Troubled UK high-end notebook manufacturer, Tadpole, has launched a product line and strategy to help pull itself out of the doldrums.
Last week the firm introduced the Sparcbook 3000, the first of what it is touting as its next generation of notebook technology. The notebooks are high-powered portable workstations rather than conventional PC laptops.
The 3000 series machines come with a Fujitsu TurboSparc processor, up to 256Mb of RAM and a removable 3Gb hard drive. Prices start at #12,400.
"We are concentrating on three main markets: presentation machines for enterprise class software vendors; field engineering, for network diagnostics; and the military and secure markets," explained Bernard Hulme, Tadpole's group CEO. "We are also tailoring our products more closely to the market.
For instance, the 3000 provides features specifically requested by customers."
He added that the firm has permanently dropped its plans to make Intel and PowerPC machines.
The 3000 range is the first product line from Tadpole to be introduced since last year, and more than nine months' work have gone into developing the machines. The firm plans more product announcements in the coming months.
Tadpole floated on the stock exchange in late June, in an attempt to raise cash. However, the initiative flopped as the firm received less than 40% acceptances of its share offers, and the balance had to be covered by the underwriters. The company eventually drummed up #2.5 million.
The company's refinancing effort accompanied the restructuring, which began last year in an attempt to stem the firm's losses - #2.4 million for the first six months to the end of April 1997. Along with bringing out new products, Tadpole plans to focus on strengthening its channels to market.
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