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HP launches new consumer PCs

Seeking to make deeper inroads into the consumer PC market, Hewlett-Packard today will launch a sweeping upgrade of its Pavilion home line.

Seeking to make deeper inroads into the consumer PC market, Hewlett Packard will launch a sweeping upgrade of its Pavilion home line today.

Prices will range from $1,749 for an HP Pavilion 5040 based on the 120-MHz Intel Pentium processor to $2,999 for a system using the top-of-the-line Intel 166-MHz Pentium processor.

Retailers expect the new line to do well. "We see a lot of people come through the door that are already familiar with the HP name. We're expecting [the Pavilions] to be very popular," said a spokesman at consumer electronics retail chain The Good Guys, which will be carrying the Pavilion line for the first time.

The new models include the following :

At the low end is the HP Pavilion 5040, Slimline (low profile) multimedia PC with an estimated price of $1,749. The 5040 comes with a Pentium 120-MHz processor, 8MB of RAM, 1.2GB hard drive, quad-speed CD-ROM drive, 1MB of video RAM, 28.8-kbps fax/data modem, telephone answering system, and speakerphone.

At the high end is the HP Pavilion 7170 minitower multimedia PC with an estimated street price of $2,999. This packs a 166-MHz Pentium processor, 16MB of RAM, 256K second-level cache, a 2GB hard disk drive, 6X CD-ROM drive, 1MB video RAM, 28.8-kbps fax/data modem, telephone answering system, speakerphone, and wavetable sound card.

Other models include the 5120 (133-MHz Pentium), the 7055 (120 MHz), 7130P (133 MHz), and the 7145 (150 MHz). All models include Microsoft Windows 95 and a collection of bundled software titles valued at more than $1,200, the company said.

Some of the multimedia features that HP is touting include:
--On the 7130P model, HP offers a built-in, full-color photo scanner that can read a photographic image as large as 5 by 7 inches. The photo can be scanned in full color at a high resolution of 400 dots per inch (dpi) with up to 2,400 dpi through software interpolation, the company said. This feature for the 7130P will be available in April.
--New HP Pavilion 17-inch multimedia display with enhanced audio amplification and bass boost, accommodates Altec Lansing speakers and includes microphone.
--Support for 3D sound.