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HP's Mobile Computing Lineup for 2006

HP has announced its mobile computing lineup for 2006, unveiling five new notebook products and two smart phone handhelds. We show you how they stack up.


HP's guardian angels ensure a smooth launch

Hewlett-Packard, well aware that mobile technologies will be the driver of much of its future growth, has unveiled five new notebooks and two handhelds to kick off 2006.  While the setting of the launch -- Hong Kong Disney Land -- was fairly light-hearted, HP is deadly serious about maintaining its number one position in the Australian PC market.

Of key interest to CNET.com.au readers will be the new Pavilion notebooks -- the dv1600, dv5100 and dv8200. All three are directed at those after a highly capable digital entertainment machine, and they're fairly similar aside from the screen sizes, which measure in at 14", 15.4" and 17" respectively. All are based on the Centrino Duo platform, all offer 802.11a/b/g wireless support and all feature DVD writers with LightScribe labelling technology. We're disappointed at the lack of an integrated TV tuner on any of the models, but HP promises that it will eventually sell an external tuner as an optional accessory.

Those without AU$2500 or more to spend on a notebook will be pleased to hear that HP has also updated its budget Compaq Presario notebook line. On the bottom rung of the ladder is the V2600, which won't offer blitzing performance but will still perform most basic office productivity tasks at a reasonable speed. Of course, if you're after a little better performance but are still hesitant to spend big bucks, the V5100 offers up a larger 15.4-inch screen and speedier internal components.

Finally, HP's new handheld announcements -- the iPAQ rw6800 and hw6900 -- confirm that HP has pretty much abandoned traditional pen-based handhelds and is concentrating primarily on its smart phone range. Both offer push-email support, so are worth a look for those considering a BlackBerry purchase but are put off by the unit's lack of consumer-friendly features. Speaking of which, both of the new iPAQs offer integrated digital cameras -- the rw6800 has a 2.0 mega-pixel camera, whereas the hw6900 includes a 1.3 mega-pixel model -- and the rw6800 boasts additional multimedia features such as dual stereo speakers and an integrated MP3 player.

Both of the new iPAQs lack 3G support, for reasons that can be found here.

Notebooks | Handhelds

Notebooks


Model name In a nutshell
Wow factor: The HP Pavilion dv1600 is an affordable yet powerful digital entertainment notebook with instant-on playback capabilities, an integrated webcam and a bundled remote control.

Other notable frills:
  • Intel Core Duo or Core Solo Processor
  • Up to 2GB RAM
  • 14-inch display
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Integrated graphics card
  • Integrated Webcam
  • Mini remote control
  • DVD Dual Layer Writer w/ LightScribe
  • 2.44kg

    Expected: Available now, from AU$2999
  • Wow factor: HP's mid-range home entertainment notebook, the dv5100, boasts a reasonably large 15.4-inch screen, a gaming-capable graphics card and a handy remote control.

    Other notable frills:
  • Intel Core Duo or Core Solo Processor
  • Up to 2GB RAM
  • 15.4-inch display
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 graphics
  • Mini remote control
  • DVD Dual Layer Writer w/ LightScribe
  • 2.99kg

    Expected: Late March, priced at AU$2499, AU$2699 or AU$3499 depending on your chosen configuration.
  • Wow factor: The dv8200 is a 17-inch monster, featuring a powerful GeForce Go 7400 graphics chip, up to 240GB of storage and copious connectivity options.

    Other notable frills:
  • Intel Core Duo or Core Solo Processor
  • Up to 2GB RAM
  • 17-inch display
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 graphics
  • Mini remote control
  • DVD Dual Layer Writer w/ LightScribe
  • 3.71kg

    Expected: Late March, priced at AU$2799 or AU$3999 depending on your chosen configuration.
  • Wow factor: The Compaq Presario V2600 is directed at budget conscious users who are willing to sacrifice some performance and features in exchange for a great price.

    Other notable frills:
  • Intel Core Duo or Core Solo Processor
  • Up to 2GB RAM
  • 14-inch display
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Integrated graphics card
  • DVD Dual Layer Writer w/ LightScribe
  • 2.4kg

    Expected: Late April, price is yet to be confirmed
  • Wow factor: A budget notebook with bite, the HP Compaq Presario V5100 won't impress gamers, but it's more than capable of enthralling DVD playback and for office productivity tasks.

    Other notable frills:
  • Intel Core Duo or Core Solo Processor
  • Up to 2GB RAM
  • 15.4-inch display
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Integrated graphics card
  • DVD Dual Layer Writer w/ LightScribe
  • 2.99kg

    Expected: Late April, price is yet to be confirmed


  • Handhelds


    Model name In a nutshell
    Wow factor: The BlackBerry for non-corporate users who require extensive multimedia capabilities, in addition to push-email.

    Other notable frills:
  • Tri-band (900/1800/1900MHz) GSM, GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth 1.2, Infrared and 802.11b Wi-Fi
  • 2.0 mega-pixel camera
  • 64MB SDRAM, 128MB flash ROM
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • Windows Mobile 5.0
  • 140g

    Expected: May, price is yet to be confirmed
  • Wow factor: The HP iPAQ hw6900 is shaping up to be a powerful device, but we're always a little wary of products that aim to be a jack-of-all-trades. We hope it can perform in all areas--GPS, phone, PDA, and multimedia--and do them well.

    Other notable frills:
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPRS/GSM, Infrared
  • 64MB RAM, 45MB flash ROM
  • Built-in GPS receiver with HP iPaq Quick GPS Connection Utility
  • 1.3 mega-pixel camera
  • 179.45g

    Expected: May, price is yet to be confirmed