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RDI Computer Corp. reduces prices by up to 62 percent and adds new features; Pricing for the PowerLite family of powerful, portable UNIX workstations now starts at under $6,000.

CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 6, 1995--Portable workstation pioneer RDI Computer Corp. Wednesday announced that it is reducing prices on its entire family of PowerLite SPARC-based portable computers by up to sixty-two percent.

At the same time the company is reducing prices, it significantly lowered the weight of the units and added new features including an 800 x 600 LCD panel, 1.2 GB disk option, PCMCIA Type III, and new portable software tools with suspend and resume capabilities.

The PowerLite 110 and PowerLite 85 workstations now include all the new features and are available in numerous configurations, starting at $12,995 and $9,695, respectively. These prices are 15 and 12 percent below competing products. The PowerLite 50 base price has been reduced to $5,950, almost 30 percent below competitive products.

"The PowerLite's new pricing and features allow more workstation users to benefit from the flexibility and freedom of mobile computing," said Bob Shields, RDI director of marketing. "Software developers, network administrators, engineers and support services can now use their desktop applications anywhere, without sacrificing functionality."

Found in no other portable workstation, the PowerLite's exceptional combination of components and features provide 100 percent Sun desktop compatibility. The workstation's unmodified Solaris, high resolution display, 3.6 GB internal disk capacity and SBus expansion makes the PowerLite the most powerful portable workstation available in the world today.

New Features

New optional features now available for both the PowerLite 110 and PowerLite 85 workstations include the following:

o 800 x 600, 10.4" color active matrix LCD. The 800 x 600 LCD displays 262,144 colors and 64 gray scales. This LCD is ideal for imaging applications requiring accurate color and tone rendering.

o 1.2 GB hard disk drive. The PowerLite 110 and PowerLite 85 now support configurations of up to three 1.2 GB hard disk drives, providing up to 3.6 GB of internal disk capacity, an increase of 1.2 GB.

o PCMCIA. For added flexibility, an optional PCMCIA port can replace the standard floppy drive. The PCMCIA port supports one or two Type I and Type II cards, or one Type III card.

o Virtual Workgroup Architecture (VWA) version 1.2. VWA version 1.2 features suspend and resume, allowing users to shut down and start up again quickly, PCMCIA support and dynamic external monitor selection. VWA provides software tools that allow users to easily operate in a remote or mobile environment, and when connecting to Sun and UNIX networks. In addition to the new features, VWA tools include automatic network connection and configuration, fax, system management and power management.

In addition to the reduced prices and new features, RDI significantly lowered the weight of its base configurations to 7.5 pounds. The weight reduction makes portable computing even easier and more convenient for users.

PowerLite 110/PowerLite 85 features:

Introduced in June 1995, the PowerLite 110 was the first portable workstation with processing power equivalent to Sun Microsystems' 110-MHz SPARCstation 5. The PowerLite 110 and 85 use a 110 MHz or a 85 MHz microSPARC II microprocessor, respectively. RDI manufactures the PowerLite with the CPU, graphics, SLAVIO, MACIO and OS supplied from Sun Microsystems.

Standard features found in both models include: a 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, or 640 x 480, 10.4" color active matrix LCD; TGX graphics acceleration; up to 128 MB memory; an internal floppy drive; up to three 1.2 GB hard disk drives for internal disk capacity of 3.6 GB; a three-button, 16 mm trackball and full-sized Sun-4 or Sun-5 compatible keyboard; and a 14.4 K fax modem, in a compact 7.5-pound, 2.2 x 12.75 x 11.18 inch package. Options include PCMCIA Type III and a Peripheral Expansion Unit (PXU) with two Sbus expansion slots, increasing the hard disk capacity by up to 4 GB.

Using enabled hardware and operating system technology from Sun STB and SunSoft respectively, the PowerLite 110 and PowerLite 85 provide 100 percent compatibility with Solaris and SunOS applications. The workstations come with unmodified Solaris 2.4 or optional 1.1.2 operating system, and are compatible with networking standard and protocols ONC, NFS, TCP/IP, SunNet, OSI and MHS.

PowerLite 50 features:

Powered by the 50 MHz microSPARC I microprocessor, the PowerLite 50 features a 1024 x 768 high-resolution flat panel color display, 810 MB hard disk drive, 16 MB RAM, an internal floppy drive, and fax/modem.


The PowerLite 110, PowerLite 85 and PowerLite 50 workstations are immediately available in a variety of configurations. Base pricing for the PowerLite family of products starts at under $6,000. Every PowerLite is backed by a one-year warranty that includes limited free phone support. A variety of extendible service contracts are also available.

The company's products are sold worldwide through an indirect channel of national and international distributors and resellers. The reseller support organization is backed by RDI's headquarters customer support center in Carlsbad. In North America, RDI has distributor agreements with Sun Federal, Sun Express and Access Graphics.

RDI Computer designs, develops, manufactures and distributes a diverse line of portable Sun SPARC-based workstations. RDI's products provide the power of full desktop workstation functionality and the flexibility of mobile computing. With headquarters in Carlsbad, RDI has sales offices in North America and Europe. For sales information, the company can be reached at 619/929-0992 or 800/RDI-LITE, or e-mail: or

Note: PowerLite is a registered trademark of RDI Computer Corp. Sun, SunOS, Solaris, Sun-4, Sun-5, ONC, NFS, TCP/IP, SunNet, OSI, MIIS and SunNet are trademarks of Sun Microsystems Inc. All SPARC trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of SPARC International Inc. microSPARC is licensed exclusively to Sun Microsystems Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

CONTACT: RDI Computer Corp.

Tamara Williams




Connie Roloff/David Krane

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 6, 1995
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