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Compaq boosts small-business line

The computer maker releases a new budget version of its Evo desktop PC, as well as a sub-$1,000 notebook with the mobile Athlon 4 processor.

Compaq Computer on Wednesday announced a potpourri of new products aimed at small businesses.

The roster includes a new budget version of Compaq's Evo desktop PC. The D300v has an Intel Celeron 1.3GHz processor, 128MB of memory and a 20GB hard drive. It sells for $499.

On the notebook front, the new Evo N115 line is powered by AMD's 1GHz Mobile Duron or 1.2GHz Mobile Athlon 4 processor. Models are available with 13.3-inch or 14.1-inch screens, with prices starting at $999.

For small businesses with high-end computing needs such as computer-assisted drafting or digital media editing, the new version of the Evo Workstation 4000 boasts Intel's new 2.4GHz version of the Pentium 4 processor, an 80GB hard drive and 256MB of memory. Prices start at $1,799.

Compaq also expanded its line of entry-level ProLiant servers for small businesses. The new ProLiant ML330, ML350 and ML370 servers sport 1.26GHz and 1.4GHz Pentium III processors and advanced storage systems. Prices start at $1,222.

IBM, Dell Computer and Compaq have all renewed efforts in recent months to attract small and medium-sized businesses, defined as companies with fewer than 1,000 employees.

While the small-business market went south with the rest of the PC market last year, the segment is expected to grow this year. Research firm IDC expects small and medium-sized businesses in the United States to snatch up 8.6 million PCs this year, a 7.4 percent increase from a year ago.