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ZENITH DATA SYSTEMS INTRODUCES FIRST NETWORK-READY NOTEBOOK PCs; REDUCES NOTEBOOK, DESKTOP PRICES

 ZENITH DATA SYSTEMS INTRODUCES FIRST NETWORK-READY NOTEBOOK PCs;
 REDUCES NOTEBOOK, DESKTOP PRICES
 CHICAGO, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The first PC-compatible notebook computers with built-in local area networking capability were introduced today by Zenith Data Systems (a Bull company).
 "We've made connecting a portable computer to a local area network (LAN) simpler than ever by incorporating both LAN hardware and software into these lightweight systems," said ZDS President and Chief Executive Officer Enrico Pesatori at the opening of the COMDEX trade show here.
 All four models in ZDS' new Z-NOTE series -- including the lightest notebook PC with an active-matrix color screen yet to be announced -- feature:
 -- A ZDS-developed high-speed communications port that is compatible with Ethernet, the most popular local area network hardware standard. This allows easy LAN connections, plus data transfers more than four times as fast as the traditional network adapters designed for portable PCs; and
 -- "Client shells" for the most popular LAN operating systems (Novell NetWare, Microsoft LAN Manager and Banyan VINES) factory- installed on the hard disk drive.
 Highlights of the Z-NOTE series are:
 -- SIMPLIFIED DESKTOP CONNECTIONS: The new "READYDESK" port replicator is a cost-effective, space-saving alternative to the traditional desktop docking station for laptop PCs.
 -- POWER MANAGEMENT: Up to four hours of continuous battery operation, which can be extended to a maximum of 10 hours using the "Rest/Resume" power-management feature.
 -- UPGRADEABILITY OF KEY COMPONENTS: For example, the black-and- white liquid crystal display (LCD) on three models can be replaced with an active-matrix color LCD.
 "With integrated networking, a highly efficient power-management system, and upgradeable components, the future is built into these new notebooks," Pesatori said. "The four Z-NOTE models are the ideal general-purpose notebook PCs for both corporate and individual users."
 North American shipments are scheduled to begin in mid-April for the first three models, and in early June for the color version.
 -- FIRST NETWORK-READY NOTEBOOK PCs.
 Each Z-NOTE model incorporates an Itel Corp. chip that is compatible with the Ethernet networking standard. The chip receives and sends data through a ZDS-designed high-speed communications port. (The port is IEEE 802.3-compatible to support either thin, thick or twisted-pair Ethernet hardware via an optional media adapter).
 According to ZDS benchmarks, the data-transfer rate of this "pipe" is more than 50 percent faster than a typical AT-compatible desktop network-node station, and more than four times the speed of a portable LAN adapter connected to a standard parallel port.
 ZDS also is installing on each Z-NOTE model's hard disk drive the three leading network "client shells," which allow a PC to "talk" to other computers on the LAN. The factory-installed, pre-configured client shells offered by ZDS are Novell NetWare, Microsoft LAN Manager and Banyan VINES.
 -- INNOVATIVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE DOCKING STATION.
 A new option available from ZDS for the Z-NOTE series is the "READYDESK" port replicator. This cost-effective alternative to the traditional desktop docking station offers Z-NOTE users the convenience of keeping the cables from their desktop peripherals connected to a stationary desktop base.
 "As a complement to their systems, laptop owners often buy a desktop docking station, which typically is used for network-adapter cards, for higher resolution video cards, or for the convenience of connecting a monitor or 101-key keyboard to a stationary base," Pesatori said.
 "With built-in networking and a Super VGA video output, the Z-NOTE's requirement for desktop expansion has been eliminated. Our users still want the convenience of port replication, but they don't want the somewhat-prohibitive expense of a traditional docking station, which can cost $1,000 or more," he said.
 The READYDESK port replicator has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $149. A small bar that snaps easily onto the rear of all four Z-NOTE models, the READYDESK port replicator provides an enhanced parallel port, a serial port, two PS/2 ports (one for a pointing device, one for a 101-key keyboard), a monitor output for Super VGA video, and a plug for AC power. Its dimensions are 11.9 inches (W) by 1.2 inches (H) by 2.1 inches (D), and it weighs 0.75 pounds.
 -- POWER MANAGEMENT.
 The four Z-NOTE models are the first ZDS portable PCs to use nickel metal-hydride batteries, and represent the third generation of ZDS notebook PCs based on Intel's i386 SL microprocessor.
 "ZDS contributed to Intel's development of the specification of the i386 SL, and our knowledge of the microprocessor allows us to maximize the system's power-management capabilities," Pesatori said.
 The Z-NOTE models also are compatible with the Advanced Power Management specification from Microsoft and Intel.
 In combination, these factors result in the three models with black- and-white LCDs offering four hours of continuous battery operation, which can be extended to a maximum of 10 hours using the "Rest/Resume" power-management feature. The color Z-NOTE model offers 2-1/2 hours of continuous battery operation.
 -- UPGRADEABILITY.
 "Because we expect our customers to get years of use from these systems, we want to protect their investment by offering upgrades to key components," Pesatori said.
 For example, ZDS will offer in June what is expected to be the first-available upgrade to an active-matrix color display for all three of the Z-NOTE models with black-and-white displays.
