HP Cooks Up New Core i7 Desktop, LCD Monitors

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Hewlett-Packard has unveiled a new Core i7-powered Pavilion Elite m9600 series of desktop PCs, and a set of four new LCD widescreen monitors that all boast HDMI connectivity for high-definition entertainment—and all the new items boast price tags that make them very competitive.

“Media enthusiasts and creators need high performance, tons of storage, and high definition. Customers will find this model a total package and a great value,” said VP of Marketing for HP’s Worldwide Consumer PC Business John Cook, in a statement.

First up, the new Pavilion Elite m9600 series offers a choice of Intel Corei7 processors (i7-920 or i7-940, running at 2.66 or 2.93 GHz, respectively), anywhere from 3 to 12 GB of RAM, 500 GB to 1 TB of hard drive storage (the latter available as either a single drive or a 500 GB × 2 RAID), and options for Blu-ray writers and players, or a plain-old 16× supermulti DVD burner. (And a second optical drive is also an option). Users can choose between Nvidia GeForce 9600GS or 9800 GT graphics (with 768 MB and 1 GB of video memory, respectively) or an ATi Radeon HD 4850 graphics controller with 1 GB of video memory…and a free copy of Spore thrown in for fun. (No, we didn’t just make that up.) The m9600s also feature a 15-in-1 media card reader, gigabit ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi as an option, along with 2 usb 2.0 ports, a FireWire 1394 port, and an optional TV tuner. Prices start at $949.99, with a recommended configuration sporting 6 GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9600GS graphics, and a Blu-ray player starting at $1,449.99.

HP has also rolled out four new widescreen LCD monitors with 16:9 aspect ratios and HDMI connectivity: the 18.5-inch w1858, the 20-inch 2009m, the 21.5-inch 2159m, and the 23-inch w2338h; the displays are priced at $169, $199, $239, and $299, respectively, although some special pricing is available on selected units purchased with particular HP PCs. The w1858 sports a 1,366 by 768-pixel resolution and 1,000:1 contrast ratio, while the 2900m kicks out to a 1,600 by 900 resolution. Both the 2159m and w2338h sport 1,920 by 1,080-pixel resolutions and 3,000:1 contrast ratios.

The Pavilion Elie m9600 and the LCD monitors are available now through HP’s online store, and will be available in select North American retailers starting April 6.