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HP Renews Emphasis On PC Design

5/23/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – In a market dominated by tablet PCs,
smartphones and laptops, Hewlett-Packard is not giving
up on the desktop PC.

In fact, HP is putting a little extra emphasis
on this once leading category.

Randall Martin, HP’s chief design strategist,
desktop PCs, said the company is placing
a great deal of effort on product design
along with research and development.

“We are not abandoning our bread-andbutter
Pavilion towers. These are still a huge
portion of the market,” he said.

For the first time in two years HP has refreshed
the appearance of the three main
chassis designs in its tower line.

Randall said his team takes a much different
direction in designing desktops than
his colleagues on the mobile computing
side of the business.

“Personal electronics can have bold colors,
people want to
make a personal
statement
about themselves,
but we
want these [desktops]
to compliment
the home,”
Randall said.

The guiding design principle for the 2011 refresh
was “Refined, Elegant, Sophisticated” and the end
result was a three-color design with either blue or red
LED highlights. Like previous models the towers have
pull-down doors to reveal USB and other ports and
fold-out doors to expose the drives, Randall said.

The entry-level Pavilion p7 series, starting at $299,
can come with either Intel or AMD processors.

The Slimline e5 series, with a $329 starting price,
available on June 15, will also have Intel and AMD processor
options.

The flagship Pavilion HPE h8 series is the workhorse
of the new offerings. Consumers can configure
it with either Intel or an AMD processor, NVIDIA or
ATI graphics.

It will ship on May 18 with a $599 price tag.

Hewlett-Packard revamped the design on its Mini
Note netbook line, while making incremental changes
to its mainstream consumer models.

The Mini Note changes were mainly cosmetic. The
battery is now fully flush with the lower
portion of the device whereas before
it bumped out quite a bit
in the rear. In addition, a removable
bottom panel has
been added so users can
easily upgrade the device.

The primary internal
change was the addition of
HP’s Beats audio enhancement
software to the Mini
line.

Pricing remains the
same at $299 and the improved
models will ship
on June 15.

Upgrades to the
mainstream line include
an improved Simple-
Pass app so users can
easily sign into multiple
online accounts using one
password; an improved GUI
for the device’s Coolsense auto-cooling
feature that makes it simpler for users to
set their preferences; and the inclusion
of the Pavilion dvV4 into the U.S. market. These features
are being added to the Pavilion dv4 and Envy 14
consumer laptops.

The revamped dv4 will ship on May 18 with a $599
suggested retail price and the Envy 14 will follow on
June 15 with a $999 price tag.

On the commercial notebook side, HP added a
new service feature called DataPass. This is a prepaid
3G mobile broadband service that allows owners
of HP ProBook laptops with 3G capability to buy
data packages. The four packages available start at
$5 for 75MB of data that will last for five hours; 10 for
150MB or three days; $20 for 450MB or 14 days and
$30 for 1GB or 30 days.

The user can reload as often as needed. HP is
working with several carriers to supply the service, the
company said. There is no timetable for moving this
capability to HP’s consumer notebooks.