 "We won't price the color upgrade until it becomes available, but you can expect it to be in the range of $3,000. More important, in a year or two, when our customers are ready to upgrade to color, the price of these advanced displays should be substantially more affordable," Pesatori said.
 Similarly, the hard drives on the 60MB and 85MB units can be upgraded to 120MB and the 1.44MB floppy disk drive can be upgraded to a 2.88MB when these new components become available later this year.
 -- WINDOWS-READY.
 All four Z-NOTE models are designed to be "Windows-ready," with both the easy-to-use Microsoft Windows 3.1 (introduced today) graphical user interface and Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 operating system factory-installed on each notebook's hard drive. ZDS also is bundling a Logitech "TrackMan Portable" pointing device with every system, for instant Windows productivity.
 "At 6.5 pounds, our Z-NOTE 325Lc is the lightest notebook PC with an active-matrix color LCD yet to be announced. And its superior 9-inch- diagonal VGA color display makes it ideal for Windows applications, in the office or on the road," Pesatori said. ZDS also offers three Z-NOTE models with an improved 10-inch-diagonal black-on-white LCD that emulates color with 64 gray shades.
 -- PRICING AND SPECIFICATIONS.
 The four Z-NOTE models are:
 -- Z-NOTE 325Lc Model 120, with a 25-megahertz i386 SL microprocessor, 120-megabyte hard drive, active-matrix color LCD, and 4 megabytes of random access memory. 6.5 pounds.
 Manufacturer's suggested retail price is $7,299, although the system is expected to sell for less than $5,300. Available in early June.
 -- Z-NOTE 325L Model 120, with a 25MHz i386 SL microprocessor, 120MB hard drive, black-on-white LCD, and 4MB of RAM. 5.9 pounds. Manufacturer's suggested retail price is $4,899, although the system is expected to sell for less than $3,600. Available in mid-April.
 -- Z-NOTE 325L Model 85, with a 25MHz i386 SL microprocessor, 85MB hard drive, black-on-white LCD, and 4MB of RAM. 5.9 pounds. Manufacturer's suggested retail price is $4,299, although the system is expected to sell for less than $3,100. Available in mid-April.
 -- Z-NOTE 320 Model 60, with a 20MHz i386 SL microprocessor, 60MB hard drive, black-on-white LCD, and 2MB of RAM. 5.9 pounds. Manufacturer's suggested retail price is $3,599, although the system is expected to sell for less than $2,600. Available in mid-April.
 In other news, ZDS today announced reductions in the suggested retail prices of selected notebook and desktop personal computers.
 "We have re-positioned the pricing of our portable PC line to account for the new Z-NOTE series of notebook PCs," said Dan Rosensteel, ZDS vice president of marketing and channel development. "In addition, we are continuing to price our desktop systems aggressively."
 Rosensteel said that the reductions range from 2 percent to 22 percent on 16 models.
 ZDS' portable PC price reductions (in U.S. dollars) are:
 Previous New Price
 ZDS System Price Price Reduction
 MastersPort 386SX Model 60 $3,199 $2,999 $200 (6 percent)
 MastersPort 386SX Model 85 $3,449 $3,199 $250 (7 percent)
 MastersPort 386SL Model 60 $3,449 $3,299 $150 (6 percent)
 MastersPort 386SLe Model 85 $3,999 $3,799 $200 (5 percent)
 ZDS' desktop PC price reductions (in U.S. dollars) are:
 Previous New Price
 ZDS System Price Price Reduction
 Z-LS/20 Model 0 $1,599 $1,249 $350 (22 percent)
 Model 40 $2,099 $1,699 $400 (19 percent)
 Z-386/25 Model 1 $3,699 $3,299 $400 (11 percent)
 Model 150 $4,999 $4,499 $500 (10 percent)
 Model 320 $6,599 $5,999 $600 (9 percent)
 Z-486SX/20E Model 1 $3,599 $3,099 $500 (14 percent)
 Model 80 $3,999 $3,499 $500 (13 percent)
 Model 200 $4,599 $4,099 $500 (11 percent)
 Z-486SX/25E Model 1 $3,849 $3,599 $250 (6 percent)
 Model 200 $5,049 $4,949 $100 (2 percent)
 Z-486/33E Model 200 $6,599 $5,599 $1,000 (15 percent)
 Model 400 $7,499 $6,499 $1,000 (13 percent)
 Zenith Data Systems, a Bull company, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of portable, desktop and file-server microcomputers for single and multi-user applications. With headquarters in Buffalo Grove, Ill., ZDS has engineering facilities in St. Joseph, Mich., and Santa Clara, Calif.; manufacturing facilities in St. Joseph, Mich., and Villeneuve d'Ascq, France; and sales facilities in more than 30 countries.
 -0- 4/6/92
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: Zenith Data Systems is no longer part of Zenith Electronics Corp. Please refer to Zenith Data Systems on second reference as either "ZDS" or "Zenith Data." Please do not refer to ZDS as "Zenith."/
 /CONTACT: Matt Mirapaul of Zenith Data Systems, 708-808-4848/ CO: Zenith Data Systems ST: Illinois IN: CPR SU: PDT


SH -- NY061 -- 5407 04/06/92 13:47 EDT
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