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HP notebook geared for graphics

The new Compaq Presario 2800 comes with ATI's Mobility Radeon 9000 graphics technology, geared toward 3D gaming and video-intensive presentations.

Hewlett-Packard on Thursday unveiled a new high-end notebook fitted with Intel's mobile Pentium chip, a larger display and speedier graphics.

The Compaq Presario 2800 notebook will come with ATI's Mobility Radeon 9000 graphics technology, geared toward 3D gaming and video-intensive presentations. The machine, weighing less than 6 pounds, can be enhanced with a Compaq 802.11b or Bluetooth MultiPort module for wireless connections to the Internet.

ATI released the Mobility Radeon 9000 Thursday, after the introduction of a desktop version of the Radeon 9000, the first step in a high-profile bid by ATI to reclaim its market lead from rival chipmaker Nvidia. Though ATI has trailed Nvidia for years in the overall graphics chip market, it has remained strong in the mobile segment, thanks in part to power-saving technology intended to increase the battery life of notebooks.

The Mobility Radeon 9000 includes many features built into the desktop version of the processor, including support for high-level graphics effects written into the current version of Microsoft's DirectX programming instructions, built-in support for multiple displays and ATI's Fullstream technology to improve streaming-media content.

HP said the Presario 2800, which uses a 1.7GHz mobile Intel Pentium 4-M processor, has improved power management and also extends battery life, enabling its users to stay mobile longer. A model with a 30GB hard drive, 512MB of double data rate (DDR) SDRAM, a 15-inch display panel, the Radeon 9000 card, an 8x DVD/CD-RW combo drive and USB 2.0 support starts at an estimated price of $2,248.

The system is aimed at consumers willing to pay a higher price for mobility with performance power. The model bucks the trend in the sector of using desktop processors in notebooks to keep down costs in a stagnant market. Desktop chips are less expensive, translating to lower overall prices for consumers. The drawback for laptops equipped with desktop chips, however, is that they are heavier and their batteries drain power more quickly.

The Presario 2800 systems are expected to be available in early September, according to HP.

IBM on Thursday also introduced a high-end ultraportable notebook that squeezes features found on larger notebooks into a 3.6-pound frame. A day earlier, Sony unveiled a pair of notebooks geared for the back-to-school market.

HP on Wednesday introduced two other models of Presarios which are both priced lower.