Notebooks wrapped for the holidays

Notebook computer makers are revving up for battle. Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard and Sony are readying their holiday 2002 models.

Toshiba is preparing faster, more multimedia-savvy models for consumers to compete with expected new models from Hewlett-Packard and Sony. Meanwhile, all three are gearing tablet PCs, new notebook-like computers that can capture handwritten notes, for introduction in November.

Toshiba introduced two new Satellite notebook models earlier this week. But in early October it is expected to introduce its holiday lineup, which will include the first notebook to be sold with a DVD burner, sources familiar with its plans said.

Creating hit products is paramount for notebook manufacturers this year. Notebooks have been the only bright spot in an otherwise dour PC market throughout the year, generating good revenue in lean times. The portables have enjoyed steady year-over-year unit sales growth at retail. In the second quarter, portables have outstripped the rest of the world PC market, growing just over 6 percent, while overall unit shipments dropped 1 percent, according to research firm Gartner.

The steady notebook prices may help retailers reach their revenue goals for the holiday season, analysts said.

News source: ZDNet

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