Culture

HP dumps Evo notebook for tablet PC

The company plans to swap its Evo N200 lightweight notebook for its upcoming tablet PC for business. Will customers bite?

Hewlett-Packard plans to discontinue a mini-notebook from its Compaq Evo line in favor of the company's upcoming tablet PC design for businesses.

The company will replace its lightweight Evo Notebook N200 with its upcoming Evo tablet PC, a portable computer based on Microsoft's Tablet PC software. HP plans to introduce several new Evo models over the next few months.

Tablet PCs, actively touted by Microsoft as the next wave in portable computing, are small computers that can be "written" on, just as pad of paper, with a pen-like stylus. The Evo tablet PC will be roughly the same size and weight as Evo Notebook N200, a notebook that weighs 2.5 pounds and sells for about $1,500.

The tablet PC, however, is expected to include a faster processor and wireless networking capabilities. It is expected to sell for under $2,000.

"We think that for the (price) premium, customers will step up to the tablet PC," a company representative said.

The Evo tablet PC, announced last June, will be able to transform into a tablet-style PC as well as a traditional notebook. In "tablet mode," the computer screen will lay on top of (and cover) the keyboard. To operate as a notebook, the screen simply swivels around to sit in its proper position.

Incorporating a 1GHz Crusoe TM5800 processor from Transmeta will also allow the upstart chip company to expand into the corporate market.

Compaq Evo Notebook N200 The Tablet PC is expected to make its official debut at a Nov. 7 event held by Microsoft, sources said. Other manufacturers preparing tablet-style PCs include Acer, NEC, Legend and Toshiba.

HP plows ahead
Separately, HP cut prices on several Evo notebooks this month, according to market research firm ARS. The company took between $100 and $300 off the price of various models in its Evo N1000, N610 and N800 notebook families.

The Evo N610 is now priced closer to Dell Computer's Latitude C640, ARS said in its report.

In addition to adjusting prices, HP also plans to in the near future introduce new Evo models, including a mobile workstation, sources familiar with the company's plans said.

After merging with Compaq Computer, HP decided to phase out its line of business PCs, replacing desktops and Omnibook notebooks with Compaq Evo models.