HP adds CD-RW to entire consumer PC line

HP announced five new Pavilion desktops, most of which are available immediately; a high-end 1.7GHz Pentium 4-based system will ship in May. Prices range from $US699 to $US2299.

"This is the first time where we have been able to push CD-RW drives into the entry level PCs," said Tom Markworth, product marketing manager for Pavilion PCs at HP. "The feedback from consumers was that CD-RW is something that needs to be a standard part of the PC package."

At the low-end, the $US699 Pavilion 6835 comes with Intel's Celeron 800MHz processor, 128MB of SDRAM (synchronous dynamic random access memory), a 30GB hard drive, and a CD-RW drive.

For $US400 more, users can get the Pavilion 7855, a 1GHz Pentium III-based system that adds a 12-speed DVD (digital versatile disk) drive and a 10/100 Ethernet networking card, and provides a larger, 60GB hard drive. It also has 128MB of SDRAM and a CD-RW drive.

For added power, HP offered its $US1,599 Pavilion 7875 using an Advanced Micro Devices Athlon processor running at 1.3 GHz. The beefier processor is complemented by an 80GB hard drive and 128MB of DDR (double data rate) memory. With the Athlon chip and an Nvidia GeForce2 MX graphics card, this PC lends itself to graphics-intensive applications. It also comes with a USB (universal serial bus) optical scroller mouse, which is supposed to eliminate the need for a mouse-pad.

HP will release an additional PC in early May that will be the company's highest-end consumer desktop. That model will come with a Pentium 4 running at 1.7 GHz and prices will start at $US2,299.

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Ashlee Vance

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