CES: HP to launch EV-DO notebook with Verizon

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) plans to unveil a business notebook Thursday with an embedded chip that allows users to connect to Verizon Wireless Inc.'s EV-DO (evolution - data only) network in the U.S., part of a new trend toward built-in wide-area networking capability in PCs.

The company will unveil the HP Compaq nc6140 on Thursday during an event at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show with executives from HP and Verizon, said Eric Brennan, director of business solutions for HP's personal systems group. HP joins fellow PC makers Dell Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. in embracing cellular networks as an alternative for business users tired of searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot or an Ethernet cable.

Dell has announced plans to embed EV-DO and HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) chips into its notebooks, and Lenovo announced an HSDPA notebook Wednesday at CES in partnership with U.S. carrier Cingular Wireless LLC. The idea is to give business users the ability to access the Internet from any place where they can get a mobile phone signal, Brennan said.

Verizon's EV-DO network provides download speeds between 400K bps (bits per second) and 700K bps depending on conditions, the companies said in press release. HSDPA networks offer similar speeds.

The nc6140 is available immediately on HP's Web site. It costs US$1,399 with Intel Corp.'s Pentium M 750 processor, a 15-inch display, a 40G-byte hard drive, 512M bytes of memory, a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, and integrated 802.11g/a Wi-Fi wireless in addition to the EV-DO chip. Monthly plans to access Verizon's network cost $59.99 for unlimited data access if you're a voice customer, and $79.99 if you're not.

Company executives are expected to provide additional information about the new notebook and the partnership between the companies later on Thursday at the joint event.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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