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HP cuts business PC prices

Hewlett-Packard slashes prices up to 15 percent, more evidence that the low-cost PC boom cuts across all product segments.

Hewlett-Packard cut prices on its line of business PCs up to 15 percent, providing more evidence that the low-cost PC boom cuts across all product segments, not just consumer models.

A low-end HP Brio will fall to about $930, a 15 percent drop. This model comes with a 333-MHz Intel Celeron processor and a 4.3GB hard drive. The Brio line is targeted at small businesses.

The new version of the Celeron processor for low-end PCs comes with integrated high-speed cache memory to boost performance over the original Celeron--which wasn?t a big hit with computer manufacturers as it did not include this crucial memory chip.

The Pentium II processor, targeted at the midrange and high end, comes standard with the extra cache memory.

A higher-end Vectra PC with a 350-MHz Pentium II processor, 64MB of memory, and a 6.4GB hard drive is expected to sell for around $1,480, a price reduction of 12 percent.

A 400-MHz Vectra with a 10GB hard drive and a network interface add-in card now goes for about $1,812, a drop of 13 percent.

Just last month, HP cut prices on both of these lines.

Intel continues to cut prices on its Celeron and Pentium II processors which typically spurs price cuts from PC manufacturers.

Lower costs on components, such as hard drives and CD-ROM drives, is also fueling the expansion of the low-cost business PC market.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network, publisher of News.com.