Hewlett Packard released a range of new desktop PCs yesterday Tuesday, with CD-RW (CD-rewriteable) drives fitted as standard from top to bottom in its Pavilion line. HP is also adding DVD-ROM drives to most Pavilion models.

"This is the first time we have been able to push CD-RW drives into entry level PCs," said Tom Markworth, product marketing manager for Pavilion PCs at HP. "The feedback from consumers was that CD-RW is something that needs to be a standard part of the PC package."

This follows other manufacturers, such as as Apple, who realise that CD-RWs are no longer seen as luxury items by PC users.

HP announced five new Pavilion desktops, and a high-end 1.7GHz P4 system that will ship in May.

At the low-end, the cheapest Pavilion 6835 comes with a Celeron 800MHz processor, 128MB of SDRAM, a 30GB hard drive and a CD-RW drive.

HP's also offering a Pavilion 7875 using an AMD Athlon processor running at 1.3GHz. The beefier processor is complemented by an 80GB hard drive and 128MB of DDR (double data rate) memory.

With the Athlon chip and an Nvidia GeForce2 MX graphics card, this PC lends itself to graphics-intensive applications. It also comes with a USB optical scroller mouse.