HP is pushing a mobile strategy centered on tablets and laptops. But the new Pavilion desktop PCs suggest the traditional tower remains part of its overall hardware strategy.
increasingly mobile world. The rise of smartphones and tablets has ushered in
an era of "the PC in your pocket," and each succeeding device seems to cram
more and more memory and processing power into a smaller and smaller
context, what use is the traditional desktop? Placed side-by-side with the
latest tablet, the traditional "beige box" seems not only antiquated, but just
about as fossilized as a tyrannosaur.
businesses and some consumers continue to purchase desktops. You can pack a lot
of processing power into a sizable tower, which makes them useful for both
cutting-edge games and industries that require a lot of modeling and rendering.
That puts the onus on manufacturers to keep making them-while taking the latest
trends into account.
Hewlett-Packard, whose new line of HP Pavilion desktop PCs seeks to thread the
needle between giving workers and consumers the under-the-hood power they expect
from a desktop, along with the design cues and slimmer sizing more recently
associated with the laptops and tablets that have come to dominate the market
in recent quarters.
feature glossy panels over a matte metallic base, creating a look totally
different from the beige box of yesteryear. Those panels also slide up to
disguise the various ports and drives. As with HP's new line of laptops, the
company seems determined to introduce a design language that connotes sleek-its
bid to compete not only with Dell and Lenovo, but also Apple.
include the HP Pavilion p7 series PCs, with massive hard-drive space and
built-in support for multichannel surround sound. There's also the HP HPE h8
series PCs, offered with up to three internal hard drives, AMD Phenom or Intel
Core i7 processors, high-end Nvidia or ATI graphics, and support for multiple
For those who
want their desktop tower a bit more on the portable side, there's also the HP
Pavilion Slimline s5 series PCs, which HP claims are half the size of
conventional PC towers. The devices in this line certainly look compact, the
sort of tower suited for a particularly cramped office or dorm room. As with
seemingly all of the higher-end devices in its various hardware lines, HP is
offering Beats Audio for select desktop models, along with HP LinkUp.
A company as
large as HP can roadmap products that speak to both the mobility and power
sides of the equation. That being said, the manufacturer is also taking
additional steps to enter the cloud. In March, newly minted CEO Leo Apotheker
suggested that his company was on the verge of introducing a new PAAS (platform
as a service) business, which would include a new applications store. HP is
also planning to import webOS, its mobile operating system acquired last year
along with Palm, into a variety of devices, ranging from tablets to PCs.
"The webOS is
an unbelievably attractive piece of technology in that it can interconnect
seamlessly a number of various devices," Apotheker told a gathering of analysts
and media March 14. "It is simply an outstanding Web operating system."
But HP is
offering no definitive timeline for when webOS will find its way into more
earthbound products like its newest towers.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.