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HP cuts size, prices

Hewlett-Packard rolls out its ultra-slim Omnibook 800 notebook while cutting prices on its existing models and introduced new Vectra desktop PCs.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP) rolled out its ultra-slim Omnibook 800 notebook today while cutting prices on its existing models and introduced new Vectra desktop PCs.

HP's OmniBook 800 notebook PC weighs in at a mere 3.75 pounds, making it one of the lightest on the market. It will compete directly with both the IBM 560 ultra-portable and Toshiba's Portege subnotebook.

The OmniBook 800 notebook packs a 133-MHz Mobile Pentium processor, a PCI bus architecture, a 128-bit PCI graphics controller from NeoMagic, 1.44GB hard drive, and a 10.4-inch active-matrix display into a 1.5-inch-thick, 11.1-inch-wide, and 7.2-inch-deep form, the company said.

The HP OmniBook 800 notebook PC series is now shipping in volume. Pricing is expected to range from about $3,390 for the 800CS 5/100 model 810 with a dual-scan LCD screen to about $4,850 for the 800CT 5/133 model 1440 with a 1.44GB hard drive and 10.4-inch active-matrix screen.

Other features that come standard include a SCSI-2 port, 4MB/sec infrared port, a 256KB L2 cache, 16MB EDO (extended data out) RAM, and one Type-III or two Type-II Cardbus-ready PC Card slots. The 800 also supports a lightweight external CD-ROM drive and a docking system.

In conjunction with this rollout, HP announced that it has cut prices as much as 15 percent on the HP OmniBook 5500 notebook PC series. For example, a 5500 CT with a 133-MHz Pentium processor, a 2GB HDD, and a 12.1-inch active-matrix LCD falls in price from $6,150 to $5,220.

Rounding out its announcements Monday, HP also introduced new commercial desktop PCs, the HP Vectra VL and HP Vectra XM. The new models are equipped with Pentium processors running as fast as 200 MHz and up to 2.5GB of hard-disk capacity.

The HP Vectra VL includes EDO DRAM, a 256KB pipeline burst synchronous cache, and a PCI Bus Master Enhanced-IDE controller. Prices will range from $1,319 to $2,779.

The XM PCs include integrated Ethernet networking, preloaded LAN drivers and clients, and HP's DMI-based management software, which allows network managers to perform a variety of administrative tasks across an Ethernet LAN, the company said.

The HP Vectra XM PC models include video and audio capabilities based on a Matrox Millenium 3D graphics accelerator, dual-ported WRAM video memory, and integrated 16-bit audio with built-in speaker. Prices range from $2,158 to $2,785.

The PCs can also come with HP's PC management software, HP TopTOOLS. These tools provide significant cost of PC ownership reductions, as well as increased management-information-systems efficiency and are integrated into HP OpenView ControlSuite, the company said.