Apple lead on 17in notebooks challenged

HP, Acer following, apparently

HP and Acer, to name but two, are preparing a Windows-based alternatives to Apple's 17in PowerBook.

Apple is currently advertising its new notebook like crazy. Well, it's got until the third quarter to attract buyers for the world's only big-brand laptop with a 17in screen.

Come Q3, and HP will launch its model, according to sources close to Taiwanese notebook contract manufacturer Quanta. Said sources, cited by DigiTimes, claim Quanta will produce the beast.

Previous HP wide-screen notebooks have been made by fellow Taiwanese manufactuer Inventec. Apple's own creation is built by Taiwan's Compal.

Acer's machine is said to be scheduled for a Q4 introduction.

Apple's 17in PowerBook was announced in January, but the notebook has only just begun to ship to customers.

Apple has a history of mobile computing innovation quickly ripped off by other vendors. Its PowerBook 100 - manufactured by Sony - was the world's first notebook with a built-in trackball.

The first trackpad, the first integrated modem, the first integrated 802.11b WLAN, the first 15in widescreen LCD, and the first backlit keyboard (in the 17in PowerBook) are among Apple's other notebook firsts. Against that, Apple took a long time to incorporate PC standards such as PC Card slots and infra-red in its notebooks, not to mention coming very late to the laptop party in the first place. ®

Related Link

Quanta said to land orders for HP's 17-inch wide-screen notebook