HP: First laptop with Athlon chip coming

The PC maker will unveil its long-awaited Athlon 4 Pavilion notebook later this month, say sources. It's a vote for chip maker Advanced Micro Devices.

Hewlett-Packard will soon announce its first notebook based on Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon processor, according to retail sources.

The PC maker will announce its long-awaited Athlon 4 Pavilion notebook model later this month, marking a significant boost for AMD's efforts to expand its market, the sources said.

The decision to offer AMD processors gives HP the opportunity to diversify its consumer notebook line, offering an alternative to its mainstay Intel processors. Last year at this time, for example, HP offered a Pavilion notebook based on AMD's K6-2+ mobile chip.

AMD has found success mainly in consumer PCs but has worked to broaden its market in recent years. With its processors for servers and workstations, the company hopes to bust into the corporate market and a growing share of the laptop segment.

The new HP notebook will feature a 1GHz Athlon 4 processor along with high-end features such as a 15-inch screen, 256MB of RAM, and a combination DVD-ROM/CD-rewritable drive.

The laptop will sell for US$2,199, according to information leaked by retailer Best Buy.

HP will also offer a new Pavilion laptop based on AMD's latest Duron processor. The new notebook will offer an 850MHz version of the Duron chip, along with a 14-inch screen.

HP representatives declined to comment on unannounced products, but sources say the official announcement will come at next week's TechX NY (formerly PC Expo) trade show in New York.

The HP notebook is AMD's second Athlon notebook placement in North America. Compaq Computer is selling the Athlon 4-based Presario 1200 for US$1,599.

Also at the show, AMD rivals Intel and Transmeta each are expected to announce new mobile chips. Intel is expected to take the wraps off its "Tualatin" Pentium III chips, set to ship next month, and Transmeta will launch its new Crusoe TM 5800 chip.