New HP Workstation Is One for the Road

HP's Compaq Evo Mobile Workstation N800w is targeted at users who need to run power-hungry applications from anywhere their work brings them.

Hewlett-Packard Co. today is making its entrance into the young but increasingly competitive world of mobile workstations with the introduction of the Compaq Evo Mobile Workstation N800w.

The workstation, which is being unveiled on the first day of the HP World 2002 Conference and Expo in Los Angeles, is designed to compete with mobile workstations introduced in the spring by IBM and Dell Computer Corp.

According to executives with HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., the new workstation, which will be available next week starting at $3,899, is aimed at notebook users who need computing power or graphics capabilities similar to what they would find on their desktops.

Like the mobile workstations from IBM and Dell, HP is targeting users that include engineers, architects and graphic artists in the areas of digital content creation, mechanical CAD and architectural engineering, and geographic information systems, said Paul Reid, national product manager for workstations, in Houston. All need the ability to run power-hungry applications from anywhere their work brings them, Reid said.

The workstation is small and lightweight—coming in at 6 pounds with a 15-inch panel—but includes a mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor-M chip that will eventually enable the notebook to handle speeds of up to 2.2GHz.

It includes 60GB of internal storage, with another 60GB of external storage that can be added. The workstation has connectivity via two USB 2.0 ports and a battery life of more than 7 hours, according to Debra Loo, national product manager for notebooks for HP, in Cupertino, Calif.

On the graphics side, the N800w features ATI Mobility Fire GL 9000 technology—for 3-D rendering and video performance—and Open GL support for 3-D and 2-D acceleration, Reid said.

In March, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., launched the ThinkPad A31p, which also features Intels mobile Pentium chip, but an earlier version of the Ati Mobility graphics technology, the Fire GL 7800. It also is about a pound heavier, at 7.1 pounds.

Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, rolled out its Precision M50 workstation a month later, which also features the Intel mobile chip, but comes with a different graphics technology, the Nvidia Quadro 4 500 Go GL graphics processing unit.