Compaq gets personal with new PCs

Compaq Computer is "putting the personal back in personal computer" with the release of a new line of consumer-oriented desktop and mobile machines that feature iMac-like color kits and other personalization features. The Compaq Presario 5000 and 7000 series desktop PCs feature seven snap-on color kits, an easy access pop-off panel for simpler upgrading, and a new Internet keyboard with an "email waiting" light that comes on when you've got email. For mobile users, the new Presario 1400/1700/1800 series sport large TFT screens, a hot swappable drive bay, built-in networking and modem, and two USB ports. And users of the new systems will gain access to the My Presario Web site, which features Photo, Music, and \[Web\] Cam activity centers.

"Today's announcement of personalized products and services marks a major milestone in our vision to be the leader in delivering an 'e-hanced' lifestyle, providing consumers the most innovative Internet solutions and services," said Compaq senior VP Mike Larson. "Compaq's 'e-hanced' lifestyle is a seamless blend of education, communication, entertainment, and commerce, enhanced by the Internet, and allowing the consumer to be connected anytime, anywhere."

Compaq says that its new products are designed for customers looking for personalization, effortless upgrading, and easy Internet access. MyAccent color kits supply vibrantly colored snap on panels for the keyboard, PC front panel, and speaker grills. An easy access pop-off panel gives access to RAM, PCI slots, and hard drive, while an exclusive new Internet keyboard offers "email waiting," which can alert up to ten household members that email is waiting for them. And higher-end models include a Web camera that can be used to create digital photos and movies. The Presario 5000 starts at just $650 and offers a Celeron or Pentium III processor, front and back USB ports, CDRW and CDROM drives, and a space saving compact case. The Presario 7000 series starts at $950, adding a highly expandable chassis, CDRW and DVD drives, two IEEE 1394 ports, and a 3D graphics card. Some models are available now, while the rest of the line will be filled out in time for the back-to-school season.

The new Presario 1400/1500/1700 mobile series offers a translucent design reminiscent of the Apple iBook and a set of swappable color inserts. Starting at $1500, the 1400 series includes one-touch "MP3 Zone" digital music playback. The 1700 series adds a hot-swappable "FutureBay" and a 13-inch screen. For desktop replacement users, the Presario 1800 offers Pentium III processors up to 750 MHz, screens up to 15-inches, a 30 GB hard drive, and a DVD-ROM or CDRW drive. Compaq is also adding a series of monitors and printers to compliment the new Presarios. The new monitors include a digital audio port that allows the built-in powered speakers to play music from a portable music player without having to power-up the PC

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