Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest personal computer maker, used the Computer Electronic Shows in Las Vegas Jan. 6 to introduce its latest variations of laptop, notebook and desktop computers for personal and/or business deployments.
The overriding trends embodied in the new machines: more-and vastly improved-touch-screen access, the technology of which has improved greatly in the last year or two; improved power efficiencies, thanks largely to cooler-running Intel Core processors; better physical security for laptops/netbooks due to sturdier protective frames; and increased multimedia capabilities in most of the new machines.
Touch-screen breakthroughs enable improved accuracy, higher sensitivity and faster response times to allow for more detailed use via digital pen or a finger. New multitouch displays also enable gestures such as zoom, scroll and rotate.
Because users find themselves working at sporadic times of the day-and more and more often from home-these types of PCs are likely to be used in a number of situations, whether in an office, on the kitchen table, on an aircraft or in some remote location.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP has been industrious in turning out new business and personal computers lately. Only a few months ago, on Sept. 10, 2009, the company debuted a series of Touch-screen machines preloaded with Windows 7.
For the CES show, HP is touting a new TouchSmart notebook and several colorfully designed netbooks-including the company's first touch-enabled Mini-which are now the headlining devices.
The touch-enabled TouchSmart tm2 is built into a sophisticated-looking aluminum case with an engraved illustration. Naturally, it is aimed at artistic-minded users. Input is enabled by finger, digital pen or keyboard. The 12.1-inch monitor twists up and over to become a tablet; it can also be used as a standard notebook. Intel Core 2 Duo processors and optional high multimedia performance ATI Mobility Radeon discrete graphics upgrades are available. The system becomes available Jan. 7, and pricing starts at $949.
HP's first touch-enabled netbook, the Mini 5102 (photos were not made available), is aimed at students and mobile professionals. It features an all-metal case in black, red or blue and offers a range of features, including face recognition for easy log-on to Windows operating systems and password-protected Websites.
The new HP Mini 210 and 2102 are companion PCs that feature long battery life (6 to 8 hours) that provide all-day computing, optional high-definition video playback, and optional global positioning system (GPS) and mobile broadband connectivity.
HP is positioning its Compaq L2105 21.5-inch Widescreen Touch Monitor, also debuting at CES, as the company's first Windows 7-certified multitouch monitor. Touch inputs are recognized quickly, accurately and without drift. It features a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and resolutions up to 1,920 by 1,080. It is available now and priced at $299.
HP calls its new Compaq 8000f Elite Business PC its most "environmentally friendly" business desktop. It sports a more efficient power supply (87 percent efficiency; most current PCs range in the 40 to 60 percent efficiency area) and is free of brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from the wall to the mouse.
The Compaq 8000f Elite Business PC is Energy Star-certified and comes equipped with Intel Core 2 Duo processors, the Intel Q45 chip set and vPro, DDR3 memory and Windows 7 for starters. It becomes available Feb. 1, and pricing starts at $849.