Compaq, HP Ship Windows XP-Equipped PCs

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While consumers will have to wait another month to upgrade their PCs to Microsoft's Windows XP, those buying new PCs can get their hands on the new operating systems now.

Hewlett-Packard and Compaq delivered in late September new XP-equipped desktops and notebook computers to retailers.

HP is in the process of buying Compaq in a stock-swap estimated at about $20 billion.

Compaq rolled out its XP-equipped products along with its entire holiday line, which includes three notebooks, two desktop PC lines and three printers. All can be loaded with either XP Home or XP Pro. The Presario 2700, 700 and 1700 notebooks have suggested retail prices of $1,699 and $1,299, respectively. The 2700 Series models have JBL speakers, 15-inch LCD, and a new feature called the FutureBay. This is a second bay that can hold any type of optical drive. The Presario 700 Series comes with a variety of AMD Duron processors with the high-end models having a 14.1-inch LCD, 20GB hard drive and 348MB of SDRAM.

The 1700, with a $1,699 starting suggested retail price, is Compaq's "thin and light" offering, packing a Pentium III 1.13GHz processor, ATI Mobility Radeon graphics solution and 14.1-inch LCD into a notebook weighing just five pounds.

The new desktop series is made up of the Presario 5000 and 8000. The entry-level 5000, suggested retail price $899, come in a variety of configurations that can include AMD Duron, Athlon or Intel Celeron or Pentium 4 processors. The upper-end models can have 512MB of SDRAM, 120GB hard drive and nVidia GeForce graphics card. The 8000 Series, suggested retail price $1,199, can be loaded with a Pentium 4 2GHz processor or one of several AMD Athlon chips. It is geared toward consumers interested in video editing coming bundled with Compaq's My MoviesStudio software and DVD authoring technology. Other features include 1394 and USB ports.

The new printer entries start with the Compaq 1400P inkjet. With a $149 suggested retail price it has a built in CompactFlash card slot and can print with a 15 page-per-minute rate in black with 7ppm in color. Adapters for other flash media will become available. The A3000 and A4000 are all-in-one devices with printer, scanner and fax capability. The A3000 has a $199 suggested retail price, while the A4000, which adds 10MB of internal memory, 70 speed dial settings and supports simultaneous scanning and printing, will sell for $249.

HP's two new desktop PCs are the Pavilion 7935 and 7955. With a $749 suggested retail price, the 7935 comes equipped with an AMD Athlon 1.3GHz processor, 128MB SDRAM, CD-RW drive, Column Wrap40GB hard drive, 32MB of video memory and built in 10/100 Base-T networking interface. The step up Pavilion 7955 features an Intel Pentium 4 1.5GHz processor, 256MB SDRAM, 16x DVD, CD-Writer with a $949 suggested retail price.

HP's notebook offerings are the Pavilion n5415 and n5425. The n5415 is powered by an AMD Duron 900MHz processor, has 256MN of SDRAM, 10GB hard drive, DVD-ROM drive, 14.1-inch LCD drive with a $1,299 suggested retail price. The n5425 adds a DVD/CD-RW combo drive and a 20GB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,499. These prices do not include a $100 mail in rebate that will be offered.

Other recent HP product introductions include the release of three new photo printers, the PSC 950, Photosmart 100 and HP 1315.

The HP PSC 950 is an all-in-one home digital imaging solution allows consumers to print photos, along with ordinary printing, faxing, scanning or copying directly from a digital camera. With the HP Photo Proof Sheet feature, a user inserts a memory card containing photos into the appropriate slot on the HP PSC 950, presses the "proof sheet" button and a sheet with thumbnail-sized photos is automatically generated. The user then selects the photo, paper type and size desired on the sheet and scans it into the PSC 950, which recognizes the user's choices and prints the photos as specified.

Consumers can print directly from CompactFlash, SmartMedia or Memory Stick memory cards. The printer produces 2400 x 1200dpi at up to 12 pages per minute (ppm) in black and up to 10ppm in color. The HP PSC 950 also comes equipped with a 4 x 6-inch photo tray. The HP PSC 950 is currently shipping with an estimated street price of $399.

The device also features a flatbed fax designed for sending short faxes of approximately one to three pages. It can receive faxes of any length.

The HP Photosmart 100, shipping with an estimated street price of $179, is HP's first compact photo printer optimized to print borderless 4 x 6-inch photographs directly from a digital camera's memory card. The Photosmart 100 can also connect to a PC via USB and it can generate up to 2400 x 1200-dpi resolution on premium quality photo paper.

The final offering, the HP 1315, it also prints directly from digital camera media. It features a 2.5-inch color LCD to preview images before printing, an optical paper sensor, low-ink warning, print-cancel button, automatic cartridge alignment, and is network-capable. An optional automatic two-sided printing module is also available. The HP 1315 is currently shipping with an estimated street price of $399.

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