NEC Versa[s] All Comers

A major statement of intent from NEC in France this week, as it declared some bold business plans on the back of a revitalised notebook line.

Understandably, the machines are not high end fliers when it comes to raw processing power (these are business orientated after all), but they are based on the Sonoma platform and equipped with Penitum M730 processors with 2MB cache (the configuration can be altered to fit Celeron M350 processors with 1MB cache if necessary), 5400rpm HDDs of up to 80GB, DDR33 RAM (notably no DDR2), and a dual layer DVD burner.

Graphics tend to be of integrated variety, though a 64MB ATI Radeon X300 can be bought which should provide enough oomph for the 1400×1050 resolution screens. Daring to be different is the C250, the budget model of the bunch, which can be fitted with an AMD Turion 64 or Sempron processor.

All three models will hit the UK on 24 June, and I’ve got a very plucky (and incredibly tall) Scottish lass working on pricing for you as we speak.


Richard Addey, NEC Mobile Business Development Manager (and Japanese expert), also gave us a sneaky preview of the company’s SOHO aimed i-Select notebooks (above – grabbed from the PowerPoint presentation).

The M5610 will replace the current M4610, while the M5210 and M5410 will supersede the M500e and M500c. Addey told us a move to nVidia graphics can be expected, along with a migration to the Sonoma platform. A 15.4 widescreen will be bolted onto the M5610, while 15in XGAs will come with the M5210 and M5410 while dual DVD-RW drives are now standard across the range. Weights should be just under 3Kg.


Addey said NEC will focus on aggressive pricing when the new i-Selects begin to surface in Q3.

The final word went to Tagger, who revealed the company is also ready to produce cutting edge solutions. “We already have the technology to produce an 11mm thick tablet PC,” he teased, “but we don’t think it’ll be released in Europe.” That would seriously kick the stuffing out of the X41 ThinkPad we saw from Lenovo last week and is something we’d really like to see. Come on Jean Claude, bring it over. Pleeeease…!

One last titbit. During an informal chat I discovered the company is currently testing nVidia G70 graphics cards in its desktops and I spotted a box of shiny new SLi stickers in the factory. Does 1 + 1 = 2?

Sadly, the boys at NEC were too canny to give the game away… (But they did then take me for a ride in a helicopter!)


God bless the Scots (never thought I’d say that), we’ve got Versa prices and “wee” they are too, starting at £569, £572 and £620 for the C250, M350 and P550 respectively.


I want a helicopter.

NEC Computers UK

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