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HP Shifts Focus On Compaq Brand

New York – Hewlett-Packard today introduced its third-generation all-in-one
TouchSmart PC and a revamped Compaq brand line.

The TouchSmart 300 and 600 will start shipping in the next
several weeks along with the company’s new consumer initiative surround the
Compaq brand. In the U.S. market Compaq-branded products have been directed at
the small and medium business market.

HP’s plan is to reinvigorate its Compaq brand as an entry-level
consumer notebook and desktop line, said Steven Hoffman, director of worldwide
marketing for HP’s personal systems group. These include new products and a
print and online ad campaign.

“We’ve been a quiet multibillion dollar brand for some time, but
that is not what we want,” Hoffman said.

The new effort is fronted by the CQ61z notebook and 4010f desktop
computers. The notebook is priced at $399, after a $100 instant rebate, and the
desktop is $309. Both will be available on Oct. 22.

These are targeted directly at budget-conscious families with
children, Hoffman said. HP first introduced low-priced Compaq branded consumer
products in India and Asia where a computer purchase is a major expenditure for
a family. After selling well in those regions the company decided to bring out
a similar line in the United States, particularly in light of the touch
economic times.

The CQ61z has an AMD Turion processor, 160GB hard drive and 2GB
of memory. The 4010f is a fixed SKU that cannot be upgraded. It uses a slimmed
down chassis, uses an AMD Sempron processor and has a 500GB hard drive and
NVIDIA GeForce graphics.

Hoffman said the new ad campaign will start in November. It will
feature the tag line “Just Right Computing” and it is tied into the new
industrial design logo, he said.

The TouchSmart 300 and 600 are centered on a 20-inch and 23-inch
LCD, respectively and are loaded with HP’s new touch software that allows
greater manipulation of on-screen content. HP has also partnered with 20 third-party
firms to develop versions of their software for the TouchSmart, these include
Hulu, Rhapsody, Netflix and Twitter, said Mindy Fournier, HP’s TouchSmart
product manager.

Hardware improvements include a new swivel mount, an improved
moveable Web cam and, on the 600, a Blu-ray drive option and the ability to
attach to all the major game consoles to the computer. Fournier said the latter
feature was one of the most requested by TouchSmart customers in an HP survey.

The TouchSmart 600 will ship Oct. 22 with a $1,049 suggested
retail price and the 300 will follow on Nov. 1 at $899.