HP brightens new Media Center, Pavilion PCs

HP introduced several new desktop and notebooks PCs Tuesday, including an update to its Media Center lineup.

Hewlett-Packard's (HP) new Media Center desktop PCs come with docking stations for iPod music players and a fresh new color scheme.

As previously reported, HP updated its Media Center PC lineup Tuesday with a new family of desktops, the m7000 Photosmart series. The Palo Alto, California, company also introduced new Pavilion desktops along with new Pavilion and Presario notebooks.

HP tends to introduce new PCs on a quarterly schedule, but the new Media Center PCs are the company's first update to those products since the introduction of new units in October, when Microsoft unveiled the latest version of the Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system. The new units come with a light gray exterior, a significant departure from the stern black used on the older m1050 series Media Center PCs.

The m7000 series also features a special dock on the top of the PC that can be used to connect an iPod or an HP R-Series digital camera.

One of the first m7000 series PCs is already available from Circuit City Stores in Massachusetts. The m7060n Media Center PC costs an estimated US$1,049 with Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system, Intel.'s Pentium 4 630 processor, 1G byte of memory, a 200G-byte hard drive and a DVD+/-RW optical drive, IDG News Service reported last week.

The other new desktop PCs introduced Tuesday fall into HP's Pavilion lineup, which offers PCs that run the standard Windows XP operating system and are less expensive and less powerful than the Media Center units. Preconfigured versions of the new Pavilion PCs will be widely available starting in April from HP's Web site or U.S. retail stores, and configure-to-order versions will be available from HP in May.

HP also introduced two new notebooks with Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD) Athlon 64 processors. AMD recently introduced its Turion lineup of processors for notebooks weighing about five pounds (2.25 kilograms), but HP chose to use the company's Athlon 64 processors in the new Pavilion zv6000 series and Compaq Presario R4000 series notebooks.

HP said the Pavilion zv6000 notebooks were available immediately, but they could not be found on HP's notebook Web page Tuesday afternoon. The Presario R4000 notebooks will be available in the coming weeks, HP said.

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Tom Krazit

IDG News Service
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