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Note Worthy

High-quality screens are earning rave reviews for the newest SVGA notebook computers.
October 1, 1996

Standard portable notebook computers--weighing less than 8 pounds and measuring slightly larger than a 2-inch-high stack of letterhead--are gaining in popularity and dropping in price. If you need more than a standard notebook, however, consider a Super Video Graphics Array (SVGA) model.

SVGA screens have high-resolution liquid crystal displays (LCDs). Lightweight, flexible and thin, LCDs let tiny notebooks boast high-quality screens that add little to their weight. The standard LCD resolution is 640 x 480 dots per inch (dpi); the higher 800-x-600-dpi resolution means you get a more colorful, sharper picture, while allowing more data to be displayed on screen without increasing lid size. Two drawbacks: Some SVGA notebooks are a bit slower than standard VGA computers, and some text and graphics appear slightly smaller on screen because data is more compressed than on standard VGA screens.

Geared to mobile businesspeople with heavy graphics and multimedia application needs, these leading-edge machines are still far pricier than their standard notebook cousins. Most are powered by Pentium processors and pre-loaded with Windows 95 and other software. Higher-priced models have built-in fax modems, extra ports for additional modules, expansion bays for adding second batteries and other devices, docking capabilities and PCMCIA card slots.

Factors to consider before you buy:





Take Note

Here's a look at some of the most popular models.

Compaq's LTE 5150, 5250, 5280, 5300 and 5380 models are a little pricier, with appropriately more features including 2.16GB hard drives. Setting these slimline machines apart from many others is their flexibility with a mix-and-match concept that offers three different configurations.