Compaq has finally unveiled its new desktop and notebook strategy following the acquisition of Digital in January this year. The only long term survivor of Digital's PC product lines will be the 14.1in screen HiNote Ultra 2000 notebook, to be rebranded as the Compaq Armada 6500. It will run on Intel's new Pentium II 300MHz mobile processor. Also to include the newIntel chip will be the magnesium-cased Armada 7400, the 1.99kg Armada 3500 and the entry level Armada 1700. All Digital desktop PC lines will be phased out by the end of this year, at the end of their life cycles, according to Compaq. Replacing them will be new models in Compaq's Deskpro EN and EP lines, featuring the new Intel Pentium II 450 MHz and Celeron 333MHz and 300 MHz processors. The EN line will offer SMART Ultra ATA hard drives up to 6.4Gb and ATI RagePro Turbo AGP graphics card. The EP line will be upgraded every three to four months, with the first models offering 10Gb hard drives, together with Matrox MGA G100 or Millennium G200-SD AGP graphics adaptors. Further details, including pricing, will be announced at the launch on September 14. David Petts, PC product division director at Compaq UK, said very little Digital technology would be incorporated in Compaq's lines initially. "It takes up to three years to bring a product to market. Going forward, the two companies had exceptional design, but it could be 18 months to two years before Digital technology is marketed in Compaq products," he said. NetPC and pricing Compaq emphasised its commitment to the NetPC last week, saying it would include models without disk drives in the new EN line. James Griffiths, senior product manager at Compaq, said the total cost of PC ownership is best addressed with the NetPC. In June, Compaq's enterprise group product manager, Hugh Jenkins, told PC Week that the NetPC would disappear and that Compaq was strongly in favour of Windows-based terminals. New Compaq laptop pricing - Armada 7400 #2,295 - #2,395 (Windows NT) - Armada 3500 #1,945 - #2,045 (Windows NT) - Armada 6500 #3,395 - Armada 1700 #2,195 All products will ship from this week. Prices exclude VAT.
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