HP Does Desktop PC Price Limbo

The PC maker offers a $250 desktop, but rival Dell isn't far behind.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is using low prices to drum up business for its desktop PCs.

The computer giant has begun offering a new wave of low-price desktops to consumers and businesses.

Its Pavilion desktop PC, for one, starts at a hair under $250 after a rebate. Its also advertising its HP Compaq business desktop dx2000 model direct to businesses for a little less than $350, after a rebate.

Previously, HP had been selling the Pavilion desktops for around $340 and the dx2000 for closer to $380.

Typically, low-priced desktops for consumers and small businesses start at between $349 and $399 and come with an Intel Corp. Celeron or Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Sempron processor, 256MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive and, at a minimum, a CD-ROM drive.

HP, the worlds second-largest PC maker, has at varying times offered much lower prices in an effort to make gains and thus challenge its main rival Dell Inc.

But HP, which appointed Todd Bradley, PalmOnes former CEO, as its new PC chief last month, would not say whether its regrouping for another run at its Round Rock, Texas, rival.

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