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All posts tagged "hp"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

HP Wants To Make Everyone Envious

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"Expanding its lineup of ultra-thin ultraportables, HP announced a new line of 14 and 15.6-inch notebooks that are less than 0.8 inches thick, weigh about 4 pounds, and start at $599. Since not all of configurations will meet Intel’s requirements for the “Ultrabook” moniker, those that don’t will be called Sleekbooks."

Thin is in! Extremely thin and portable laptops are not a new thing, but the designs are getting better, and they are showing fewer compromises. What I like is that the prices are starting to come down even further, reaching into the mainstream laptop range. Decades ago, getting a laptop that was 4 pounds or under cost you the mortgage on your home, several body parts, your first born and that piece of cake you were saving in the refrigerator. $599 sounds like a much better price, meaning that more people can get access to better hardware!

A Thin New HP Ultrabook: Envy Spectre XT

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:00 AM

"Yes, the glass lid on the HP Envy 14 Spectre is cool, but everyone knows that thin is the name of the game when it comes to Ultrabooks. HP’s new Envy Spectre XT has an all-metal chassis, is just 0.57 inches thick and weighs 3.07 pounds. Available June 8th and starting at $999, this machine sports a 13.3-inch display, a third-generation Intel Core processor (Ivy Bridge), and a 128GB SSD. What’s more, this notebook should last up to 8 hours on a charge."

Pretty decent specs, a very good backlit keyboard and Beats Audio make this a strong contender in the 'under $1000' Ultrabook category. The trackpad, when initially tested, was responsive and smooth, and handled gestures with aplomb, boding well for Windows 8. More information will become available as we get closer to the launch date (June 8th, 2012). With Ivy Bridge processors, a full complement of ports, including HDMI, USB2, USB3 and Ethernet (dropdown), and an estimated 8-hours of battery life, this looks like a great road warrior laptop.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

32 Hours of Laptop Usage Unplugged?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 10:00 PM

"As you may have read, I spent last weekend with an HP EliteBook, an extended battery, and a challenge to use it for 32 hours without plugging in. That may seem like a pretty lofty goal for a laptop, but as you can see from the pictures below, the machine had some pretty serious battery action going on."

Not exactly an Ultrabook, but 32 hours of usage unplugged and untethered? An interesting trade-off, weight for usage. During the real test, after two hours of usage, battery life was at 93%, using an extended laptop battery and HP's Ultra-cell battery, seen in the picture underneath the HP EliteBook 8460p (4.56 pounds with a 14-inch screen). Even after quickly following a few links and tweets, I wasn't able to find a final answer as to whether or not 32 hours was reached - last I saw was 83% battery life still available after about seven hours of "regular" use. In any event, some extra weight and money get you pretty incredible battery life.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

HP Spectre is a Glass Ultrabook

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"Metal is so 2011. An Ultrabook that breaks the mold, HP’s new Envy 14 Spectre sports a head-turning glass design at this year’s CES. It’s on the display as well as the lid and palm rest, making the Spectre (available February 8th for $1,399) one of the most unique laptops ever. While it costs $100 more than the 13-inch MacBook Air, HP packs this Ultrabook with lots of premium features, including a higher-resolution display, powerful Beats audio and even NFC capability."

Ultrabooks are going to be hot. That is what the press is saying. All the major PC manufacturers must be rubbing their hands with glee, hoping that the huge glut of ultrabooks coming out this year will spark renewed sales. But aside from thin, how do you stand out? With glass! The HP Spectre's glass finish is supposed to be scratch resistant but what about fingerprints? It seems with all these stylish computing tools from smartphones to tablets to now glass ultrabooks, the must have accessory to buy will be polishing cloths. Excuse me while I go buy some stock in some of those companies.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Can Open Source Save webOS?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"HP finally revealed the fate of webOS last week, announcing plans to open source the orphaned mobile OS rather than sell it to someone else or simply abandon it. As a fan of the open source model I was pleased to hear this -- it would have been a shame to let webOS die -- but I'm also realistic that opening it up isn't going to suddenly resurrect the OS and put it right back into contention alongside iOS, Android, and Windows Phone."

