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New Lightweight Notebooks Heavy On Features

CRN Test Center engineers looked at sleek, new, light notebooks from Gateway and Toshiba.

Gateway M460E
The Gateway M460E notebook is designed to appeal to a wide range of users. Its sleek new design is standard across Gateway's entire line of mobile products, allowing them to share common components such as batteries, AC adapters and docking solutions. That ensures a long life cycle and makes management and maintenance easier on IT departments.

The Gateway M460E notebook incorporates the new Intel 915 chipset that supports PCI Express and dual-channel DDR2 memory. Battery options include a modular second battery that, when combined with the standard 12-cell battery, delivers more than 10 hours of battery life.

Display options include a 15.4-inch WXGA widescreen (1,280 x 800 dpi resolution), a 15-inch SXGA (1,400 x 1,050 dpi) or 15-inch XGA (1,024 x 768 dpi). The notebook weighs less than 6 pounds, though battery options and the widescreen display will add a bit more weight. The M460E measures 14 x 10.4 x 1.4 inches.

Graphics card choices include an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 or an ATI Mobility Radeon X600 chipset that supports up to 128 Mbytes of 300MHz GDDR memory. Ports include four USB 2.0, VGA out, S-Video out, one IEEE 1394 FireWire port and one Type II PC Card Slot. A built-in 4-in-1 Media Card Reader is handy for working with digital cameras. It supports various media including Secure Digital, MultiMedia, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro memory modules.

The unit reviewed by the Test Center was equipped with a 1.87GHz Pentium M processor, a 15-inch XGA display, 512 Mbytes of memory, a 40-Gbyte hard drive, a combo CD-RW recorder and DVD reader, ATI Mobility Radeon X600 graphics with 128 Mbytes of discrete video memory, Intel Pro Wireless LAN b/g, a V.90 modem and a 10/100/1000 NIC for $1,619.

Gateway's three-tier ProNet Program determines partner level based on sales volume and revenue projections. All partners receive product discounts and training, technical support and a listing on Gateway's online Partner Locator. The level of inside and field sales support received is based on sales volumes. ProNet partners receive double-digit discounts. Gateway declined to disclose average reseller margins.

Toshiba Tecra A4-S211
Toshiba's Tecra A4-S211 is part of its flagship business computing line. The notebook was just upgraded with a choice of an ATI Mobility Radeon X600 or an NVIDIA GeForce 6600 Go with 64 Mbytes of dedicated SDRAM.

The Tecra A4-S211 is designed to meet the needs of SMBs, and an extended product life cycle makes the notebook IT-friendly. The Tecra A4-S211 features a 15.4-inch widescreen display, perfect for business applications and graphics-intensive multimedia applications. It is built around Pentium M processors and the new Intel 915 Express chipset. The notebook weighs 6.2 pounds and measures 14.2 x 10.6 x 1.4 inches.

The unit reviewed included a 1.6GHz Pentium M Processor, a 15.4-WXGA display, the ATI Mobility Radeon X600 graphics accelerator with 64 Mbytes of video memory, 512 Mbytes of system memory, a 60-Gbyte hard drive, a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, 802.11b/g wireless connectivity, one parallel port, three USB 2.0 ports, one Type II PC Card slot, a 5-in-1 Bridge Media Adapter, one FireWire port, a V92 modem and 10/100/1000 NIC, and costs $1,399.

Toshiba's channel program offers Platinum, Gold and Silver levels based on a partner's sales volume. Silver partners do not receive MDF or rebates but are eligible to participate in the Preferred Partner Rewards Program, which lets partners earn points that can be redeemed for rewards, merchandise incentives and travel packages. Gold partners selling between $100,000 and $250,000 receive monthly rebates and are also eligible to participate in the Preferred Partner Rewards Program.

Platinum partners must sell more than $250,000. They receive rebates and MDF and also can participate in the Preferred Partner Rewards Program.

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