Compaq furthered its attack on the small and medium enterprise market (SME) yesterday, with the launch of a low-cost range of notebooks.
Compaq claimed its new Armada 1500 range offers more than users might expect for the price. Standard features include an AC adaptor, 10 speed CD-ROM drive, multimedia graphics and audio capabilities, plus the Compaq Intelligent Manageability network configuration utility.
The range consists of four models and offers a choice of processor, either 120MHz or 133MHz. It comes standard with 16Mb of EDO RAM (expandable to 80Mb) and a choice of either a 11.3in colour STN or 12.1in colour TFT screens. Prices range between #1,199 and #2,349.
Dave Matthews, portable product marketing manager at Compaq, claimed: "The Armada 1500 helps to break the conventional view of what can be integrated into a quality portable PC at such a low price. Not only does it have built-in features users would expect such as a hard drive, battery and floppy, but it also includes those they would like to see, such as a CD-ROM drive and an AC adaptor. In addition, the manageability features can reduce cost of ownership for businesses small or large."
Matthews characterised the new line as a good all-rounder: "It's the Ian Botham of the portable range."
Murray McKerlie, product marketing manager at Toshiba, admitted Compaq's new notebooks were "quite a bit" cheaper than his company's equivalent range. "I would say the machines are about a couple of hundred pounds cheaper than ours but it won't stay that way for long," he said.
McKerlie also confirmed that Toshiba would be launching a new range of its own and making some price cuts. However, he said that these were pre-planned announcements and not a reaction to Compaq's launch.
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