TECHXNY - HP debuts petite but powerful Pavilions

TECHXNY - HP debuts petite but powerful Pavilions

They are only about the size of a cereal box, but Hewlett-Packard doesn't want the size of its newest PCs to fool you. The new Pavilion 2000 series, unveiled at PC Expo/TechXNY here this week, comes packed with power and some handy computing tools.

The Pavilion 2950, the first of two models in the 2000 series, is scheduled to ship this July and is aimed at students and home buyers looking for a second PC. The 2950 features a 1-GHz Pentium III processor, 128MB of memory, a 40GB hard drive, an on-board Ethernet adapter, and a combination 16X DVD-ROM, 8X/4X/32X CD-RW drive.

Although its base price of $US1099 doesn't include a monitor, this new Pavilion is a compelling package. For $US400 more, HP will also offer the Pavilion 2960, a slight step up from the 2950 with a 60GB hard drive, but this model won't be available until an unspecified date at the end of summer.

In an attempt to woo the wireless set, the Pavilion 2000 series will come standard with both a wireless keyboard and mouse. The small RF receiver that sits on the desktop captures signals from both peripherals from a more than adequate distance, providing an obvious ease of use factor.

Stocked with software

The newly enhanced software package that ships with all of HP's Pavilions includes HP Photo Center, Easy CD Creator, and HP's MusicMatch Jukebox.

And PC buyers looking forward to Microsoft 's upcoming operating system don't need to worry, since these Pavilions will be shipping with the hardware required to incorporate Windows XP. The software load can be bought for a reasonable $US29.95.

HP's thin new Pavilion box offers a flexible footprint, as it can be set up in either an upright position or a standard desktop format. The design incorporates convenient front-loaded I/O ports that consumers have come to expect, two USB and one IEEE-1394, as well as two additional USB and IEEE-1394 ports on the back of the case.

The only apparent drawback of this small form factor is its limited expandability. Due to its size, the tower has no available drive bays and only one open PCI slot. So if you're looking to add another optical storage drive or hard drive, you will have to look elsewhere. Of course, should the one combo drive that's included with this PC go on fritz, you'll lose CD and DVD playback as well as CD-writing capability in one fell swoop.

Rounding out the top end of the Pavilion family are the midsize 7000 series and the larger 9000 series. For the business fleet and true SOHO users, these PCs are still better options, since they offer a slew of PCI slots, drive bays and variety of software and graphics options. HP has dispensed with both the 6000 and 8000 series.

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