HP continues on smaller-and-cheaper-PC path

HP continues on smaller-and-cheaper-PC path

Hewlett-Packard yesterday announced a "microtower" PC product line, offering business users a smaller and less expensive desktop machine due to ship worldwide next month at street prices as low as $2499.

Not all small businesses are looking for the least expensive PCs, nor are all large corporations looking for top of the line material, explained Eric Chaniot, worldwide product manager for HP's Brio line. Therefore, HP is directing Brio PCs at price-conscious corporate consumers whether they work at small or large organisations, he said.

For the channel, the Brio 7000 will be available in three configurations to suit different reseller needs, HP said.

An 'A' model will be the standard Brio 7000 that resellers can ship directly to customers, while the 'T' model will offer distributors a quick turnaround on custom features. The third option is for those distributors who participate in HP's channel assembly program.

"We allow those distributors to build a customer configuration," said an HP official. "So if a reseller has a customer order for 20 PCs with a larger hard drive, we let the reseller build the product to order at the quickest turnaround time possible."

Standing about as tall as an A4 binder or a legal-size notepad, the entry-level Brio 7000 includes Intel's Celeron 266MHz processor, 32MB of synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) expandable up to 256MB, a 2.1GB UltraATA (a high-speed interface) hard-disk drive, 16-bit SoundBlaster Pro-compatible sound, and Windows 98.

The Brio 7000 PC line includes a range of Intel processors, hard drives up to 8GB, 32x Max CD-ROM drives, 56Kbps PCI fax/modems and Lotus' SmartSuite office applications suite. It will be available in September.

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