Compaq announces 'Evo-lution'

Going back to its roots with innovative technologies that enable users to evolve at their own speed is the driving force behind the new Evo family of products announced today from Compaq Computer Corp.

The Evo family, which includes notebooks, workstations and thin clients, features a black-and-silver "professional, high-tech look" and has wireless add-on capabilities that should be especially appealing to government customers, said Ken Willett, vice president for commercial portables and desktops.

The N400c notebook computer will feature removable MultiPort modules that can provide wireless connectivity, enhanced security and videoconferencing when users decide they need those capabilities.

"It's a standard USB interconnect that the user can purchase wireless accessories that fit into it," Willett said. "It allows for the flexible integration of new technologies," such as the add-on for the 802.11 wireless standard available in June and the Bluetooth standard available in August.

The fact that wireless capability can be added for a minimal cost (about $180) when users decide they want it should provide a benefit to government clients who may not want or need the wireless feature right away, Willett said.

The N400c, as well as the N600c and N800c, which will be released later this year, are all Section 508-compliant for people with disabilities — a feature built-in especially for government users.

The U.S. Postal Service is Compaq's largest federal customer, and the agency has been given previews of the Evo line. "We're in talks with a number of agencies, and our No. 1 priority is making agencies aware of it and testing it."

The Evo family will retire some of Compaq's existing products, including the company's Armada workstations and Deskpro desktops, but they will still be supported for their life cycles, Willett said.

Commercial pricing for the N400c starts at $2,299, with the lower-model N150 notebook at $1,449, and the T20 thin client at $399.

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