrier', silicon-based transistors were once thought incapable of breaking a 200GHz speed barrier," said Bernard Meyerson, IBM Fellow and vice president, IBM Communications Research and Development Center. "Makers of high performance electronics like networking gear are no longer forced to use chips made of exotic and expensive materials to reach these speeds. Silicon's future is safe as the preferred medium for chip-making."

Top-tier communications equipment makers are already working with the new IBM technology to help build faster, more efficient products to increase the speed of today's networks.

"AMCC has proven that IBM's current SiGe process can achieve the critical speeds necessary for high-speed next generation optical networks," said Oswin Schreiber, senior product marketing manager, Applied Micro Circuits Corporation. "We believe that IBM's next generation of SiGe can enable customers like AMCC to deliver devices that perform at even higher data rates to meet future networking requirements."

Transistor speeds are largely determined by how quickly electricity passes through them. This is dependent on the material the transistor is made of and the distance electricity must travel through it. Standard transistors are made of ordinary silicon. In 1989, IBM introduced an improvement to the basic silicon material by adding germanium to greatly speed the electrical flow, improving performance and reducing power consumption. With this latest achievement, IBM is combining the use of the SiGe material with an improved transistor design that shortens the electrical path to speed up the device.

In standard transistors, electricity travels horizontally, so shortening the path requires that the transistor be made thinner -- an increasingly difficult task with diminishing returns using today's chip manufacturing techniques. The IBM SiGe device is called a "heterojunction bipolar transistor" (HBT), an alternate transistor design in which electrical flow is vertical. In IBM's SiGe manufacturing process, the height of the transistor is more easily reduced by thinning the SiGe layer, shortening the path of electrical flow and improving performance.

This announcement represents a new plateau for SiGe. More importantly, it opens the door to new levels of performance, particularly in the never-ending race to improve networking gear to handle the growing needs of the Internet and e-business. An added advantage of IBM's SiGe technology is that SiGe chips can be built on existing manufacturing lines, which is critical in allowing the technology to be introduced rapidly and at minimal cost. This has expanded the use of SiGe technology for extending functions and battery life in cellular phones and other wireless communications products as well.

This advancement in SiGe technology is the latest in a string of chip materials improvements from IBM, continuing the technology leadership established with IBM firsts in the use of copper to replace aluminum wires, improved "low-k" insulation between wires and increased transistor performance through silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and strained silicon technologies.

IBM is currently working with dozens of communications companies to incorporate SiGe into an array of products, using state-of-the-art IBM design centers in Waltham, MA, East Fishkill, N.Y. and Encinitas, Calif. in the U.S., as well as in LaGaude, France.

Images of this new breakthrough can be found at: http://www.chips.ibm.com/news/2001/0625_fastimages.html

More information on IBM's related semiconductor breakthroughs can be found at: http://www.chips.ibm.com/bluelogic/showcase/

June 25 - Transmeta Introduces 0.13 Micron Processors. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) today announced new Crusoe microprocessors based on 0.13 micron technology that are up to 50 percent higher in performance and 20 percent lower in power consumption than the company's previous generation of microprocessors.

The new Crusoe TM5800 and TM5500 microprocessors will be manufactured for Transmeta by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM) based on leading-edge, 0.13 micron process technology. TSMC is the world's largest dedicated semiconductor foundry and provides the industry's most advanced 0.13 micron process technology.

"Our relationship with TSMC is a key part of our strategy," said Mark K. Allen, president and chief executive officer, Transmeta Corporation. "Our confidence in TSMC has allowed Transmeta to convert 100 percent of production wafer starts to TSMC's 0.13 micron manufacturing lines."

"In addition to our 0.13 micron logic and SRAM processes, TSMC is the first IC foundry in the world to begin volume production of a 0.13 micron high-performance CPU process," said Dr. Edward C. Ross, president of TSMC of North America. "Transmeta's decision to use this technology for high-performance CPUs is a powerful acknowledgement of our IC industry leadership. We expect this relationship to benefit Transmeta's customers as well as both of our companies."

The new Crusoe TM5800 and TM5500 microprocessors (512K L2 and 256K L2 cache memory respectively) provide increased performance, lower power and greater manufacturing economies than the previous 0.18 micron generation. Additionally, software-based Crusoe microprocessors gain both power and performance benefits from a new upgrade to Transmeta's Code Morphing software. This dual level of power and performance improvement is unique to the Crusoe microprocessor due to its software-based design. The new Code Morphing software version 4.2 will be shipping in product introductions from system manufacturers in the next few months.