HP has made some waves with its announcement that it intends on open sourcing webOS. Will is save the beleaguered operating system from death? Possibly. Will it bring it to the forefront? Unlikely. Without strong and major backing, the OS is likely to stay small, and see interest mostly from niche groups. Yes, there are thousands of webOS users out there thanks to the firesale that HP had with its TouchPads, but I have doubts that most consumers really know what they got into, and are just as likely to pick up an Android or iOS device next. That is not a knock against webOS, but that with any product, it needs some backing and marketing in order to get into the minds of consumers, and with HP pushing it, I do not see that happening.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Netbooks are not Completely Dead. Behold the HP dm1z!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"Netbooks, having enjoyed so much excitement during their early days, have now retreated for the most part from the public eye. Part of the reason is likely the rise in tablets, and now Ultrabooks, but netbooks themselves are also partially responsible. There simply has not been much movement in the market."

It is true that netbooks are no longer the hot buy they once were. Tablets are all the rage, and interest in Ultrabooks is increasing. Still, netbooks are still around, and while there has been very little progress with them, either in horsepower or design, they still provide a very portable choice for someone on the go. The only development I have really seen with netbooks is that they are slowly improving in their graphics capability. With more capable GPUs, things like HD video playback is getting better. Pricing, however, varies. While newer models like the latest dm1z are still a bit high at just shy of $400, you can find older models bumping around at half the price. Does anyone remember when ultra-portable laptops cost thousands of dollars?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HP Unveils its First Business Ultrabook: Folio 13

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:00 AM

"PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 16, 2011 - HP today introduced its first business UltrabookTM, which features a thin and light design, strong security options and a responsive solid state hard drive for the ultimate mobile experience. The HP Folio13 also delivers up to 9 hours of battery life, the highest performance available among Ultrabook devices currently on the market."

Looks a bit like a small MacBook Pro, eh? A nice feature set, and, meets one of my requirements, a backlit keyboard. RJ-45 (Ethernet) and USB 3.0 ports are included, and a 128GB SSD is standard. An embedded TPM (security) chip will be included in some models (January 2012), allowing secure authentication and data encryption. With a 13.3-inch BrightView screen, Intel Core processors, and a very good webcam, this 18mm thin ultrabook weighs-in at about 3.3-pounds (~1.5kg). HP's Press Release (see link) stated that the Folio 13 will be available starting December 7th, with prices starting at $899.99. I've been looking for a new Windows laptop, and the Folio may jump to my short list.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kindle Fire Creating Switchers Amongst Manufacturers?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:30 PM

"Amazon did more than just throw down the gauntlet when it announced its $200 Kindle Fire tablet, the e-tailer may have also scared off some of the competition altogether. Oddly enough, the Kindle Fire might actually help Microsoft increase its presence in the mobile market, as OEMs look to Windows 8-based slates in order to avoid a price war among Android tablets."

Interesting conjecture, that rather than trying to continue to compete in the cut-throat Android tablet space, some manufacturers are considering switching to (building) Windows 8 tablets to target more "business" customers. RIM tried this with the PlayBook, but with a product that was great in concept, but short on execution. Even current Android tablet makers are cutting prices to try to compete with Amazon. But $199?

Dell and HP are two manufacturers mentioned by name, with Dell maybe a real possibility, but HP seems to have totally lost credibility in the market with the TouchPad debacle. Months back, I ordered an HP Slate 500 tablet running Windows 7 when it was announced, but gave up and cancelled my order after they couldn't deliver a tablet more than two months after it was supposedly shipping. And, it was $799, not $199.

The Kindle Fire is going to be a game changer, if Amazon can meet the demand. I've got an iPhone and an iPad, but I ordered one, just because.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

HP's Pavilion dm1 Refresh: Better Than the Original

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 05:30 PM

"A few weeks ago when I got my first look at a new, updated version of the HP Pavilion dm1, I was really excited. The original dm1, which came out at the beginning of the year, was one of the first AMD Fusion ultraportables and more than half a year later it continues to be among the best. The form factor, design, performance, and price all balanced nicely in an 11.6-inch package."

