HP has high price hi-fi
$999 for a Net connected hard drive/CD writer
Hewlett Packard has gone hi-fi, and is shipping a device which stores up to 750 CDs, and plays Internet radio and streaming video (powered by RealPlayer and RealJukebox software).
The digital entertainment de100c looks a lot like a large set-top box and is essentially an Internet-connected 40GB hard drive with a CD writer and some custom features. All for a whopping $999.
The primary input is a recordable CD drive which enables users to convert their CD audio to MP3 for playback, or burn the MP3s to CD. It connects to the Net either through broadband or dial-up (using your existing account) and it has a USB port on the front for sharing data with other devices like an MP3 player. There's also a remote control.
So, let's add it all up: you can download music and streaming video; rip music from CD or burn new CDs; and transfer music to other devices via USB.
HP hopes that gizmo-mad consumers will go in their droves for the Christmas rush. There are no plans yet to bring the device to Europe.
And when and if the HP/Compaq merger goes through, it can replace Compaq's almost identical device - just with a 20GB drive and no recordable CD - that sells for an identical price. ®