Acer, MPC Play Up Portability

MPC Computers' sleek TransPort 2300 weighs almost 6 pounds, but it has an internal optical drive, so it's better for anyone who needs a complete system. Plus, its biometrics fingerprint scanner makes traveling with confidential data much less risky.

Acer TravelMate 3000 Acer's TravelMate 3000 is perfect for users who need to be connected to a network but also need to roam around without being loaded down. The integrated Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG network adapter will connect to nearly any access point. The TravelMate 3000 is also ideal for a network administrator or solution provider with responsibility for monitoring network health. Measuring about 10.75 x 1.25 x 8.25 inches, this notebook is small enough to be carried around all day long.

Because the TravelMate 3000 is intended to run off battery power more often than an AC outlet, Acer bundles two battery packs with it. A standard three-cell lithium-ion battery pack and a high-capacity six-cell lithium-ion battery pack are included.

The TravelMate 3000 features a 1.7GHz Pentium M processor and a 12.1-inch wide-screen WXGA display with a 1,366 x 768 native resolution. A feature called Acer GridVista automatically resizes open application windows in dual, triple or quadruple grid configurations to fit the screen simultaneously.

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The wide-screen display lends itself well to DVD movies, but to save weight and because of physical space limitations, the TravelMate 3000 uses an external optical drive. The unit tested by CRN Test Center engineers came with a combo FireWire DVD/CD-RW drive, but drives that can record on DVD are also available. Aside from the external optical drive, there's nothing else that this notebook doesn't have. It's got Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire port, a 60-Gbyte hard drive, 512 Mbytes of memory, a 4-in-1 media card reader, one PC Card slot and a 56K modem. The TravelMate 3000 costs $1,299. Acer has been a channel-focused company for more than 25 years. All partners are given the same prices, and all partners gain access to Acer's product line without being tied to rebate programs. Acer provides presales support, local Acer personnel, competitive info and an MDF program. VARs must provide integration support to end users. Training is provided on the phone, via the Web and on-site. MPC Transport T2300

For customers who need more of a full-size notebook—one with a built-in optical drive—MPC's TransPort T2300 is a good choice. The TransPort T2300 has a sleek two-spindle design and includes Intel Centrino Mobile technology, Gigabit Ethernet and enhanced Intel Pro/Wireless 2915 a/b/g connectivity. This is the fourth generation in a series of notebooks that use the same port replicator, so customers can be upgraded to the latest mobile technology without having to replace anything else.

The TransPort T2300 is perfect for solution providers with clients who have to travel with confidential data stored on their hard drives. An integrated biometrics fingerprint scanner replaces the traditional password login.

With a choice of a 14.1-inch XGA display (1,024 x 768) or a 15-inch SXGA display (1,400 x 1,050), the TransPort T2300 offers more of a desktop user experience. Measuring 12.9 x 1.25 x 10.8 inches, the TransPort T2300 is a lot bigger than the TravelMate. With Windows XP, a 1.6GHz Pentium M processor, 256 Mbytes of memory, 20-Gbyte hard drive, ATI Mobility Radeon X300 graphics, DVD recorder and V.92 modem, the TransPort T2300 costs $2,550. Other features include legacy parallel and serial ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a 3-in-1 media reader and a bridge battery, which lets users swap out primary batteries without shutting down.

MPC's single-level channel program has been in place for approximately three years, and it has a dedicated sales team for solution providers. Margins vary depending on the competitive situation. MPC provides both Web-based and in-person training, depending on the size of the solution provider. U.S.-based service and support is available 24x7.