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Innovative computer products

Innovative computer products

PC-like workstation

If you like PCs, especially their price, but think you might need a workstation, Hewlett-Packard invites you to check out the HP x1100 workstation. While many of its applications are in the world of digital content creation (meaning video), which you may never use, it also provides the memory and capacity for imaging, 3D animation, and entry and mid-range mechanical CAD. The 19-inch tall, 31.5-lb unit uses a Pentium 4 processor with clock frequencies of 1.9, 2.0, or 2.4 GHz. The Pentium 4, the 3D graphics, and SCSI disks can generate heat, but HP claims to dissipate that heat through "turbo" cooling that does away with ducts that can block access to the chassis. Operating-system options include Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP, and Red Hat's Linux 7.1.

HP x1100 Workstation: Enter 602

64-bit powerhouse

Sun Microsystem's Neil Knox, executive vice president, minces no words when he talks about PCs. "What's the value in a PC that you toss out every year or two?" he asks. His implied answer is: none. And that's the way Sun has introduced its new Sun Blade 150 workstation. Aimed at technical applications that require mission-critical stability and scalability, the Blade 150's 64-bit UltraSPARC processor and 64-bit Solaris operating environment works for mechanical CAD and CAE projects, he says. Sun claims the 150 vastly outperforms its own Sun Blade 100 by 41 percent in one industry benchmark. Running the simulation software ABAQUS (from HKS), the 150 is 63 percent faster than the 100. The 150's addressable memory (up to 2 Gbyte) helps the running of complex technical applications with very large data sets.

Sun Blade 150 Workstation: Enter 603

Light-weight traveling companion

Whether or not you travel much in your job, you could still probably use a portable computer. You could take notes on it, connect to the Internet, check email-and use it as a notebook for thinking! That's why notebook computers have become so popular. IBM's ThinkPad X Series is a case in point. IBM calls it the "ultraportable" computer. No wonder. It only weighs about 3.1 lbs and it's one-inch thick. The "X" in the name stands for extra light and extra small, but it could as well stand for extra features. It has a titanium-composite construction for extra ruggedness, a keyboard with IBM's TrackPoint pointing device, a light on the top edge of the display for working in dark conditions, and a connector port for attaching options, such as an array microphone and a wireless solution. Battery life? 4.5 hours. But the new X30 lets you extend it by using a second battery, which gets you up to 8.9 hours. The X Series is one in a chain of ThinkPads. The basic ThinkPad is 10 years old, and has several offsprings: the T Series for frequent travelers, the A Series for those who want an alternative to their desktop, and the I Series for those looking for the most affordable price. Still, it's worth a look, especially if you're finding yourself on the road more or stuck in a long commute.

IBM ThinkPad X Series: Enter 604

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