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HP pioneers portable price cuts

Hewlett-Packard is cutting prices on some of its newest and fastest notebook computers, likely leading the way for price cuts from other PC makers on pricey systems.

Hewlett-Packard is cutting prices on some of its newest and fastest notebook computers, likely leading the way for price cuts from other PC makers on pricey systems.

Hewlett-Packard said today that it is reducing prices by as much as 17 percent on its ultraportable OmniBook 900 series and about 4 percent on its popular 4150 notebook.

The price move on the OmniBook 900 is one of the first instances of a major computer maker cutting prices on a model with Intel's latest and greatest notebook chip, the 366-MHz Pentium II. Systems with this chip just started shipping in February and March.

The 900 is a diminutive, lightweight model--weighing only 4 pounds--and competes with IBM's 560 and 570 ThinkPad lines and Compaq's 3500 Armada series, which are also ultraportables.

The 4150 is a high-end model and competes with IBM's 600 ThinkPad and Compaq's 7400 series.

The OmniBook 900 notebook PC will now sell for about $2,899 with the 366-MHz chip, a 6.4GB hard drive, and a 12.1-inch active-matrix LCD screen.

A 900 model with a 300-MHz chip and 4.3GB hard drive will now sell for $2,399.

The OmniBook 4150 notebook PC price was cut by 3.5 percent and drops to $2,999. This notebook comes with a Pentium II 300-MHz processor, a 6.4GB hard drive, 64MB of memory, CD-ROM drive, and a 14.1-inch screen.