Available in less than two weeks (September 21, starting at $399, more details to follow), the 11.6-inch, next-gen 3.5-pound dm1 (above, left) sports a more streamlined design, better battery integration, and is less apt to suffer from fingerprint smears by virtue of an optional 'soft touch' cover. The comfortable keyboard has remained virtually unchanged, and the original clickpad has been replaced by a more traditional touchpad. HP's CoolSense keeps everything cool, and ProtectSmart technology protects the hard drive from bumps and jars.Sound quality with Beats audio is good. Modders rejoice, as bottom cover removal allows easy access to many components. With three AMD Fusion processor options, performance and graphics are rated as 'good.' Looks like a leader in its price/performance class.

Tags: hardware, hp, dm1

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rahul Sood Holds Court on Voodoo, HP, and Competing With Apple

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 08:30 PM

"When a company gets acquired it's absolutely critical that the larger entity maintains the culture and identity of the organization while thoughtfully blending the strategies and visions together. The number one reason strategic acquisitions fail is because there is a lack of patience and they forget about why they came together in the first place. There is nothing more important than patience when it comes to creating and fostering cultures of innovation."

I've known Rahul for quite a few years - I had Voodoo build more than a few PCs for me back in the '90s - and I've always admired his business savvy and intelligence when it comes to understanding success. This is an excellent article on some of the ways HP squandered their opportunity with the purchase of Voodooo.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

HP To Reinvent Itself

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"The company said it ”will discontinue operations for webOS devices”, specifically the TouchPad and WebOS phones. In April 2010, HP talked about doubling down on Palm and the WebOS. And that WebOS unit will cost HP some dough to discontinue. HP will also spin off its PC unit—almost 10 years after the company bought Compaq."

For those of you that have been asleep for the past few days, HP has made itself the center of the technology news. A lot of changes are coming! WebOS? Gone! The Touchpad? So long! Personal computers? Sell! Sell! Sell! If there is anything I have learned in life, is that when you are topping PC hardware sales, it is time to quit and completely change tracks.

In some ways, the change makes sense. Consumer PC sales is a tough business. With slim margins, it is difficult to stay on top of trends and make sure that there is a profit at the end of the rainbow. Switching to more enterprise and business oriented tasks allows for higher profits and tighter focus.

Will they succeed? It is hard to say. IBM took a similar route years ago, when its hardware went overseas to Lenovo, and the company seems to be doing okay. Still, it is a radical change for HP and they may not have pockets deep enough to survive what it will cost to remake the company.

The only sure thing is that its firesales have definitely ignited the tablet and possible the smartphone industry. With a sudden influx of cheap tablets, at least for the near-term, it should cause a few ripples for other tablet makers.

Tags: hardware, hp

Friday, July 22, 2011

iPad, TouchPad, ThinkPad or Windows: And the Business Winner is?

Posted by John London in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 01:30 PM

"This week, Good Technology released numbers indicating that the iPad was outdistancing Android-based products for the enterprise, but it didn't track the RIM Playbook or HP TouchPad, which are two products that specifically target the enterprise. In addition, the ThinkPad isn’t shipping yet and it might be the best shot Android has in getting into the enterprise."

I haven't worked in the corporate sector for a few years now, so I haven't thought much about this, but tablets invading the work force in a big way. With Apple's overwhelmingly successful iPad one would have thought it was a no brainer. It turns out that, considering most corporations use Microsoft solutions, it was closer than I thought. One reason could be because the corporate force needs productivity tools that the iPad can't yet provide. The iPad is a great media device (I just spent a few hours on one over the past week), however, it's not like it can replace the laptop for productivity.

That might change one day as businesses start requesting more productivity tools from the development community. And that's the twist coming from the article. Windows 8 on the tablet is not to far away, (business time that is) so the tablet market will really heat up sometime next year. The unknown right now is the HP Touchpad because of the large corporate sector they have pull in.

Android seems to be having problems right now and until the issues are fixed, corporations are looking to steer clear for now. Having worked in a large corporation I have my thoughts on which tablet will eventually win out. And, at this point, I reserve the right to speak. 2012 will shape up nicely for the tablet in the business sector and which tablet will win out is anyone's guess at this point. I would like to hear what your company in terms of tablets is doing, and why?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Touching on the TouchPad

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 05:00 AM

"Say what you say about the boring interface, the closed ecosystem, and the limited utility of the hardware, Apple has a winner on their hands. Next up is the Honeycomb army from Android. This is where selection rules above all else and the differences across the lineup are immense. Trailing far behind is the BlackBerry from RIM, who in my opinion have been caught with their pants down. The crippled nature of the Playbook was a let down from the go, as well as only releasing a chubby 7? tablet. But RIM was smart and stole injected a lot of WebOS into their system design. Now it’s HP’s turn to bring their own platform to the party. How well does the TouchPad battle with the other tablets?"

