News Bits: BestBuy $400 Laptop, Asus Core Duo Notebooks, Core Duo – Buy or Wait, Dell #1 in LCDs

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$400 Laptop at BestBuy Starting Sunday (Rumor)

Reports from FatWallet.com say that the Toshiba L25 S1216 laptop (15″ screen, 1.6 GHz Celeron M, 40GB HDD and 256 MB RAM) will be on sale tomorrow for $399 after rebates, and there’s a scan of a picture ad to prove it.  The deal starts 2/5 (Sunday) and runs through the week, if availability remains that is.  On the BestBuy.com website it is indicated as being “out of stock” online, check your local BestBuy to see if there’s stock in store though.

BestBuy should also have a Gateway MX6131 notebook for $549 starting Sunday 2/5 (you can see it in the lower left corner of the above ad), specs on that notebook are Celeron M 360 processor, 512mb, 40GB, 15.4″ UltraBright widescreen, DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive.

Asus Core Duo Notebook Releases and Availability

Asus is looking to the new Napa platform from Intel to be a major drive for its notebooks sales for 2006.  They’ve launched six new Napa notebooks in Taiwan since the Chinese New Year and PROPortable has provided us with expected release dates and pricing on upcoming Asus notebooks for the U.S. market (all new 945 chipset Asus model notebooks will be coming with Bluetooth):

Upcoming Asus “Built On” Systems (Configurable):

  • Asus Z62f: some availability now, more by late-February – 14″ widescreen, integrated graphics.
  • Asus Z92ja: Late-February – 15.4″ widescreen, 256mb ATI x1600
  • Asus Z35f: Mid-March – 13.3″ widescreen, integrated graphics
  • Asus Z62j: Mid-March – 14″ widescreen, 128mb Nvidia 7300

Upcoming Asus Enesmble Systems (Pre-Configured):

  • Asus A7j: Late-February – 17″w, 256mb ATI x1600 – *NO TV Tuner / 1.66ghz / 512mb / 100gb 5400rpm – $1,699
  • Asus V6j: Mid-March – 15″r, 128mb Nvidia 7400 – *NO IPS/1.66ghz/1024mb/100gb 5400rpm – $1,899
  • Asus W5f: Mid-March – 12″w, integrated graphics – 1.66ghz/512mb/100gb 5400rpm – $1,799
  • Asus W2j: Late-March – 17″w, 256mb ATI x1600 – TV Tuner/2.0ghz/1024mb/120gb 5400rpm – $2,599
  • Asus W3j: Late-March – 14″w, 256mb ATI x1600 – 1.66ghz/1024mb/100gb 5400rpm – $1,799
  • Asus Lamborghini VX1: Mid-April – (built on the the V6j) - no price set

Centrino Core Duo Notebooks, Buy or Wait?

BusinessWeek.com technology editor Stephen Wildstrom takes a look at whether a Core Duo notebook makes sense to buy now.  Wildstrom basically answers that if you’re in the market for a notebook and are deciding between a Pentium M system or Core Duo system you should go Core Duo simply because it’s not that much more expensive, and while there are a few known bugs in the Duo, they’re nothing major (every new processor has some) and the performance gap makes it a worthwhile upgrade.  From the article:

“Intel is pricing the new Centrino quite aggressively. Comparisons of new and old chips is difficult because of different features and speeds, but according to Intel’s published price list, a Centrino Duo package is priced at most $50 higher than a roughly comparable older Centrino, and for many configurations there appears to be no price difference at all. This means that notebooks featuring the new processor should, other things being equal, cost just about the same as the models they replace”

More: BusinessWeek.com Buy or Wait Article

Dell #1 for Shipping LCD Monitors in 2005

Dell is known as a notebook and desktop PC company, but they should also be known as an LCD monitor company too apparently.  Last year they shipped more LCD monitors than any other company.  Dell shipped 20.0 million LCD units, almost twice as many as the next closest competitor Samsung that shipped 10.8 million units.  These numbers are reported by DisplayBank research.

More: http://www.digitimes.com/displays/a20060203PR203.html

Gateway has Strong Retail Sales for 2005, Business Sales Fell

Gateway has done a great job getting their notebooks into retail stores in the U.S., but sales to businesses fell last year.  Total PC unit sales for 2005 were 4.5 million, a 27% increase over 2004 mostly due to strength of retail sales to consumers.

The company explained that the sequential and year-on-year revenue increases in the company’s retail business are due to market share gains in US retail as well as growth in the company’s international business. It indicated that Gateway and eMachines products are now sold in more than 7,000 retail locations in the US and Canada and in more than 2,000 retail locations internationally, including Japan, Mexico and the UK.

More: http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20060203PR204.html



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