Tech Industry

Compaq speeds up desktops, cuts prices

After announcing last week that it is having trouble meeting its first quarter sales goals, Compaq Computer moved today to bring in new business by announcing price cuts, a slew of new business desktops, and a 120MB floppy drive.

After announcing last week that it is having trouble meeting its first quarter sales goals, Compaq Computer moved today to bring in new business by announcing price cuts, a slew of new business desktops, and a 120MB floppy drive.

The company unveiled:
--35 new models of business desktop PCs that feature the fastest Pentium and Pentium Pro processors
--Across-the-board business desktop PC price cuts of up to 21 percent
--A 120MB floppy diskette drive that provides customers with 80 times the storage capacity over regular diskettes
--The adoption for its upcoming systems of faster memory and graphics and increased hard disk drive sizes
--A support software CD for its desktop products

To satisfy power users, the seven new high-speed Compaq Prolinea 5150 and 5166 models feature Intel's newest 150-MHz and 166-MHz Pentium processors respectively and are priced from $2,685 to $3,425. Prolineas come with hard drives ranging up to 2GB in capacity and use a high-performance PCI bus architecture.

For the high-end corporate desktop line, the company rolled out eight new Compaq Deskpro 5150 and 5166 models that also use Intel's 150-MHz and 166-MHz Pentium processors. Prices range from $2,819 to $3,579. Deskpros are designed for easy management and installation on a network and include a 32-bit PCI network card as standard.

Compaq is also upgrading its Deskpro and Prolinea lines to include models with the fastest Pentium Pro, Intel's newest high-end processor designed for full-fledged 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The Deskpro XL 6200, priced at $6,885, packs Intel's 200-MHz Pentium Pro and offers features that allow users to set up and use 32-bit operating systems such as Microsoft Windows NT.

The ProLinea 6180e, priced at $4,225, also uses the Pentium Pro 180-MHz processor. This model is designed as a high-end standalone desktop and includes a standard 1.6GB hard drive, 16MB of RAM, and a CD-ROM drive.

To make room for all these new products, Compaq today lowered U.S. prices up to 21 percent on its most popular Pentium desktop PCs and hardware options.

For example, the price of the Compaq Prolinea 5120e Model 630 with a Pentium 120-MHz processor, 8MB of RAM, and 630MB hard drive dropped 16 percent to $1,549. The company cut prices for the Compaq Deskpro line even more; the price for the Deskpro 5133 Model 1080/w dropped 19 percent to $2,510.

Compaq today also announced price reductions on key options, including color monitors and memory, by up to 20 percent.

In a related announcement, Compaq unveiled the industry's first standard 120MB disk drive, the LS-120 Drive.

Codeveloped, by Compaq, 3M, and Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics, the drive is designed as a replacement for standard floppy disks and holds 80 times the storage capacity of regular 1.44MB floppy disks. The LS-120 also reads and writes to the disk at five times the speed of standard floppy drives, Compaq said, and it lets customers transfer large files onto a single disk, free up hard drive space, and more easily back up data. The LSS-120 is also backward-compatible with the installed base of 1.44MB and 720K diskettes, Compaq said.

The new 120MB drives will come as a standard feature on two new Deskpro models and available as an option on all other current Deskpro and Prolinea products, Compaq said. As an option, it will sell for $210; the diskettes are priced at about $15 each.