The HP TouchPad has been out for a while, but that has not stopped people from providing their own opinion on the latest competitior to the venerable iPad. If the iPad was not the gold standard, the TouchPad might actually be regarded fairly well. The problem is that we have seen better and liked it. Maybe the TouchPad 2 will prove to be more compelling.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LAPTOP's Tech Support Showdown 2011: The Worst and the Best Tech Support

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 03:31 PM

"Who wouldn't jump at the chance to wait on hold only to barely understand the person on the other end? And why wouldn't you want to conduct a live chat with a tech support rep who asks you a million questions before addressing your issue? Fortunately, not all laptop tech support is bad, and knowing who's good could tip the balance during your next shopping trip."

I'll spoil the surprise for you: Apple is at the top, with Dell and Samsung fairly close behind. The latter two have improved a great deal since the last report, so it looks like someone is paying attention. Do your own experiences with the companies in this report match up with the results? From my perspective, the 22 minute average call time for Dell seems rosy - I'd venture my calls with Dell are always 45 minutes or more...and usually rt 15 minutes of that are my call being transferred from one department to another while someone tries to figure out who can assist me. About 20% of the time, said transfer disconnects my call, which means I have to start over again. I am not fond of Dell tech support, though once I get to the right person, they usually help me with a fair degree of competence.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Twice the Tablet, Twice the Failure

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"Someday, not very far in the future, in business school, the tales of both the BlackBerry PlayBook and the HP TouchPad will both be told. It will be recounted that when it finally came time for both of these companies to execute in their attempts to adequately compete with Apple’s iPad and Google Android Tablets, they both failed miserably."

Two hot tablets have come to market, and both are being panned by many writers are pale comparisons to the iPad 2, Android tablets, and even the original iPad. While the PlayBook and TouchPad can hardly be considered great successes, it should be noted that they both are operating off of relatively new operating systems. The hardware buried inside these babies seems to be pretty comparable to other tablets on the market, but what they have in hardware, they seem to lack in software. They do not have the wonderful polish that Apple puts on its products, and they haven't had the experience and numerous releases that Android has gone through to adapt to the tablet. If either BlackBerry or HP are committed to the market, we might see these tablets given a chance to mature, and possibly, act as serious contenders for your tablet dollars.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Want To Know About The HP TouchPad? Reviews Abound!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"Palm faithful and newcomers alike, behold: the TouchPad review. For some, this has been years in the making, for others (honestly, for most) this is a new and potentially interesting blip on the tablet radar. The team that brought you webOS — for better or worse — has now graduated the platform to pad status, with the help (and cash) of HP. According to the company, the TouchPad marks the kickoff of its hard push into the hearts and minds of the slate-buying public, as well as a rebirth of sorts for Palm’s unrealized ambitions."

The HP TouchPad is out with everyone is eager to put out their own impressions of the webOS based device. Each provides their own spin, though it suffices to say that the TouchPad is aimed squarely at competing against the iPad both in capability and price point. Will it succeed? Well, webOS is a relatively new entry, and needs quite a bit of time to see if it gains any traction, though if HP is committed to webOS, there is enough financial backing to keep the concept going until it catches on. The OS market, even for tablets, is starting to get crowded, and I do not know if the market can support or should have that many different takes on the tablet. I see a shakedown coming!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The HP dv7t Wants all your Hard Work

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"With a name like Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition, you know HP's latest 17-inch desktop replacement is no slowpoke. In addition to a blazing second-generation Intel Quad Core i7 processor and switchable AMD graphics, this aluminum-bodied speedster (starting at $1,099) packs both a 7,200-rpm hard drive and a 120GB SSD to give shoppers the best of both worlds. On the other hand, the $1,604 asking price for our configuration is hardly chump change. Is the dv7t Quad Edition splurge-worthy?"

