HP rounds out notebook lineup

Updates to the Compaq Presario 900, 1500 and 2800 families are intended to tempt holiday buyers with faster processors and better storage capacity.

John G. Spooner Staff Writer, CNET News.com
John Spooner
covers the PC market, chips and automotive technology.
John G. Spooner
3 min read
Hewlett-Packard this week released a septet of new Compaq Presario notebooks for consumers.

The updates to HP's Compaq Presario 900, 1500 and 2800 product families are intended to tempt holiday buyers by offering improvements such as faster processors and better storage capacity--including combination CD-rewritable/DVD-ROM drives across the board--for lower prices, starting at $1,099 after rebates. Of the seven new models, six will appear at retail stores.

"We're tweaking each one of them a little bit. We're really trying to drive hard on the value of the core specs--things like processors, storage and screens," said Fredrick Hamberger, manager of product market for Presario notebooks at HP.

The new notebooks also round out HP's new lineup of HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario models for the 2002 holiday season.

The Presario 1500 line targets consumers looking for a high-performance notebook in a somewhat portable package, weighing about 7 pounds. The systems use the desktop Pentium 4 processor, now a common practice among makers of consumer notebooks, used to offer higher performance than that provided by a mobile-specific chip at a relatively low price.

The new Presario 1525US model pairs a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor with a high-resolution 15-inch display and 512MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive, a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive and ATI Technologies' Radeon 7500 graphics board for $1,999. The machine also includes both USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 "FireWire" ports.

The 1520US model comes at a lower price--$1,799--as it uses a 1.8GHz Pentium 4 and a lower-resolution 15-inch screen. Its configuration is the same otherwise.

HP also introduced four Presario 900 models based on Advanced Micro Devices' mobile Athlon XP processor.

The new Presario 920US includes an Athlon XP 2000+ and a 15-inch display along with 512MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive and a combination CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive. It sells for $1,699.

The Presario 915US has a similar configuration, but uses an Athlon XP 1800+ and 256MB of RAM. It sells for $1,499.

Meanwhile, the Presario 910US pairs an Athlon XP 1500+ with a 14-inch display, 256MB of RAM, a 30GB hard drive and a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combination drive. Its price is $1,299. The new Presario 905US offers a similar configuration with an Athlon XP 1400+ with a DVD-ROM drive for $1,199.

All six of the new Presario 900 and 1500 models will offer a $100 mail-in rebate from Compaq.

With the new systems, HP is guarding against advances by Toshiba, which has also introduced several new models for consumers in the past few weeks.

The Presario 1525US, for example, takes on the Toshiba Satellite 1905-S303, with a very similar configuration but a lower price after rebates. The new Presario 900 models match fairly well with Toshiba's newer Satellite 1410 and 2410 models, which offer similar prices and configurations.

One thing that HP does not have yet is a DVD burner in a notebook. Toshiba and also Sony have each announced plans to add DVD burners to their notebook lineups this month.

Toshiba and Sony will offer notebooks using a new DVD-RW format drive this month. But HP will wait for the arrival DVD+RW format drives, which are expected early next year.

HP rounded out its new Compaq Presario offerings with the new Presario 2878 notebook, which offers a 2GHz Pentium 4-M processor from Intel with a 15-inch screen. The notebook, which weighs 5.5 pounds, will be sold for $1,999 direct to customers or via club stores. It will not appear at regular retail stores or come with a rebate, Hamberger said.