They are not computers, they are Evo

Compaq is trying to explore the theme of convergence with its latest hardware offerings.

According to John Thompson, vice-president of North America, access business group, Compaq is following the market trend of convergence of the home and office desktop and environment.

He added that people want to work in a wireless environment, “they want to wander.”

Compaq’s new line of products – called Evo – will replace some older brand names with in the next 12 months. The Armada M300 will be renamed and redesigned as the Compaq Evo Notebook N400c. This is a modular ultra-portable unit designed to deliver wireless connectivity.

The N400c includes a MultiPort, which accepts user-removable modules that provide wireless communication capabilities, enhanced security and video functionality.

Compaq also announced a new notebook – the N150c, which will feature an Intel Pentium III processor and 700 to 800MHz speeds.

The Professional Workstation group will be replaced with the Compaq Evo Workstation family. The Desktop PCs will be replaced with the Compaq Evo Desktop family. The new workstations will be designed specifically for customer workspace and application requirements.

Compaq also introduced the Compaq Evo Thin Client T20, a legacy-free thin client with a 300MHz processor and memory up to 256MB DRAM.

In re-branding its lines, Compaq has focused on three sub-brands – Evo, which will be made up of manageable PCs for demanding network environments; iPAQ, which will include personal access devices and solutions; and Presario, versatile Internet PCs.

Ralph Hyatt, vice-president of access business group for Compaq Canada, said these changes will bring Compaq in line with customer wants.

“The feedback is that customers want solutions that match their requirements,” he said.

Compaq also unveiled new visions for the future, including a mobile desktop product that transforms from a notebook to a desk-based PC, using a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Chris Landry, design centre manager for Compaq, explained Compaq’s “dualworld” concept.

“It is bringing together desktop and portable computing,” he said. “Many customers who are purchasing typical desktop computers are also purchasing portable equipment.”

He noted customers currently duplicate much of their data, because they cannot bring their PC home.

The screen on this dualworld processor is 15 inches. Landry said Compaq wanted the screen to be truly a desktop equivalent.

Another innovation, expected to launch in the next year, is a the Tablet PC.

“Pen computing is back,” Landry said.

This tablet has an integrated keyboard as part of its design, which is not a full sized keyboard, but it comes pretty close, he said.

Landry estimated nine months before either of these products would be brought to market.