HPs New Notebooks Boast USB Garage

Plus the company adds the first Pentium 4 Extreme Edition notebook.

This week Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to announce two new laptops that incorporate a USB "garage" that holds a Secure Digital card, as well as the first laptop to use the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition.

Mike Hockey, a spokesman for HPs mobile division, said HP plans to announce both the HP Pavilion ZX5000 and the Compaq Presario R3000 as early as Thursday, and will begin taking orders for the P4EE-based Pavilion ZD7000 notebook in a couple of weeks.

Both the ZX5000 and the R3000 will represent a refresh of HPs mainstream notebook line, Hockey said. Each is designed to be part of HPs configure-to-order program, although some models priced starting at $999 have started to appear on HPs shopping site.

Although HP allows consumers to add a standard five-in-one small-form-factor flash card reader, the company has come up with a uniquely designed "garage" to bridge the gap between a traditional USB memory key and small form factor storage. The garage, about the size of a business card, houses the USB "digital drive", which contains a 32-MB Secure Digital memory card and a flexible USB connector. The garage is designed to house the digital drive on a full-time basis.

"This is your floppy replacement," Hockey said. "And the nice thing is, you come to trade shows and business trips, and you often lose your USB key—theyre small, they get lost in your bag. The digital drive lives in your PC."


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