TECHXNY - HP debuts two notebooks, new enterprise package

Hewlett-Packard (HP) kicked off its presence at this week's PC Expo trade show by announcing a host of new products, including a pair of new consumer laptops, a LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor, several wireless accessories and enabling technologies, and an enterprise package designed to streamline corporate PC deployment and maintenance.

The HP "rapid deployment solution" is powered by two software products from Geneva, Switzerland-based Rembo Technology SARL: the Rembo Auto Deploy and the Rembo Auto Backup.

The software package allows IT managers to efficiently maintain and install software images across multiple locations, said Eric Chaniot, the worldwide marketing manager of HP's business desktops division. Users create master disks containing all of their company's necessary software and applications, then use layering technology to deploy customised installations, configuring users' PCs with the applications used by their departments in their local languages.

HP is utilising the rapid deployment solution itself, as part of its forthcoming IT overhaul of 70,000 internally used PCs around the world, Chaniot said. He added that HP recently signed a "large American financial institution" for the rapid deployment solution. The firm, which Chaniot declined to name, is installing the software on 200,000 PCs.

HP also introduced on Monday two new notebook PCs aimed at noncorporate users: the HP Pavilion n5430 and HP Pavilion n5470. Both laptops run on processors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), a break from tradition. All of the other PCs in HP's Pavilion series of consumer-targeted laptops use processors from Intel.

HP isn't planning to abandon Intel, according to Bob Nitzerg, HP's North American marketing manager for its Pavilion notebooks line. He said HP has used AMD in the past, but stopped when AMD had a lull in its competitive chip offerings. Now that AMD has released mobile versions of its Athlon and Duron processors, HP will offer an assortment of notebook configurations, using both AMD and Intel chips, Nitzerg said.

The n5470 notebook, expected to retail for $US2199, runs on AMD's 1GHz Athlon 4 processor and comes with 256MB of RAM (random access memory) and a 15-inch TFT (thin-film transistor) active matrix screen. It's currently HP's only notebook PC with a 1GHz processor, although Nitzerg said HP will have a comparable laptop using an Intel chip out within a few months.

The n5430, priced at $US1499, uses an 850MHz AMD Duron processor and has 128MB of RAM and a 14.1-inch TFT display screen.

The newly-announced accessories HP is introducing for the n5000 series include a pair of wireless-enabling technologies: a 3Com Bluetooth PC card and an integrated mini-PCI (peripheral component interconnect) modem/LAN. For desktop users, HP's new offerings include a 17-inch LCD pivot display monitor and an ergonomic cordless keyboard and mouse kit.

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Stacy Cowley

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