NEC Announces Netbook Equipped with Both SSD, HDD

Jun 3, 2009
Hideyoshi Kume, Nikkei Electronics
New models in NEC's "LaVie Light" line of netbooks
New models in NEC's "LaVie Light" line of netbooks
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The large-capacity "battery (L)" of the "BL350/TA" projects from the back surface when it is attached.
The large-capacity "battery (L)" of the "BL350/TA" projects from the back surface when it is attached.
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The back surface of the "BL300/TA" and "BL310/TA," which use a slim type "battery (M)"
The back surface of the "BL300/TA" and "BL310/TA," which use a slim type "battery (M)"
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The "BL100/TA" has an angular chassis.
The "BL100/TA" has an angular chassis.
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The "VE570/TG" in the "ValueStar E" series is designed to look simple like an LCD TV.
The "VE570/TG" in the "ValueStar E" series is designed to look simple like an LCD TV.
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NEC Corp announced new models in its "LaVie Light" line of netbooks June 2, 2009. It will be the first Japanese manufacturer that releases a netbook equipped with both an SSD and an HDD for memory storage.

The operating system (OS) and applications software were installed on the SSD to accelerate the operation of the computer. They will hit the Japanese market June 4, 2009.

A total of three models will be available. The "BL350/TA" includes both an SSD and an HDD for storage. The "BL300/TA" and "BL310/TA" have a 160-Gbyte HDD and no SSD. The latter comes with Microsoft Office Personal 2007 with a two year-license.

There is no suggested retail price. But expected street pricing for the BL350/TA and BL310/TA is about ¥70,000 (approx US$727), while that for the BL300/TA is ¥60,000.

The BL350/TA has a 16-Gbyte SSD and a 160-Gbyte HDD. According to NEC, by installing the OS and applications software on the SSD, OS and application startup times can be shortened by about 12 and 40%, respectively. It employed "Windows XP Home Edition SP3" as its OS.

It is the first Japanese netbook mounted with both an SSD and an HDD. But Micro Star International Co Ltd (MSI) of Taiwan commercialized such a model and released it in Japan in May 2009.

The BL350/TA includes a large-capacity battery as a standard feature and runs for about 7.4 hours using the battery. Its thickest part is 36.9mm, slightly thicker than a standard netbook because of the battery, which projects from the back surface when attached. It weighs 1.32kg.

The slim battery mounted on the BL300/TA and BL310/TA can run the netbooks for about 4.2 hours, contributing to reducing the thickest part of the netbook to 29.8mm. Each of the netbooks weighs 1.14kg.

The netbooks use Intel Corp's "Atom N280" microprocessor with an operating frequency of 1.66GHz. They have a 10.1-inch LED-backlit LCD display with a resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels (WSVGA).

The netbooks support 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN and Bluetooth. Equipped with a 1.31-Mpixel webcam, they allow users to upload video shot with the camera to YouTube using the included application, "YouCam for NEC."

They can endure up to 150kgf pressure on their surface. They are available in three colors, "pearl red," "flat white" and "pearl black."

Along with the three netbooks, NEC announced the "BL100/TA," which replaced its predecessor's memory device with a 16-Gbyte SSD, and "VE570/TG" in the "ValueStar E" series of display-integrated desktop PCs. Street pricing is expected to be about ¥50,000 and 150,000, respectively. The BL100/TA will be released June 4, 2009, while the VE570/TG will come out June 11.

With the five new PCs available in 11 models, NEC aims to sell 15,000 to 20,000 units per month.