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Hewlett-Packard Launches High-End 1-Gig Notebook

PALO ALTO, CALIF. -Hewlett-Packard released a slew of new products late last month, including a high-end Pavilion notebook, the first to hit stores with Intel’s new Pentium III 1GHz mobile processor.

HP also added to its CD-RW drive line and rolled out several Internet-enabled LaserJet printers.

The company took the unprecedented step of upstaging Intel’s announcement of its new chip by placing ads for the Pavilion 6396 in CompUSA’s March 18 circular. Intel intended to officially announce the processor the following day. The notebook is now shipping.

The Pavilion 6396, suggested retail price $3,199 after a $100 rebate, is the first HP notebook geared for the power-user customer, said Bob Nitzberg, HP’s marketing manager for retail notebooks in North America. The combination of the 1GHz processor and 256MB of RAM makes it a natural for the high-end customer, he said.

With this introduction, Nitzberg said, HP will directly take on Sony with the intent of grabbing that company’s notebook market share.

The 6395 also features a 30GB hard drive, 8x DVD-ROM drive and a 15.1-inch TFT LCD. The DVD drive can be swapped out and replaced with an optional CD-RW drive.

The company expects to introduce additional notebook models in April.

In other news, HP will have two new CD-RW drives at retail within the next 30 days, one of which is a combo DVD player.

The DVD combo drive 9900ci is a 12x write, 10x rewrite, 32x read drive that HP is targeting to PC owners interested in upgrading their higher-end PCs, said Dean Anderson, North American product manager for HP’s CD-Writer line. It will carry a $349 suggested retail price and include a $50 mail-in rebate.

Although DVD software content is still lagging, HP believes enough people are interested in having the capability for when it becomes more prevalent. Anderson said several DVD-based PC games are expected out shortly, and he noted that some people like to watch movies on their PC.

The CD-Writer 9710 will become available at the same time. It is a CD-RW-only unit with 16x write, 10x rewrite and 40x read speeds. It will have a $299 suggested retail price and be offered with a $50 mail-in rebate.

HP also announced the addition of five new Web-enabled printers to its LaserJet lineup of desktop laser printers. In a Web-cast introducing the products, Vyomesh Joshi, HP Imaging and Printing Systems president, said the new printers would be able to receive wireless print commands from cellular phones and wireless PDAs.

In addition, Internet connectivity will allow various diagnostic readings, such as toner and paper indicators, to be monitored remotely from a computer or Internet-connected cellphone or PDA.

“People are interested in printing anywhere and anytime,” said Joshi. “Our new line of printers, with digital sending, wireless commands and Internet connectivity signal a transformation from printer to Internet appliance.”

The new HP LaserJet 4100 printer incorporates HP Chaiserver Embedded Virtual Machine (EVM) technology. EVM allows users to execute Java applications to extend the printer’s capabilities as a platform for interacting with e-services, cellphones and handheld devices. Additionally, a smart chip print cartridge and an embedded Web server allow for remote printer management and supplies ordering via the Internet.

The HP LaserJet 4100 printer replaces the HP LaserJet 4050 printer and is shipping for a suggested retail price of $1,099.

Designed for small offices and telecommuters, the HP LaserJet 3200 and 3200m all-in-one (AIO) devices feature multiple capabilities, including printing, copying, faxing and color scan-to-Web features. The HP LaserJet 3200m AIO supports Macintosh use. The HP LaserJet 3200 AIO replaces the HP LaserJet 3150 AIO.

The HP LaserJet 3200/3200m will carry suggested retails of $599 and $699 respectively and will ship in the beginning of April.

For small businesses, HP unveiled the LaserJet 2200 printer (available in April with a suggested retail price of $799) with an infrared port for wireless printing from mobile devices. With a common Web browser, users can monitor basic printer and network-configuration capabilities with an HP Jet direct network card. The HP LaserJet 2200 printer replaces the HP LaserJet 2100 printer.

Lastly, HP rolled out the LaserJet 1200 and 1220 printers for “personal business users.” With an integrated color scanner/ copier accessory, the HP LaserJet 1220 printer can scan and send color documents via e-mail, convert documents to digital format for editing and storage, and scan color images to the Web.

The HP LaserJet 1200 and 1220 models (available in April for a suggested retail of $399 and $599, respectively) replace the HP LaserJet 1100 and 1100a printers.