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HP, Acer take different paths with AMD's Turion

One new notebook is for entertaining and the other is for getting down to business.

Two computer makers are taking separate roads with the latest mobile processor from Advanced Micro Devices.

Hewlett-Packard and Acer launched notebooks Wednesday based on AMD's latest Turion chip with 64-bit processing capabilities. The Turion brand is essentially AMD's energy-efficient version of its Athlon 64 chip for desktops.

Hardware manufacturers such as HP, Acer and others are using the AMD processors as a selling point when trying to market their products.

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Acer's new Ferrari

But whereas HP will be putting its money on selling to small and medium-size businesses, Acer is approaching the Turion processor with the fashion- and speed-conscious in mind.

Acer's Ferrari 4000 has a flashy black carbon-fiber casing accented with sports-car red trim and the classic Ferrari insignia on the lid. The notebook includes an ATI Mobility Radeon X700 graphics chipset for better rendering on the 15-inch display. Inside is a 100GB hard drive for storing lots of digital photos, as well as a DVD Super Multi double-layer drive unit for watching movies. The Ferrari-styled notebook starts at $1,999.

By contrast, HP's new Compaq nx6125 notebook PC is priced just below $1,000 and is the 11th business notebook the company has introduced in the last 140 days. HP in general has been rapidly launching AMD Turion-based systems in an effort to differentiate itself from Dell, which only sells Intel boxes. The Compaq notebook also features an ATI Radeon Xpress200M for improved graphic capabilities.

HP sees its moves as being in tune with the burgeoning notebook ecosystem.

In a recent survey of small businesses commissioned by HP and conducted by Harris Interactive, 36 percent of respondents said they plan to incorporate notebooks into their daily regimen within the next year. Another 36 percent of small businesses surveyed believe notebooks help them stay competitive with larger companies.

In addition, researcher IDC recently reported that notebook shipments in the small- and midsize-business market grew 24 percent in the first quarter, compared with the same period in 2004.