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HP cuts Kayak prices

Hewlett-Packard drops prices across its line of Kayak workstations, with cuts up to 15 percent on some systems.

Hewlett-Packard cut prices on its Kayak workstation line by six 6 to 15 percent today.

The cuts affected all of the Kayak line, including those with Pentium II, Pentium III, and Pentium III Xeon chips, the company said.

Though market research firms say HP has a lead in the Windows NT workstation world, other companies are scrapping for a piece of the market, and Dell Computer is close on HP's heels.

Workstations, typically faster machines with high-end features like error-checking memory and multiple processors, come with higher profit margins than lower-cost ordinary desktop systems. Typical uses for workstations include engineering, programming, financial analysis, and creation of digital content such as animation sequences.

HP revamped its workstation line in March, splitting off its high-end Kayak XW line and grouping it with the company's Unix workstations to focus on performance-oriented buyers instead of price-conscious buyers.

Intel-based workstations are getting more powerful, and companies find their low prices compelling. In addition, three-dimensional drawing tasks got a shot in the arm with the new capabilities of Intel's Pentium III chips. However, analysts still say NT machines still have a ways to go before catching up to their Unix brethren.

Among the cuts: A lower-end Kayak XA with a 400-MHz Pentium II chip, Matrox Millennium G200 graphics card, 64 MB of RAM, and 4.3 GB hard disk got a 14 percent price cut to an estimated street price of $1,510.