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High-Speed HP CD-Writers Meet Rising Consumer Demand

Data Shows CD-RW Market Exploding

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Lower prices and the need for Web-based information are drawing more consumers to buy rewritable compact disc (CD) drives, resulting in an explosive market demand for high-performance drives. To meet this demand, Hewlett-Packard Company, the worldwide leader in CD-rewritable (CD-RW) and CD-recordable (CD-R) drives, introduces its highest-performance series, the HP CD-Writer Plus 9300i and 9310i drives.

"With more than one billion CD players already installed in homes and businesses worldwide(1), trends for information sharing and storing have risen to the next level," said Christine Tappy, senior marketing manager, HP CD-RW products. "HP's CD-Writer Plus drives offer a simple solution for storing and sharing MP3 files, creating personal music CDs, creating family-photo and other digital-image projects, and storing valuable information."

The HP CD-Writer Plus 9300i and 9310i drives offer a 10X write speed, a 4X rewrite speed and a 32X read speed. These speeds indicate the transfer rate at which information is recorded or read, as compared to real-time speed of 1X. The 9300i series drives connect internally to any IBM compatible, Pentium®-class 200MHz computer with an IDE cable connect. As an added value, HP offers an exclusive software collection with its drives. The 9300i drives include HP fast format, HP simple backup, Adaptec Direct CD and Easy CD Creator, Neato CD Labeler, and Corel Print Office or ACID software.

Data Shows High Demand

Last year, the CD-RW market experienced more than 100 percent annual unit growth, largely driven by the increasing variety of new consumer-oriented applications, according to a recent report from International Data Corporation (IDC). The report said custom audio CDs created from MP3 files downloaded from the Internet is a popular use for the drives. This year, IDC expects the CD-RW market to grow 93 percent with nearly 30 million units sold worldwide.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The HP CD-Writer Plus 9300i and 9310i drives are expected to be available in the United States, where name-brand consumer electronics are sold, on April 1 for an estimated street price of $299.

HP's family of CD-RW drives include the following:

    Drive               Performance*   Connect            Estimated U.S.
                                                          Street Price

    8200e/8210e         4x4x6x         USB external       $249
    8250i               4x4x24x        internal IDE        199
    9100i/9110i         8x4x32         internal IDE        249
    9200i/9210i         8x4x32x        internal SCSI       299
    9200e/9210e         8x4x32x        external SCSI       399
    9300i/9310i         10x4x32        internal IDE        299

    * Speeds refer to write, rewrite and read performance.

    More information is available at http://www.hpcdwriter.com .

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company -- a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services for business and home -- is focused on capitalizing on the opportunities of the Internet and the proliferation of electronic services.

HP plans to spin off Agilent Technologies and distribute its shares to HP shareowners by mid-calendar year 2000. Agilent consists of HP's test and measurement, semiconductor products, chemical analysis and healthcare solutions businesses, and has leading positions in multiple market segments.

HP has 85,400 employees worldwide and had total revenue from continuing operations of $42.4 billion in its 1999 fiscal year. Information about HP, its products and the company's Year 2000 program can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.hp.com . (1) Source: International Data Corporation (IDC).

NOTE: Pentium is a U.S. registered trademark of Intel Corporation.




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