Hitachi, more famous here for making TVs and hifi equipment, has decided to release its first notebook for the UK. It should look almost as good as Hitachi’s Japanese offerings at about 35mm thick, dressed in a magnesium alloy exterior.

It appears that Hitachi Software Engineering, the software and security division of Hitachi, has tied a deal with UK PC manufacturer Hi-Grade to put out notebooks with built-in high-level security features.

The new notebooks will come pre-configured with personal firewall software and other security programs, possibly as a nod to next year’s potential explosion of home broadband. Once business users start working from home more, and they use broadband internet access, they will need better security.

Some of the features will be a preconfigured firewall, being called the anti-intrusion function by Hitachi, network access control and email preview and filtering.

Hardware spec will include a 13.3in screen, a 6GB hard drive, 64MB of memory, all the right ports and a choice of Celeron and PIII processors.