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All posts tagged "hp"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Syncing is Just the Beginning

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

"On Sunday, PreCentral published an interesting rumor piece based on a leaked slide from HP. According to the story, the company has plans to include a “music syncing solution” with the forthcoming TouchPad tablet that will allow users to remotely store and sync music in the cloud — something like Amazon’s new Cloud Drive service, but with a webOS front-end. While this may sound like a great solution to combat Apple’s iTunes dominance, I think it’s the wrong move for HP and its mobile strategy (if it is, indeed, true)."

The idea of syncing, cloud services and Synergy, as it is being called, I do not think is going far enough. One of the benefits of cloud computing is that you do not have to cart around a massive amount of storage. Where ever you have Internet access, you have everything at your fingertips. The idea of merging the various providers into one also has benefits (assuming they are subscription and not ad based). But looking for an all-in-one solution on the mobile platform is not enough.

The other side of the equation is that people may have multiple devices, or even none. While we are starting to see integration on the provider side, we need aggregation on the consumer side. What you use on the iPhone is undoubtedly different than what you use on a Windows machine. Different services are available in different ways, or different devices. I would like my iPhone, Laptop, Android tablet and Chumby all to have access to the same data. I want to be able to go to a friend's house, boot up their networked TV and start streaming a new playlist I just created. I want it where I am the common link, not one of my devices.

Tags: software, hp, webos

Friday, April 15, 2011

HP TouchPad WebOS 3.0 Sneak Peek (Emulator)

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:00 PM

"Images from a WebOS 3.0 emulator just leaked, and we've got all the screenshots demonstrating the best and most essential new features."

A pretty decent collection of pics of the HP TouchPad WebOS, albeit from an emulator. As the author opines, to be successful, the TouchPad will need to "borrow and integrate" features from the most successful tablets. One of the cool features is that the on-screen keyboard can be resized (smaller) to show more content in the Memos app. Funny how the native Mail app looks very similar to the iPad's Mail app. And, the Clock app resembles the clock from HTC's Sense UI. There was also a link to a video walk-through of WebOS 3.0, but it was removed by YouTube. Oops! Overall a quite pleasing UI, but I do wonder if it's too little, too late, from HP. Can the market support another tablet and OS? Will this tablet go the way of other Palm/HP products like the Pre and Pixi?

Friday, April 8, 2011

That Sweet Sound is Coming from Your Laptop

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

Every time we review a notebook, we test out its speakers by playing a few tunes and videos–and usually come away unimpressed. But laptop makers are now paying a lot more attention to both volume and fidelity, in some cases touting sound quality as a reason to buy their wares. With that in mind, we rounded up four systems that boast enhanced audio capabilities.

A few years ago, if someone told me that one should expect excellent sound through a laptop, I would have laughed at them. Then stop, take a breath, and laugh some more. Things have changed recently, part of which I think is driven by the increasing use of computers as media terminals for watching movies and music. While I still sincerely doubt that any laptop short of what would be classified as a "transportable computer" could have sound comparable to a proper stereo, they have improved. Unfortunately, to benefit from this, you still appear to have to choose one of the bigger laptops. I imagine this is probably a physical and technical limitation rather than a conscious choice by manufacturers. Still, I find that excluding bass, most laptops, even really light and tiny ones will generally provide "good enough" sound for casual listening. What about you? Are you picky about your listening environment, or do things like stock earbuds and netbook audio do just fine?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Witness The Power of Fusion: HP's Pavilion dm1z Laptop Unboxed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:30 AM

Above is part one of an unboxing and first impressions video of the HP Pavilion dm1z laptop [affiliate]. It was one of the first laptops to ship using the new AMD Fusion APU. It features an AMD Dual-Core Processor E-350 (1.6GHz, 1MB L2 Cache) and an AMD Radeon HD 6310M Discrete-Class Graphics chip for the GPU. This model I purchased from HP came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, 3 GB of RAM, a 320 GB 7200 RPM hard drive, a six-cell battery, an 11.6 inch display (1366 x 768 resolution), a Webcam with integrated microphone, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth. It has no internal CD/DVD drive: you need to buy an external, USB-based drive to load CDs or DVDs. Part two after the break.