Crusoe microprocessors also provide state-of-the-art, on-chip double-data rate (DDR) DRAM and single-data rate (SDR) DRAM controllers. With DDR implementations, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will have both lower power and higher performance parts. Both controllers can be used at the same time, or individually, giving Crusoe microprocessors the highest integration, richest feature set North Bridge functionality available to OEMs as they optimize performance, power and cost.

"The original Crusoe TM5600 microprocessor broke new ground for long battery life systems, and new Crusoe TM5800-based systems will raise the bar for leadership in low-power consumption and performance," said Jim Chapman, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Transmeta Corporation. "Now our customers can take advantage of Crusoe's 0.13 micron power specifications, Code Morphing software improvements and the industry trend towards DDR memory, to build best in class systems that will lead the industry in the drive toward wireless productivity."

The Crusoe TM5800 and TM5500 microprocessors are immediately available and Transmeta expects customer product announcements based on the new chips throughout the balance of this year. The TM5800-800MHz is priced at $198 in 1,000-unit quantities. The TM5800 is also offered at 700, 733 and 766 MHz. The Crusoe TM5500 is available at 600, 667 and 733MHz. The TM5500-667MHz is available at $85 in 1,000-unit quantities. The 1GHz TM5800 is expected to be available in systems during the first half of 2002.

For more information about the Crusoe microprocessor visit www.transmeta.com. More information about TSMC is available through the World Wide Web at www.tsmc.com.

June 25 - Toshiba Adds Thin and Light Series to Satellite Notebook Computers. The Computer Systems Group (CSG) of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. (TAIS) introduces the Satellite(R) 3000/3005 Series, a compact productivity companion for the small office/home office (SOHO) user.

Just over 5.5 pounds, the Satellite 3000/3005 Series is the first thin and light entry into the Satellite notebook line, making it the complete "office-on-the-go" system for the mobile user. With three USB ports and a built-in i.Link(R) (IEEE 1394) port for additional peripheral connections, a convenient swappable modular bay for increased productivity and a robust multimedia feature-set, the Satellite 3000/3005 Series sets a new standard in portable computing performance.

Product Specifications Satellite 3000 Series:

Keeping the customer connected no matter the location, the Satellite 3000/3005 Series includes a built-in Ethernet port, modem and fast IR. Powered by Intel(R) Pentium(R) III processing up to 1GHz, the Satellite 3000/3005 Series expands multimedia and productivity capabilities with an integrated DVD-ROM/CD-RW multi-function drive (3005-S403 and S303 models only) for data backup, a built-in i.Link (IEEE 1394) port for ultra-fast data transfer, SmartMedia card slot for quick download of photos or data, and blazing NVIDIA graphics performance that enhances business and Internet applications. Pricing begins at $1,799.

June 24 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 12 months no interest financing on all desktops, notebooks, and build-to-order systems and and an additional $100 off any Compaq desktop (complete system?).
Circuit City has is offering $150 instant discounts on clearance desktop and notebook computers and $100 off any Compaq desktop (complete system?).
Office Depot no special store-wide computer sales (individual items may be on sale).
CompUSA is having a 3 day sale from Today through Tuesday. They are offering a $150 mail-in rebate on any desktop computer (complete system?) and an additional $100 off any Compaq desktop (complete system?).
Staples no ad this Sunday.
HHGregg has 10% off all open box computers and notebooks and $100 off any Compaq desktop (complete system?).
Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

Definitions. A complete system/package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a vendor's store. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

Best Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 766 MHz system with 17 inch monitor
$400
CompUSA
Best Pentium III System
Compaq 866 MHz system with 17 inch monitor
$649
CompUSA
Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 1.3 GHz complete system
$1730
Best Buy
Best Duron System
None Advertised
   
Best High End Athlon System
HP 1.2 GHz complete system
$1499
Best Buy
Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 766 MHz Celeron
$999
Best Buy
1. Best High-end Notebook
Sony 800 MHz Duron with DVD
$1399
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba 850 MHz Pentium III with DVD\CD-RW
$1749
CompUSA

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.

[ Previous Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]

 

 
 
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