Whether Hewlett-Packard is struggling to find its footing or already staging a comeback arguably may be parsed from the lineup it presented at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
On Jan. 7, HP officials introduced the first standalone monitor to feature Beats Audio technology, two new Sleekbook laptops, monitors for business users and consumers, and a tiny device that looks like a thin smartphone but acts like a home DVR unit and is able to stream to up to five devices at once.
HP said that with Beats by Dr. Dre, it collaboratively developed the HP Envy 27-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) Monitor with Beats Audio, which features built-in speakers that are angled upward to deliver midrange and high frequencies with equally rich bass and a sound that's "the way the artists intended."
Its IPS panel offers a 178-degree viewing angle horizontally and vertically, so an optimum number of people can crowd (or not crowd) around it. It measures 13.95mm thick, and features edge-to-edge glass and an aluminum base.
It will be available worldwide Feb. 3 for $499.
In September, HP introduced 14- and 15.6-inch Sleekbooks that will soon be joined by the 15.6-inch Pavilion Sleekbook and Pavilion TouchSmart Sleekbook. Both feature A-Series accelerated processing units (APUs) from Advanced Micro Devices, high-definition displays, up to 1 terabyte (TB) of storage, Dolby Advanced Audio, removable batteries and numeric keyboards.
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HMDI) and USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports are onboard, as are HD Webcams, HP MyRoom technology for sharing photos during video calls, among other things, and HP ProtectSmart technology, which helps prevent data loss should the laptop be too aggressively bumped.
The Pavilion Sleekbook will arrive Jan. 13 with a starting price of $479.99, while the TouchSmart model—which features a touch display and HP technology to help users make the most of it—will arrive Feb. 3, starting at $649.99.
With HP’s new Pavilion IPS LED backlit monitors, officials said the company is bringing "IP technology to everyday computing at affordable prices"—which, come Jan. 20, will be between $129.99 and $339.99.
The monitors have 178-degree viewing angles in both directions, feature thinner (than before) industrial designs and user options such as power-saving modes and the ability to partition multiple apps into windows opened at the same time.
Frequent travelers may take note of a new 15.6-inch U160 display that's 1.02 inches thick, connects to any notebook via its USB port and folds down to tuck into a travel case. Priced at $139, it'll arrive later this month.
Likely to draw more CES visitor attention, however, is the HP Pocket Playlist. As mentioned, it acts like a DVR but requires no data plan and no Internet connection while streaming. It comes with a one-month subscription to PlayLater, a DVR app for online content that allows users to prerecord videos from more than 50 Websites, and can store 16 movies, 7,600 songs or 10,000 photos.
The Pocket Playlist will play to most WiFi-enabled Android-, Windows- and iOS-running mobile devices, and is expected to be available Feb. 15 for $129.