Friday, March 4, 2011

A Look at the New HP Pavillion dv6 and dv7

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

"The dv6 and dv7 were designed using HP’s MUSE (Materials, Usability, Sensory appeal, and Experience) philosophy, and incorporate a variety of metals, plastics, and features designed to increase usability. They will feature Intel second-gen Core processors and AMD Radeon 6000 graphics, and each will sport four speakers with Beats audio technology (previously reserved for the premium Envy line)."

The iPad 2 may be getting all the attention lately, but laptops are still around and coming out with updates. A refresh of the HP Pavillion dv series brings them up to date with current generation hardware. Aside from the usual, the addition of four speakers is nice. The larger laptops definitely are getting better sound which makes sense since more people are using their computers for entertainment purposes and tinny just is not cutting it. What I find most interesting is that they have added a fingerprint reader.

Having used it in the past, I can say that fingerprint logins for passwords does make things much easier. Instead of having to remember dozens of passwords, the computer all manages it for you. There are password management programs that can do the same thing, but they need a password too, and I am lazy.

Does the new Pavillions interest you or are laptops/notebooks old news and not worth considering anymore?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

HP Wants You Filled With Envy in 3D

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

"As one of the biggest computer manufacturers in the world, HP certainly knows how to put together an attractive laptop, and since its conception, looks have been one of the major raisons d'être for its Envy line. Unlike some rivals, HP combines this with high-end specifications and cutting-edge connectivity. In the case of this HP Envy 17, it has also thrown 3D into the mix. Essential ingredients include a 17.3in, Full HD, 120Hz display, premium wireless active shutter glasses and a Blu-ray drive with 3D compatible software. "

If you want to be the, uh, envy, of your friends, the HP Envy 17 3D may just do the trick. It has all the usual accoutrements of a high powered desktop replacement laptop such as a powerful, up-to-date CPU, capable video card, fast storage options and a Blu-ray drive. The showpiece is the 120Hz display, which is what is needed to use the included 3D glasses for that wonderful 3D experience that everyone is clamoring for. Movie theaters are pushing it. Really expensive TVs have it. This obviously means that if you want to be on top of the gadget chain, your laptop must offer it. At least until the next hyped up technology comes along.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

HP dm1z: A Fusion-Powered Netbook

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:00 AM

"HP's been on board AMD's ultraportable bandwagon since the chipmaker first shipped the underwhelming Congo platform, and HP continued to produce reasonably compelling not-quite-netbooks with the Athlon/Turion II Neo-equipped Nile platform. But now that AMD has made a concerted effort to dethrone Intel's Atom with Brazos, HP has been able to produce a true netbook competitor."

Contradicting the rumours that the netbook is dead, HP has announced the dm1z, with a starting price of $449. With AMD's dual-core E-350 processor, Fusion APU, and Hudson FCH chipset, the dm1z supports 8GB of DDR3-1333 memory, has a 7200 rpm WD Scorpio 320GB hard drive, 1366x768 resolution on a 11.6-inch glossy monitor, gigabit ethernet, b/g/n wireless, and weighs 3.52-pounds. The base model shipped (in this review) with 3GB RAM configured, and a 320GB 7200rpm drive, and was $449. Performance is just okay - this system doesn't appear to be one that gamers will covet. The battery is rated by HP at 9.5-hours, but in real life got slightly more that 7-hours of usage, pretty reasonable, I'd say. The system is noisy from the fan running almost constantly to keep the temperature down. The LCD screen is rated as "uninspired," but, this is a netbook that can pass the "Grandma Test" - it can play 1080p video from YouTube, and it is fast enough that grandma won't complain. This is a machine that has grabbed a Silver Editors' Choice from Anandtech, so it may be worth a look if you're looking for a netbook.

Tags: hardware, hp, dm1z

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sandy Bridge for HP EliteBook and ProBook Laptops

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:00 AM

"Two weeks ago "consumers" got totally redesigned HP Pavilion dv and g-series laptops, leaving those poor guys in the conference room with nothing but their "old" Calpella-based machines and sad Excel spreadsheets. Well, it's their turn now alright -- HP's been stirring up brand new EliteBook and ProBooks for the guys and gals in suits (though, we're really of the mind that these laptops are for anyone looking for some tough and powerful hardware). All ten of the new machines (yep, 10!) have been given new metal designs, Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, facial recognition software, and an easy-access latch to get to the hard drive and RAM."

