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9/29/2008
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CTL Launches Two Sub-$500 Netbooks

The 2go Classmate PC is aimed at the education market, while the IL1A mini-notebook targets consumers and businesspeople.

Computer Technology Link has introduced two mini-notebooks, one for the education market, the other for consumers and businesspeople.

The 2go Classmate PC and the Model IL1A, respectively, are the latest additions to CTL's line of netbooks. The latest systems will be available through Costco.com, the online store of Costco Wholesale. In addition, the IL1A is being sold through Fred Meyer, a Pacific Northwest department store chain owned by the Kroger group of companies.

The 2go Classmate, developed in conjunction with Intel, and the IL1A brings to four the number of sub-$500 netbooks offered by CTL. "We are delivering on our plan to broaden our range of solutions in this class of computing devices," Erik Stromquist, executive VP of CTL, said in a statement.

The 2go is available with Windows XP or Linux. The machine has an 8.7-inch display with a resolution of 1,024 by 600 pixels, weighs 2.8 pounds, and is powered by an Intel 1.6-GHz Atom processor, which adds a significant performance boost over the original 2goPC, the company said. The new system has a 4.5-hour battery life and a shock-mounted 40-GB hard drive that can withstand a drop of about a foot and a half. The system also ships with a spill-resistant keyboard and a gigabyte of memory. The Model IL1A has many of the same features, but has a slightly larger screen at 8.9 inches and a 60-GB hard drive.

Pricing for the new systems, which are not yet available on Costco.com, was not released. An older version of the 2go Classmate with a 900-MHz Intel Celeron processor, 512 MB of memory, and a 40-GB hard drive was available for $449 on Amazon.com.

CTL competitors in the mini-notebook market include Acer, Asustek, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Micro-Star International, and Samsung. Mini-notebooks are defined as sub-$500 systems with screen sizes of 10 inches or less. Because of the computers' small keyboards, the devices are best suited as a second computer for e-mail and Web surfing on the road. They also are aimed at students looking for an inexpensive system.

The market for mini-notebooks is on track to reach shipments of 5.2 million units worldwide this year and 8 million units next year, according to market researcher Gartner. Manufacturers could ship as many as 50 million devices in 2012.

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