Compaq notebook takes consumer aim

Compaq's first notebooks in its Presario PC line aimed at the consumer market caused a stir on their unveiling yesterday in the US.

Due to follow in the UK in the next couple of months, the Presario 1000 Series taps a designer case containing Pentium processors, CD-ROM drive, floppy disk drive, 33,600bps modem and speakers. The unique point is the inclusion of what Compaq calls Easy Access Buttons that let users control audio CD volume and other features typically hidden away in software virtual controls or on tiny dials. Design experts have long called for home PCs to take on more ease of use features similar to those on domestic appliances.

Compaq is also touting a powerful specification by being one of the first notebook makers out with 128-bit graphics, and high-quality sound from an audio subsystem that contains a four-stage equaliser.

The Texan firm said that while competitors have seen home computing as desk-bound, the Presario unit was designed as a bottom-up consumer notebook. "The Presario 1000 Series ... recognises that home PC computing no longer takes place only on the desktop," said Mike Heil, Group General Manager of Compaq's Consumer Products Group.

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