Expect Sandy Bridge product announcements to dominate over the coming weeks, and HP is right there with a refresh of their EliteBook and ProBook "business" product lines. Of course, Sandy Bridge is the centerpiece, with Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, up to 8GB of RAM, easy SSD capability, USB 3.0, AMD Radeon HD 6470M graphics, and some configurations claiming 32-hours of battery life using an "ultra capacity" configuration. From mainstream business users starting at $799 to users needing a "business rugged" solution, starting at $999, to more basic business-class machines starting at $579, HP is serious about office computers. Anyone care to guess what a laptop with 32-hours of battery life will cost?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Best Tablet User Experience (UX)? HP TouchPad

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 09:00 PM

"If you asked me last week which tablet user experience was the best, I wouldn't have had a solid answer for you. They all have good points and bad. Whether one is "best" depends greatly on the user. Well, I'm chucking some of that out the window because I have seen the light and it is the HP TouchPad."

Interesting that many tech writers suddenly seem to have a new top challenger to the iPad's dominance: HP's new TouchPad. The author opines that HP's User Experience (UX) is best: the card metaphor (anyone remember Apple's hypercard?); interoperability between the tablet and its siblings in the phone world; portrait or landscape doesn't matter; WebOS, lean and mean, and not like a desktop OS. That being said, some of its best features require a companion WebOS phone, and it lacks the ecosystem that iOS and Android tablets have (or will have). The conclusion is that this will be a tablet for average users, and not for power users. And it has that undeniable Wow factor. But, again we see a lack of a support ecosystem - show me the apps!

Touching the HP TouchPad

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

"It tips the scales at 1.6 pounds and measures 13.7mm thick, which is somewhat of a downer for those already put off by the heft found in Apple's slate. As we'd heard last month, HP's shipping this one with its own Beats audio engine, Touch-to-Share (a feature that lets users easily transfer a website, document, song, text or call from the phone to the tablet -- or vice versa -- simply by tapping the two devices together) and a huge reliance on the cloud."

It is taking some time, but efforts to challenge the iOS empire is shaping up. While there are more Android tablets out there than Justin Beiber fans, few have seen any traction. Enter HP's first real attempt at the slate tablet, powered by webOS. The claims made by HP make it sound like it might just be able to replace your computer, desktop, notebook or otherwise, for all your regular day to day consumerish needs. It even has a few features like support for some office applications for can probably do some work if one is so inclined. The video looks delightfuly yummy as well. All I can say is that it is nice to see some competition and decent alternatives come about. It should help encourage even better stuff down the road.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

HP TouchPad Lives ... This Summer

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:00 PM

"HP webOS goes big. Our breakthrough interface features a spacious workspace and activity cards that provide an easy way to visualize and organize what you're working on. Easily move back and forth between cards.1 And group related cards in stacks-or have them stacked automatically."

Just announced by HP, with planned availability for summer of 2010. Specs include: HP WebOS; 9.7-inch 1024x768 capacitive multi-touch screen; Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-CPU APQ8060 1.2GHz; Microsoft Exchange support with Direct Push Technology; GPS in 3G models; Front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera; 802.11 b/g/n with WPA; Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR; 16/32GB; 6300 mAh battery; 3.5mm stereo headset/headphone/microphone jack; dimensions 240mm x 190mm x 13.7mm (9.45 x 7.48 x .54 inches) and a weight of 740g (1.6 pounds). Details on 3G were not available, and pricing was not listed. Pretty impressive, but pretty late to the party.

( UPDATE: After a little digging around, it appears that the initial version will be wi-fi only, with 3G/4G to follow. )

Thursday, January 20, 2011

HP Pavilion dm1 Reviewed

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:30 AM

"The biggest story in laptops over the past few years has been the incredibly popular Netbook. These 10- and 11-inch (and originally 7- and 9-inch) laptops came out of nowhere to capture the attention of a public tired of paying for too much computing power. After a couple of good years, however, Netbooks are being replaced by new systems that offer a little more performance for a little more money, first in the form of dual-core premium Netbooks and now in systems such as the HP Pavilion dm1 with AMD's new Fusion platform."

