HP Updates PC Offerings

By Colleen Bohen On Jun 16 2008 - 6:00am




Hewlett-Packard unveiled six new mainstream consumer laptops, its latest Voodoo-branded models and the next generation of its TouchSmart PC at its HP Connecting Your World media event here last week.

Among HP's new consumer notebook offerings are three entertainment HP Pavilion DV-series models and three Compaq Presario models.

The new HP Pavilion notebook series is the first of the company's consumer notebooks to feature built-in HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection technology, which recognizes when a notebook is being dropped and immediately stops a hard drive from spinning in order to help prevent data loss upon impact; this technology was previously only available in HP's business-class notebooks.

On the cosmetic side, the notebooks feature invisible "magic chrome" controls that light up and become interactive upon power up. The models feature either AMD or Intel processors and offer eSATA interfaces for external storage backup.

The HP Pavilion DV4 Entertainment notebook PC features a 14.1-inch diagonal display and an HP SmartBay, which enables the use of an included weight saver in place of the optical drive for mobility purposes. It offers a variety of optional features including a choice of integrated TV tuner and Blu-ray optical drive; broadband wireless; and a brighter, mercury-free LED display. An Intel-based version of this model will be available later this month, starting at $999. An AMD-based version is expected to be available in September starting at $799.

HP's DV5 features a 15.4-inch diagonal display and an optional NVIDIA graphics card. Both an Intel-based version and an AMD-based version of the DV5 will be available later this month at respective starting prices of $899 and $699.

The company's DV7 model features a 17-inch diagonal display and is being positioned as a desktop alternative. It has multichannel audio and options like a subwoofer, Blu-ray optical drive, built-in TV tuner and ATI and NVIDIA graphics. An Intel-based version will be available later this month starting at $1,229 and an AMD-based version is expected to hit the market in July starting at $949.

The three new Compaq Presario notebooks include model CQ45, which features a 14.1-inch diagonal display and offers a built-in TV tuner and an optional Blu-ray drive.

Models CQ40 and CQ50 have 14.1-inch and 15.4-inch diagonal displays, respectively.

According to HP, pricing and availability for the CQ45 and CQ40 models vary by region, but it said the CQ50 will be available in July starting at $499.

In addition to its new mainstream offerings, HP has introduced the first products in a new portfolio of Voodoo-branded PCs the company said is targeted at "the growing segment of consumers who demand products that combine luxurious quality, personalized styling and unmatched technology innovation."

The Voodoo Envy 133 notebook measures just more than 0.5 inches thick and weighs less than 3.4 pounds. Its Voodoo Instant-On Solution is said to make it one of the fastest-loading systems ever launched by the company. The notebook features Intel Centrino technology and includes Ethernet and wireless connectivity, a variety of ports and a replaceable battery.

The Envy 133 also includes a back-lit keyboard, 13.3-inch LED display and coordinated peripherals. It will be available this summer, starting at $2,099.

HP's new all-aluminum Voodoo Omen desktop features integrated copper liquid cooling pipes and a built-in, fully functional LCD auxiliary screen. It has been designed so that its side panels, as well as hard drives, video cards and other components can be removed without tools, and it features battery-powered interior lighting to help users see and upgrade components while the system is powered off. Cables are top-loaded under a removable top panel for easier access.

The Omen will initially be available by invitation only to past Voodoo PC customers, but HP said general availability will follow later this summer. Pricing for the Omen will range from $6,500 to $20,000, depending on the configuration.

Both the Envy 133 and the Omen can be personalized by the consumer, who has the option to choose from a selection of paint colors, Voodoo Ink designs and Voodoo Iconograph patterns.

Finally, HP has introduced the latest iterations of its touch-based, all-in-one TouchSmart PC, which allows users to perform a number of functions via touchscreen, without having to use a keyboard or mouse. The entertainment-centered computer features an updated interface that, for instance, would allow a user to scroll through a music collection by flipping through a series of tiled album art on the screen.

The all-in-one requires only one cord to set up and power the system. It features a 22-inch diagonal, high-definition widescreen display and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It has integrated WLAN and comes with a wireless keyboard that has a backlight so consumers can see the keys in the dark.

The new models are expected to be available at retail July 13. The base IQ504 and the TV-tuner equipped IQ506 models are expected to start at $1,299 and $1,499, respectively.

In other HP news, the company recently made a number of additions to its printer lineup with the introduction of the Photosmart CDD80, the Officejet H4680, with built-in Wi-Fi, and the Deskjet D4360 at respective suggested retail prices of $99.99, $129 and$69.99. It also added its 2101nw Wireless G USB print server, available now at $79.99.

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