Compaq is planning a major assault on Toshiba's notebook crown, starting with the introduction of notebooks with 9Gb drives before the end of the year. The monster drive and other innovations will make up a major push by Compaq to shrug off its lacklustre performance in the notebook arena over the past couple of years. It hopes to build on recent success that has seen it snatch second place in the notebook wars, behind Toshiba. All future notebooks will fall under the Armada brand, which will have four ranges to address the entry-level, professional, highly mobile, and power user market segments. Driving high end processors into the low end of the market will be a key part of the company's new approach. Compaq's vice president of notebooks, Chet Pribonic, said: "This is where Dell does well - it's a sweet spot of the market." He was also quick to admit to Compaq's failure to address different groups of users. "We couldn't multi-task very well between getting performance and (entry-level) notebook products out the door," he conceded. "We just couldn't adjust quickly enough to keep the ranges fresh, and we weren't in tune with the growing consumer market." He added: "When the mobile Pentium chip arrived we were a year behind. "We were four months behind for MMX and a few weeks behind Tillamook, but we plan on being there on day one when the first Pentium II chips for notebooks arrive next year." However, Compaq's recent announcments to use the Net to sell products will not apply to notebook selling in Europe until next year, and even then it will be through web sites created by its resellers. Compaq: 0845 270 4000.
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