I'm a netbook purist when it comes to size, I hate the trend towards larger screens. I'm currently sporting an Asus Eee PC 8.9” Netbook Tablet PC that is almost the same size as the original Eee netbook (tiny). But I can see for most people that these are great. In reality for the average user, with just a little more screen and horsepower over a traditional netbook and you have what can very well be someones only computer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Renderings of HP webOS Tablets Leak to Engadget

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:30 PM

"Oh, hello. A trusted tipster just sent in these internal renders of HP / Palm's "Topaz" webOS tablet, which is one of two tablets currently being developed in Sunnyvale. That's right, two tablets: the 9-inch Topaz and a 7-inch model codnamed Opal -- a lineup that fits nicely into Palm's "Something big, Something small, Something beyond" tagline for its upcoming February 9th event."

The tablet space is getting crowded, but with the brand muscle of both HP and Palm, I think they can make some magic happen here - assuming that the specs and price point of the products are in line. There's going to be a 7" and a 9" tablet, and it looks like a button-less design. Engadget has a few more details - looks quite interesting! I wonder though if HP has the muscle to get developers on board with apps? That's the real secret sauce in the tablet race in my opinion - having nice hardware isn't quite enough.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Engadget Reviews the HP dm1z: Game Changer?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 05:00 PM

"So, what the heck does Fusion and AMD's history of promises about the platform have to do with HP's new Pavilion dm1z? Almost everything. HP's newest 11.6-inch not-quite-a-netbook (or a notbook as we like to call it) is the first Fusion system to hit the market, and with a dual-core 1.6GHz E350 Zacate processor and AMD Radeon HD 6310 GPU on the same chip it promises... well, everything AMD has promised for so long. According to HP and AMD, the system should last for over nine hours on a charge, play full 1080p content, and perhaps more importantly, not fry our laps as some previous AMD Neo-powered systems have done. For $450, it sounds like a true no-sacrifice system, but is it?"

The HP dm1z was one of the laptops that really got my attention at CES - it's one of the first out of the gate that supports the new AMD Fusion chip, and it comes in at a price point and feature set that many will find compelling. I was personally somewhat shocked when I picked it up - for something so small, you don't expect it to weigh so much (3.5 pounds). But comparing it to a 2.5 pound netbook doesn't really do it justice - with a screen almost two inches bigger and much more under the hood, I think the dm1z could be a real contender.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Which Shift Key Do You Primarily Use?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:00 PM

After reading Chris' post about what makes a perfect keyboard, it got me thinking about Shift keys. In Canada, many laptop brands ship their laptops with a French/English keyboard, and when they do, the left shift key is cut in half to make room for an extra French-language key. The net result is that any touch typist trying to use that keyboard, if they're not accustomed to it, will constantly be missing the left shift key. I'm one of those people, and I flat-out refuse to purchase any laptop that doesn't have a full-sized shift key. That means no HP laptops for me - every single one of their consumer laptops sold in Canada have the shrunken left keyboard; it's one of the main reasons I tend to go for Dell laptops. I'm pleased that Apple allows you to choose what kind of keyboard you want on your laptop and wished more companies offered users that choice. If I primarily used the right shift key, however, I wouldn't have my choices curtailed.

What about you? Which shift key do you primarily use? I use the left shift key 100% of the time - never even touching the right-hand shift key.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2010 HP Pavilion dm3t: Not 2009's dm3t

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:30 AM

"If you placed them side by side, you wouldn't realize that the 2009 and 2010 HP Pavilion dm3t shared the same name. That's because HP completely redesigned its 13-inch consumer notebook, making it thinner, lighter, and faster."

