December 9, 1996 1:45 PM ET

Kiwi fills out OpenNote notebooks
By Mark Moore

  Kiwi Computer Inc., in an effort to satiate power-hungry users, is adding 150MHz and 166MHz Pentium-based members to its OpenNote notebook PC family.

The company next week will unveil the OpenNote Model 680TX, the high-end member of Kiwi's open architecture notebook PCs whose system components and peripherals are easy to upgrade, said officials for Kiwi, in Santa Clara, Calif. The 680TX will be available later this month from resellers at prices ranging from $3,599 to $3,999, the officials said.

The OpenNote 680TX includes both 150MHz and 166MHz versions of Intel Corp.'s Pentium processors, as well as 11.3-inch TFT (thin-film-transistor) active-matrix Super VGA displays that can be upgraded to 12.1-inch TFT screens, Kiwi officials said.

In addition, Kiwi's OpenNote 680TX includes 32M bytes of RAM that can be expanded to 64M bytes, a removable 2.1G-byte hard drive, a six-speed CD-ROM drive and a 3.5-inch removable floppy drive, officials said.

The new OpenNote machines also feature Creative Labs Inc.'s SoundBlaster Pro 16-bit sound card and built-in speakers and support the Motion Picture Experts Group 2 compression standard. The OpenNote 680TX is equipped with two Type 2 and one Type 3 PC Card slots, a nickel-metal hydride battery and a full-size keyboard with touchpad pointing device, officials said.

Options include a lithium-ion battery pack, a second hard drive that boosts storage to 4.2G bytes and a MinDock port replicator.

The hallmark of Kiwi's OpenNote notebook family is its open system design, which includes a 72-pin SIMM (single in-line memory module) that allows users to upgrade memory and peripherals. In addition, the OpenNote's CPU is designed as a plug-in module, so users can upgrade it as well.

For some users, the Kiwi OpenNote's flexible design is its greatest attribute.

"It's easy to work with," said Lloyd Kruckeberg, president of LEK Technologies Inc., a PC distributor in Amarillo, Texas. "You can take the keyboard out and then loosen two clips to get to the CPU. That, and the fact that you can use standard SIMMs right off the shelf, are its biggest advantages."

Kiwi can be reached at

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