Battery Key To Slim Notebook

Mitsubishi Electric Corp.'s new notebook computer is one example of how batteries control both the form factor and the performance of portable devices. With the goal of seeking a design 35% lighter and thinner than comparable units, Mitsubishi selected lithium-ion battery chemistry with a solid polymer electrolyte. The result is a 3.1-pound computer that is only 18 mm thick. The battery maker, Ultralife Batteries Inc., Montvale, N.J., says the cells can be fabricated in virtually any shape--even as thin as 1.0 mm. The battery specifications cite a high energy density plus the ability to be recharged more than 1,000 times. (The computer uses Intel Corp.'s 233 MHz Pentium MMX microprocessor).

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