HP notebook part of cheap-wireless plan

Hewlett-Packard opens 2002 with a new wireless Pavilion notebook as it looks to broaden its product line with lower-cost wireless systems.

John G. Spooner Staff Writer, CNET News.com
John Spooner
covers the PC market, chips and automotive technology.
John G. Spooner
2 min read
Hewlett-Packard kicked off 2002 with a new wireless Pavilion notebook and a kit that aims to ensure it plays well with an existing desktop PC.

HP's latest Pavilion notebook, the zt1000, also offers either 802.11b or Bluetooth wireless networking technology for sharing data between devices without cables.

HP, the top retail notebook seller in October, is attempting to broaden its product line with lower-cost wireless systems. At the same time, it is encouraging families to create "multiple PC" homes, with those PCs sharing an Internet connection, said Rob Wait, worldwide business manager for HP's consumer business organization.

The new Pavilion zt1000 can be purchased with either 802.11b or Bluetooth built in, although HP says it thinks most buyers will opt for 802.11b.

"There's no doubt right now that it's 802.11b that has home users' attention," Wait said. Home users can use 802.11b to share files as well as a single Internet connection between PCs.

HP will complement the new zt1000 with a set of wireless home networking kits designed to allow the notebook to share an Internet connection with an existing desktop. The HP hn200w wireless gateway will cost $199.99.

Although most buyers will opt for 802.11, "we're still very upbeat on Bluetooth," Wait said.

Bluetooth got off to a slow start, but it has picked up some steam of late with manufactures such as Toshiba, IBM and Dell Computer all offering it in various forms. Though some believe the two wireless technologies compete, others say they will ultimately coexist by performing different jobs.

Bluetooth's technology allows data to be transferred between devices that are up to 30 feet away from one another and at speeds up to 1mbps. 802.11 supports a range of about 150 feet and data rates up to 11mbps. As a result, Bluetooth will be used mainly to send data between devices, while 802.11 can connect a PC to a network and allow it to share an Internet connection and download large files.

Prices on the Pavilion zt1000 will range from $1,399 to $2,099, HP said, depending on configuration.

The 5.2 pound notebook, which goes on sale Sunday, offers Intel's mobile Celeron or Pentium III-M processors at speeds up to 1.2GHz, a choice between 14-inch and 15-inch screens, and either a removable DVD-ROM/CD-RW or 8x DVD-ROM drive, the company said.