Most people pick notebooks because they are portable, light and flexible. Most notebooks do that job well. However, there are some people want an incredible powerhouse and that is where the HP dv7t Quad Edition comes in. There are several manufacturers that make desktop replacements and all come with a beefy CPU, a beefy GPU and usually, a beefy design. A second generation Core i7 CPU and a higher end mobile video card means the HP dv7t will crunch through anything you will likely need, bolstered by a SSD. With options like this, is there a practical reason why desktops still exist?

Tags: hardware, hp, reviews, dv7t

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Black Friday Comes Early, on The Cheap

Posted by John London in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 07:00 PM

Most notebooks under $400 have specs so low-end that even the most basic users won’t be satisfied, but thanks to the latest cost effective AMD processors, consumers can pick up a new notebook from Best Buy or Staples that will deliver on all the standard needs of home users for just $350. Instead of the sub-par single core processors and lackluster specs, these new AMD Fusion E-350 powered notebooks are packing a dual core processor, capable graphics card, 3-4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, built in webcam and Windows 7. These notebooks are available today from Best Buy and Staples for $350.”

For most users these new low-cost laptops are a great replacement. The new low-cost laptops are as good as they were just a few short years ago. It is amazing how fast the price is dropping on laptops. The new low-cost laptops are now in the price range of a netbook, but the hardware and performance they offer is significantly better. I find the new laptops appealing in that they are now very affordable and can handle probably most of my computing needs. In addition, with rapid development of technology improvements does it make sense to invest in higher cost laptops? Check out the article to find out if these new low-cost laptops are for you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

HP ProBook 6560: A Rugged, Good-Looking Performer for Business Users

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 08:30 PM

"The HP ProBook 6560b is a new business class notebook from HP which features the latest Sandy Bridge processors and a new bead blasted aluminum cover that delivers an impressive look and feel as well as adds to the durability which is enhanced by a magnesium reinforced ABS chassis."

The merging of consumer and business notebooks continues unabated with the rugged ProBook 6560. While it looks fairly bulky (at a starting weight of about 5.5-pounds), the beveled bottom edge is a nice design touch, and quality components abound. The newest Sandy Bridge processors keep things running smoothly under Windows 7 64-bit professional, and HP includes a collection of business-class software tools that actually can be used, and are not necessarily part of the usual startup 'delete bloatware' task.

The spill-resistant (but not backlit) keyboard with numeric keypad is great, and the touchpad is better than expected. Access to internal components on the bottom is absolutely easy - simply slide a button and the bottom can be removed for memory and/or drive upgrades, and, for cleaning the fan. Speaking of the fan, there is some noticeable noise, but not excessive.

Sound is surprisingly good for a business-class system, and the 15.6-inch anti-glare display is quite good, with 1366x768 resolution standard. An HD display is said to be an upgrade option. A DVD/RW and a full complement of ports are on-board, but, surprisingly, no USB 3.0. Battery life is impressive, about 6-hours under testing, and 7-hours can reasonably be expected under normal usage. At a starting price of $899, the ProBook 6560 is a good lower-priced alternative to HP's more expensive EliteBook line.

HP Announces the New Mini 210 Series

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 08:00 PM

"HP has announced an update to the HP Mini 210...different curves, new punchy colors, edge-to-edge screen and a flush trackpad and buttons with specs largely unchanged, except the 6-cell battery (9.5 hours) looks better integrated and Beats Audio for better sound. You'll still get the same dual core Atom N550 (and probably N570), integrated GMA 3150 graphics and the usual specs that go along with it."

It seems like every time I blink, HP is refreshing their line of Mini netbooks, but that's not a bad thing: as a customer I appreciate them being competitive. The new 210 brings a new design to the cable - which I like - and some funky colours that include charcoal, ocean blue (pictured above), lavender frost, and ice berry. The big plus is the battery life which tops out at 10.75 hours - I think the 9.5 hour mark is for the dual-core CPU version. The only think I don't like is that HP has put Windows 7 Starter on the product, which allows them to hit a lower price point - it starts at $329 USD before any coupons or discounts - but gives the customer a less than ideal user experience. Still, for the price, this is a powerful little computer that would be perfect for a variety of uses.

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