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Compaq aims low-cost PCs at businesses

In an effort to reel in more corporate customers, the PC maker will release on Tuesday new low-cost desktops and notebooks, as well as service packages.

In an effort to reel in more corporate customers, Compaq Computer will release on Tuesday new low-cost desktops and notebooks, as well as service packages.

Compaq will announce a new desktop series, the Evo Desktop D500, and new options in its Evo Desktop D300v line that was introduced in late August.

The Evo Desktop D500 PCs will start at $719. They will pair Intel Pentium 4 processors with Intel's 845 chipset, which allows PC makers to use synchronous dynamic RAM instead of the more expensive Rambus memory.

The Evo Desktop D300v, which starts at $499 with Intel Celeron or Pentium III processors, will add the option of a Pentium 4 at up to 2GHz.

Compaq will also introduce two notebook series, the Evo Notebook N600c and the N400c. The N600c notebooks will start at $1,999 and include 866MHz to 1.06GHz mobile Pentium III processors and a 14-inch display. The 4.8-pound N600c notebooks will feature a port for wireless connectivity that supports current standards--such as Bluetooth and 802.11b--or any future standard simply by changing out a module.

The Evo Notebook N400c weighs 3.5 pounds and measures less than an inch thick. It starts at $1,999 and features an 850MHz Pentium III and a 12.1-inch display.

Compaq will also announce a tech support and maintenance program aimed at businesses. For $99 per month for each Evo Desktop D300v or $129 per month for each Evo Desktop D500, Compaq will offer help-desk and warranty support. The same can be applied to the new Evo notebooks for $169 per month.