It may seem a bit late in the day for a company to be making its first forays into the laptop market, but Sun Microsystems has taken a rather different approach.
Clearly aimed at software developers, system administrators and engineers, the new Ultra 3 Mobile Workstations are the company's first laptops developed in-house (previously they were only made by Naturetech and Tadpole - see above/below). Naturally, the new machines run on the Solaris operating environment, while they are powered by 64bit UltraSPARC processors (550-650MHz UltraSPARC IIi or 1.28GHz UltraSPARC IIIi), hold up to 2GB SDRAM and feature 802.11b wireless networking and Ethernet.
Models are available with 15 or 17in SXGA+ screens and 80GB IDE or 73GB UltraSCSI hard disks and come with Sun Java Desktop System pre-installed and StarOffice 7.0 or Gnome 2.0 Environment depending on configuration.
The move is apparently due to the sales drops that Sun has witnessed for nearly four years now with controversial firebrand CEO Scott McNealy (though he’s not as nutty as Larry Ellison) calling for diversity.
As you would expect, these laptops don't come cheap with prices starting from $3,400, and an official release date has yet to be confirmed. Still, I never thought I'd see the day when Sun made its own laptops. Whatever next, a Sun MP3 player?