HP focuses on graphics performance with mobile workstations

Hewlett-Packard has entered the fledgling mobile workstation market with the release of the Compaq Evo Mobile Workstation N800w.

Hewlett-Packard has entered the fledgling mobile workstation market with the release of the Compaq Evo Mobile Workstation N800w.

ATI Technologies' Mobility Fire GL 9000 graphic controller makes its debut in the N800w, said Paul Reed, North American product manager for the workstation division of HP. The Fire GL 9000 supports the high-quality graphics required by engineering professionals, delivering 64Mbytes of dedicated video memory.

According to Reed, high-end graphics are what turns a powerful notebook computer into a mobile workstation. "To truly be a workstation, you need to use open 3D graphics, and be able to utilise graphics-intensive programs," he said. Those graphics are displayed on a 15-inch UXGA liquid crystal display screen.

The N800w has been designed for CAD (computer-aided design) engineers and video editors who need a mobile version of the powerful desktop workstations normally used in these industries, Reed said

HP's notebook and workstation divisions collaborated to produce the N800w, which is based on the N800c notebook design, said Debbie Loo, North American product manager for HP's notebook division. Intel's latest Mobile Pentium 4-M processor, which runs at 2.2GHz, powers the base configuration of the US version of the N800w, she said. Users in other areas of the world will start with the 2GHz Mobile Pentium 4-M, she said.

The N800w will be available worldwide on 30 September. The base configuration in the USA includes the 2.2GHz Mobile Pentium 4-M processor, 512Mbytes of double data rate synchronous dynamic RAM), a 60Gbyte internal hard drive, a 15-inch display, two USB 2.0 ports, a DVD/CD-RW drive, and a USB three-button mouse for a list price of $3,899 (£2,504).

Users can expect 3.5 hours of battery life with the standard battery or can opt for the Multibay addition, which adds about four additional hours, Loo said. Other optional enhancements include HP's Multiport for 802.11b wireless connectivity, and a 60Gbyte external hard drive.

Dell Computer and IBM also make mobile workstations for the US market.

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