By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK — When Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman took over as CEO, she wanted the company’s products to share a similar look.
So for the last few years HP’s design team has slowly been working toward developing a unified industrial look and feel, and the final result was debuted with the release of the company’s spring product line.
Chad Paris, a member of HP’s industrial design team, said the design philosophy is called PHI, which stands for Progressive, Harmonious and Iconic. PHI is also Greek for “Golden Ratio.” The Golden Ratio has been used by artists and designers who believe this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing.
The basic look features more angles and design features that carry across products and product categories. PHI is also centralizing the look of the consumer and commercial products, Paris said.
“There is now a consistency across all the lines,” said Paris, pointing out that simple items like the power button all appear the same.
In keeping with the idea of having overarching themes, the company carried another them across several categories: touchscreens.
The number of products incorporating touchscreens now spans the all-in-one (AIO) PC, mainstream laptops, Ultrabooks and HP’s Sleekbooks. In addition to spreading touch capability, HP is bringing touch in at lower price points.
“I call it the democratization of touch,” said Xavier Lauwaert, HP’s product marketing worldwide desktops manager.
Where this can best be seen is with HP’s AIO computers.
The portable AIO PC, dubbed the HP Envy Rove 20, is designed as a standard AIO, but with the ability to be laid down flat on a table so it can be used by several people at once, Lauwaert said.
The 20-inch Rove also has three-hours of battery life allowing it to be used as a massive tablet. However, Lauwaert sees the Rove being used more as a portable electronic game board.
“I think this could do for [board] games what the Kindle did for reading. We want to bring people around technology and not have them all sitting separately using their devices” he said.
The Rove weighs about 11 pounds and runs a fullpowered Intel fourth-generation processor and Intel HD graphics, and it has a 10-point touch display.
It will ship in July; pricing has not been set.
Lauwaert said HP has gone the extra mile to bring touch to all its new AIOs — the Pavilion Touchsmart 20 and 23 — by bringing them in at an affordable price. The two have respective prices of $619 and $749 and will ship on June 5.
Touch was always at $900 and more, but not anymore, he said.
Both models use AMD fourthgeneration processors, have 2TB of storage and come with 25GB of free cloud storage.
HP is also not ignoring the traditional desktop format. On the high end is the new Envy Phoenix 800, $1,099, gaming PC. It comes with Nvidia discrete graphics and optional liquid cooling.
The line steps down to the Envy 700, $599; Pavilion 500, $489; Pavilion 400, $399; and the HP 110 $289.
All ship on June 5.
In the notebook space HP led off with the TouchSmart 14 Ultrabook. Shipping on June 26 at $699, it features a 14-inch 3,200 by 1,800 FullHD screen, 10-point touchscreen, fourth-generation Intel processor and Beats Audio.
Other models include the Envy TouchSmart 15 notebook, $529, and Envy 17, $699.
The Envy 15 has a touchscreen and Nvidia discrete graphics.
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