One-piece NetVista by IBM a PC dressed for office...

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July 31, 2000

One-piece NetVista by IBM a PC dressed for office success

IBM's NetVista X40 is dressed for the office. A stealthy black color scheme and sharp appearance give this corporate climber a decidedly buttoned-down, wingtipped appeal.

The design of the visually stunning, one-piece NetVista X40 conceals a 533 MHz Celeron processor and a 10-gigabyte hard drive behind the 15-inch color LCD panel. For Internet applications and office tasks, this setup performs fine; gearheads and gamers will probably wish for more.

The NetVista X40 does not sacrifice expandability in favor of a compact package. In fact, the NetVista X40 has five USB ports, two PS/2 ports for the keyboard and mouse, as well as two low-profile PCI slots. As delivered, the X40 has built-in 10/100 Ethernet networking, 64 megabytes of RAM and a 56 K fax/modem occupying one of the PCI slots.

With a touch of spy-gadget engineering, the floppy and 24X CD-ROM drives are mounted in a bay that pivots down from the bottom of the LCD for access. When not in use, the bay can be tilted up and out of sight.

The X40 is ready to go in minutes, with only power, keyboard and mouse connections to make. It comes with Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, Lotus SmartSuite and Lotus Notes.

In addition to multimedia controls, the keyboard has eight keys that can be set up to launch applications or open a specific file. IBM's ScrollPoint mouse, also included, takes some practice for those used to a mouse with a scroll wheel.

Yes, $1,799 would be a lot to pay for a beige-box computer configured similarly, but IBM's NetVista X40 is a compelling package of functionality and design.

Information: www.ibm.com or 1-888-746-7426.-- Jeremy M. Van Zee/KRT

Web surf in comfort with cordless trackball

One of the reasons I don't like to read long articles online is the forced posture: hunched a bit forward, so I can reach the mouse.

Logitech's new Cordless Trackball Wheel eliminates the need for such torture.

If your eyesight is up to it and your monitor is big enough, you can travel through the Net sitting back, your navigator more comfy in your hand than any TV remote control. But with a suggested retail price of $79.95, you need to decide how much you need this new toy.

The Cordless Trackball Wheel delivers all that it promises. It curves snugly into your right hand. The trackball responds as nimbly to your thumb as you'd like -- and you can set how nimble you want that to be.

The wheel, placed between the two buttons, allows you to quickly scroll through just about any window on your screen. Logitech's product works with Mac OS 8.6 or newer and Windows 95 or newer. The receiver unit, about the size of a standard mouse, comes with both a USB plug and an adapter for a PS/2 mouse port.

The software installed easily on my Mac G3. After two reboots, it operated flawlessly and without any apparent entanglement with other stuff on my hard drive.

Bottom line: Give me a giant wall screen, a recliner and maybe a cordless keyboard -- this may well be the shape of remote controls to come.

Information: www.logitech.com or 1-800-231-7717.-- Jeffrey Weiss/KRT

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