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HP releases home PCs

Five new Celeron-based systems come with packaged content from Yahoo.

Hewlett-Packard released five new computers for its consumer PC line and rolled out Internet bundling deals with Yahoo.

The new PCs and the Yahoo agreement mark the first stages of a consumer relaunch at Hewett-Packard, according to sources. Later this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, HP will outline more bundling deals with ISPs as well as internal chip technology that sources say will be exclusive to HP.

The Palo Alto, California, company has lately been struggling to carve a niche for itself in the competitive PC field. Despite strong growth in nearly all segments of the market, HP has not been growing as fast as many of its rivals, denting profitability and casting a cloud over the company's financial future.

The Pavillion PCs released today feature Intel Celeron processors running at 366 MHz and 400 MHz processors as well as processors from AMD. Prices range from $799 to $1,799.

Two of the PCs, the HP Pavilion 4440 and 4450, also share a new design. Both are approximately the size of two shoeboxes.

Additionally, the new HP Pavilion PCs connect users to Yahoo with a single touch of the keyboard's search button. The personalized start page features news, horoscopes, weather reports, and bulletins from HP.

"As consumers increasingly are buying PCs to get connected to the Internet, we are continuing to provide innovative ways to get online and compelling reasons to stay," said Harry W. (Webb) McKinney, general manager of HP's Home Products Division, in a prepared statement.

"HP shares our view of making the Internet experience more accessible to consumers," said Ellen Siminoff, vice president of business development and strategic planning at Yahoo.