The high end of HP's consumer line now includes several systems based on Intel's Pentium II processor running as fast as 300 MHz. The boxes are targeted at users interested in multimedia and imaging.
The systems also will feature ATI Technologies' 3-D Rage II graphics adapter, a full-page color scanner, DVD drives, and a 56-kbps modem.
At the low end, HP is joining a growing number of companies offering sub-$1,000 systems. The new 3100 Series models have a suggested retail price of $999. Such low-end systems are beginning to compete with used computers, which run from $500 to $1,000.
HP's price cuts reflect similar reductions on home PCs by Compaq. Intel price cuts have also helped drive down prices.
The new HP Pavilion Personal Scanner attaches to the PC via the Universal Serial Bus, a new, higher-speed connection for peripheral devices. It can scan documents as large as 8.5-by-14 inches in full color. Microsoft's Picture It image-editing software is included.
Some of the new Pavilions are available immediately, with others arriving this fall.