Compaq Computer Corp has announced latest upgrades to its Presario range of multimedia personal computers for the consumer market. Compaq is currently ranked in fifth place in the worldwide computer business with only IBM Corp, Fujitsu Ltd, Hewlett-Packard Co and NEC Corp ahead of it. New from the Compaq stable is the industry’s first monochrome […]
Compaq Computer Corp has announced latest upgrades to its Presario range of multimedia personal computers for the consumer market. Compaq is currently ranked in fifth place in the worldwide computer business with only IBM Corp, Fujitsu Ltd, Hewlett-Packard Co and NEC Corp ahead of it. New from the Compaq stable is the industry’s first monochrome scanner keyboard. Bundled with its high-end personal computers, it can also be bought separately at $349. The keyboard is compatible with most Windows-based 80486 and above personal computers. It is no bigger than a standard model, but has some extra Windows95 function keys to provide short cuts when using the application. The scanner, activated by the presence of paper, is embedded in the keyboard. The technology incorporates optical character recognition software, so instead of the scanned image being interpreted as an array of dots, it becomes a document the user can edit. Since the document is scanned into the computer, it can also double up as a facsimile machine and copier. A color scanner keyboard will be available within the next 12 months. The new Presario line includes the 7200, 9200 and 9660 series . The 7200 series offers a broad line-up of Pentium processors, 8Mb of RAM and hard drives ranging from 840Mb to 1.2Gb. This model comes complete with the scanner keyboard, and costs $2,195. At the top end of Compaq’s range comes the 9200 and 9600 expandable mini-tower Presario costing around $2999.
Techno-households of the future
The series includes the full range of multimedia features plus 2Mb of Video RAM and six CD-ROM ports, with prices from $2,195. Compaq will continue to take an educational stance in the consumer market, a Compaq spokesperson said recently. Compaq plan to supply the techno-households of the future. During December last year it made an equity investment in Intellon Corp, a privately-held firm based in Ocala, Florida, (CI No 2,808). Founded in 1989, it supplies technology, integrated circuits, components and tools for the development of CEbus Cnsumer Electronic Bus-compliant products for the wired home of the future. Terms of the investment were not disclosed, but Compaq is the first personal computer manufacturer to invest in Intellon’s implementation of the technology. The CEbus standard was been designed by the Electronic Industries Association with the input of over 200 companies from various industries. If, as Compaq believe, local area networks become standard within our homes, the company will have given itself a headstart on its competitors. Now the server market appears to have hit a plateau, leaving Compaq with what it feels to be a comfortable 40% share of the market, it is actively looking for new ways to expand its reach. Last year it managed to secure 25% of the consumer market, up from 10% the year before. Thanks to a tip-off from buddies at Microsoft Corp, it began selling its computers through the Toys- R-Us chain last year. Apparently Microsoft’s research showed the company was the second biggest compact disk retailer in the home market in 1994. The information certainly did Compaq no harm. The toy chain has become the company’s fourth biggest retailer of personal computers in 1995. This year it is continuing its search for ever more diverse sales channels.