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Compaq unleashes home PC lines

Compaq introduced new Presarios, including notebooks and a "dream machine" for gamers.

Compaq introduced five new Presario computer lines targeted at the home market Monday, including new notebooks, home-office PCs, and a high-end dream machine for game players.

The new wave of Presarios include an array of external push-button controls, as well as other features, to truly resemble consumer electronics products in ease of use.

But only time will tell whether all of the new lines succeed or not since some, like the innovative 3000 series, are entering uncharted consumer territory.

With the Presario 1000 line, Compaq breaks into the consumer notebook market.

These systems feature a built-in CD-ROM drive, 11.3-inch LCD screens, Pentium processors running as fast as 133 MHz, a built-in 33.6-kbps modem, 64-bit graphics, and 810MB hard disk drives.

High-end systems with active-matrix displays and the fastest processors are priced at just under $4,000, while the mid-range and entry-level notebooks are set at a low of $2,500. The latter systems typically have dual-scan LCDs and 120-MHz processors.

These systems will be available starting in the fall.

The 3000 series PCs come in a compact, boom-box size design with an integrated LCD screen.

The 3000 features a 12.1-inch active-matrix screen, 2.0GB hard disk drive, a four-disk autoload CD changer for the CD-ROM player, MPEG video playback, and 24MB of extended-data-out RAM.

The 6000 series is targeted at home-office users who want a complete array of office features, including: a two-line modem which allows a user to talk and send documents at the same time.

Like other Presarios, the 6000 is also video phone ready. In the fourth quarter, Compaq will ship products which enable the videophone. Compaq's scanner keyboard is also included in this series.

The 6000 series will range in price from about $2,400 to just under $3,000.

With gaming enthusiasts in mind, Compaq has introduced the Presario 8000 Series. The company is billing this as the ultimate PC for gamers and the series includes many technologies typically found in personal workstations.

The 8000 features:
--high-end 3D graphics based on the PowerVR chip with 3D support from major games developers such as Sega
--6MB of video memory
--32MB of system memory
--512K of pipelined burst SRAM cache
--Intel MMX multimedia Pentium processors (when they ship in the fourth quarter)