By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Gateway and Fujitsu will introduce new notebook or desktop computers at International CES, and while all must wait until late today to unveil certain features of the new models, vendors did reveal a large amount of product information in advance.
The primary themes of the new notebook models were additional multimedia capability, better battery life and lighter weights. The additional features will be announced after Intel's press conference late this afternoon.
HP has several new and upgraded notebooks at the show.
The monster of HP's group is the Pavilion dv8000 Notebook PC line, which is a desktop replacement unit with limited mobility. The unit is powered by an AMD Turion 64 processor, Windows Media Center Edition 2005 and a variety of hard drives and memory capacities. To improve movie viewing the dv8000's 17-inch LCD is lit by a dual lamp, and consumers will have the option of adding HP's Ultra Bright screen technology for an extra $100. The unit also has an optional PCI-Express TV tuner card to enable the MCE DVR capabilities, a $30 cost. A nicely outfitted dv8000 will cost around $1,700, said Kevin Wentzel, HP's notebook product manager.
On the opposite side of the size spectrum is HP's Pavilion dv1000. Weighing in at about 6 pounds and sporting a 15.4-inch Brightview display, the unit is intended for true mobile use. The unit incorporates a new version of HP's QuickPlay software, allowing access to multimedia files and DVD viewing without having to boot the computer, and the company integrated a Web camera into the LCD bezel. The unit will ship in mid-February. Pricing has not been set.
The company's other two offerings are the Pavilion dv5000 and Presario v5000. These two models have the same feature set. Both models use AMD processors and have 15.4-inch Brightview displays and a six-in-one media reader. The dv5000 and v5000 started shipping in late December with respective suggested retail prices of $749 and $729.
The desktop side of HP added two Slimline and a full-size tower to its Pavilion line at CES this week.
The Slimline units feature a chassis first introduced by HP in October which are about one-third the size of a conventional HP desktop tower.
The Slimline Pavilion s7320 will ship in late January with a $549.99 suggested retail price after a $50 mail-in rebate. It features an Intel Celeron M380 processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, a 200GB hard drive, dual-format/dual-layer DVD burner with Lightscribe label creation technology and a 128MN Intel 915GB integrated graphics card. The unit uses Microsoft's Media Center Edition 2005 operating system.
Shipping at the same time is the Slimline s7310n at $479.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. It is powered by an Intel Celeron M370 processor and is equipped in the same fashion as the s7320, except this unit has a 160GB hard drive, 512MB of DDR2 memory and uses Windows XP.
In HP's full-size category, the company added the m7300 Pavilion Media Center TV PC Series. The configurable units are available with either Intel or AMD dual-core processors, up to 300GB hard drives, 2GB of DDR2 memory, a dual-layer DVD multiburner, up to a 256MB PCI-express graphics card with TV output, MCE 2005 and a wireless keyboard and mouse. The unit will ship at the end of January with a starting price of $899.
Gateway showed two new consumer-notebook series, the NX560 and NX860. Both models will be available on preconfigured and a configure-to-order basis; pricing and shipping details were not available as of press time.
The NX560 optional features include a 15.4W-inch LCD, a 64MN or 128MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics card, up to 2GB of dual-channel DDR2 memory, 5400rpm and 7200rpm hard drives with capacities between 40GB and 100GB, and dual format. A variety of optical drives is available, including a double-layer DVD burner, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networking. Either Windows XP or MCE can be chosen.
The step-up NX860 has basically the same feature set as the NX560, but adds a 17W-inch display and the hard drive option includes SATA with data transfer speeds of 1.5GBps. The graphics cards available are supplied by NVIDIA and include the 256 GeForce GO 7800. There is a Bluetooth option, and the optical drive options include a DVD Multi Drive.
Toshiba's digital products division will introduce the new Satellite A105 notebook series this week. The lightweight four-unit line is an update of the company's current Satellite M45 series. The three models share several features, including a 15.4-inch display with TruBrite technology, Toshiba's DVD SuperMulti double-layer burner that can read 11 optical formats, DDR2 544MHz memory and Express Media Player that allows multimedia content to be accessed without booting the computer. All four models started shipping this week.
The $1,499 top end A105-S361 features an Intel Pentium M processor 760, 2GHz with 2MB of L2 cache, a 128MB Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900, 1GB of memory, 120GB hard drive and a DVD SuperMulti Drive.
The A105-S2712 and A105-S2716 fill the midrange role with respective suggested retail prices of $1,099 and $1,299. The two models share the same specifications with the latter having more memory — 1GB compared to 512MB — and more hard drive capacity — 100GB compared to 60GB. Other features are a Pentium M processor 760 running at 2GHz with 2MB of front side cache, DVD SuperMulti Drive, an S-Video port and five-in-one memory-card reader.
The line starts with the A105-S171, $1,049 suggested retail price. This notebook is powered by an Celeron M processor 380 running at 1.6GHz with 1MB of L2 cache, 512MB of memory, a 100GB hard drive, ATI Mobility Radeon Xpress 200 graphics card and the DVD SuperMulti Drive.
Fujitsu will introduce its N Series of desktop replacement notebooks and specifically showing the N6230. This unit uses the company's color enhanced crystal view display technology, giving the unit's 17W-inch display 370 nits of LCD brightness and a 500:1 contrast ratio. The N6230 has an ATI Radeon x1400 graphics controller with 256MB HyperMemory, 2GB of dual-channel DDR2 667MHz memory and dual hard-drive bays with 320GB total storage capacity. Shipping and pricing were not available at press time.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.