What a difference a (model) year makes. Thinner, lighter and faster indeed. The redesigned dm3t notebook offers soft-touch surfaces, a backlit chiclet keyboard, very good speakers, an Intel Core i3 processor, 3GB RAM (max 8GB), 320GB 7200 RPM hard drive, 13.3-inch display with 1366x768 resolution, about 4-pounds, over 5 hours of battery life, and $400 less than a MacBook. Prices start at $549 from HP, with estimated build date being late December 2010. Way to go HP!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Happened to Dell's Customization?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 12:00 PM

I don't know about you, but I feel like Dell's customization options have become dramatically restricted over the past year or so - it's like they're trying to get out of the custom, built-to-order computer business and into the "Buy Model A or Model B" business. I can't tell you how many times over the past year I've tried to spec out a computer or laptop and found that I'm locked into a "template" where the CPU, screen resolution, and GPU are locked down - allowing customization of the RAM and hard drive, and that's about it.

Case in point: the above computer is the Dell Inspiron All-in-One desktop computer. My wife's aunt is looking for a new computer, and an all-in-one would have several advantages for her. Dell Canada's email promo talked up the touch-screen aspect, so I assumed that the touch screen was an integral part of the product and included in all versions - it's not. When you go to the product page, there are three configurations you can chose from: Read more...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

HP Offers New Notebooks For Those Pinching Pennies

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

"HP has added two new notebook options to the company’s line of customizable laptops. The new budget friendly HP Pavilion G62m and the desktop replacement Pavilion dv7t, which is a 17.3? notebook powered by Intel Core i processors."

The new HP Pavillion G62m and dv7t may not turn any heads, but they are functional, low cost notebooks that will do the jobs you ask them to without much fuss. With all the hype about netbooks, then slates, it is easy to forget that a lot of people still like the traditional notebook or laptop with a nice, roomy screen and keyboard. I am glad to see that for even what HP considers their budget line, the CPUs maintain dual-core performance. As common as they are now, I find it very difficult to justify single core computers unless there are some extreme requirements. Dual or more core computers just tend to run considerably smoother and is worth the extra price they command, and battery life they sacrifice.

A Serious Netbook for Business: HP Mini 5103

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 01:00 AM

"The HP Mini 5103 netbook is the latest business class netbook from HP, continuing on the style and design of the HP Mini 5102 (review), offering users a very portable package with more durability and extra features than we typically see in a netbook. The price is a bit higher for these extra features, but well worth it for netbook purchasers who plan to use the small device for business."

HP has a great looking successor to the Mini 5102 here, with an optional capacitive touchscreen that can be greatly enhanced by Mirabyte Frontface, an optional carrying handle ($29), an all-metal chasis, a very excellent spill-resistant keyboard, an option ($25) for a 1366x768 screen (1024x600 is standard) that is viewable outdoors, an option for a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, lots of ports, and an option for a 6-cell battery ($25) that HP rates at 10 hours of usage. Negatives reported include a small touchpad, and a fan that runs quite a bit.

Pricing starts at $399, but expect the price to jump as options are added. I built a test configuration for what I'd typically order (no touch screen), and the Atom N550-equipped model starts at $542, with a few upgrades went to $702, and swapping the hard drive for an 128GB SSD (+ $325) brought the price to $1027. All things considered, not a bad price for what you get.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why Did HP Buy Palm?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 04:00 PM

"HP knows that although they're the number one PC maker in the world, being number one in an industry that has stopped growing and will be flat at best for the foreseeable future is not the way to stay a $100 billion company. They've figured out that mobile is the future of computing, and that despite some early successes in that space (mainly after purchasing Compaq and its iPAQ line of handhelds) HP's efforts to date have been anemic. Let's put it another way: you see plenty of people using HP netbooks, but when's the last time you saw anyone one of their smartphones? Exactly. Right now HP isn't a significant player in mobile and that needs to change."

Peter Rojas from gdgt has a useful perspective on the consumer electronics industry having been at the helm of Engadget for several years, and I'm sure he's right on the money here - in fact, this dovetails nicely with the post I wrote up earlier today in a depressing sort of way; if Microsoft really had something in the pipeline that was nearing completion, HP wouldn't have bought Palm. Microsoft literally must have had no answer to the question of "What Microsoft OS can we use on HP hardware to combat the iPad?". HP entering the operating system space isn't something that they'd choose to do lightly, that's for sure...they must have felt like they had no choice.

Tags: microsoft, apple, hp, palm, ipad, ios

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