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IBM, Compaq plan Euro slimline notebook roll-outs

Compaq Armada coming in Q3, IBM ThinkPad later due before year end -- maybe

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Both IBM's ThinkPad 240, and Compaq's new lightweight Armada will be entering the US mini notebook market soon, with European launches later in the year, but Compaq looks set to win the race over here by rather more than a nose. IBM has not set a date for the European launch. A spokeswoman for IBM said that the laptop would be launched here if there was "customer demand" later in the year. Compaq says that it is holding back to make sure it will be able to meet demand for the new Armada, but that it should be here some time in Q3. Neither company was able to comment on European prices. In the US, the ThinkPad 240 is expected to retail for less that $2000, the same price bracket as the Armada. The ThinkPad 240 weighs in at just 2.9 pounds. It has a 95 per cent full-size keyboard and a full complement of on-board ports. IBM is offering a choice of operating systems: Win 95, 98 or NT 4.0, to its target market of enterprise users. Compaq's new Armada also masses less than three pounds and features a choice of either Intel's 333MHz Pentium II or Celeron processor, 64MB of SDRAM and hard drive with up to 6.4GB capacity. The new products will join other featherweight laptops from Sony, Toshiba and Dell already available. ®

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