Digital Home Thoughts - News & Reviews for the Digital Home

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!

Zune Thoughts

Loading feed...

Apple Thoughts

Loading feed...

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "HP"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

HP Unleashes Two New Notebooks: The dv2 and dv3

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:57 AM

HP has released two new notebooks this week, and I've had a bit of a chance to get some hands on time with them at the CNTRSTG event. First impressions are that they're both solid contenders in certain markets. The dv2 (pictured above) is a thin device (0.98 inches), fairly lightweight (3.8 pounds), has a 12.1 inch screen, and uses a new 25-watt 1.6 Ghz CPU from AMD called the Neo. It uses quite a bit more power than the Intel Atom (OK, that's a gross understatement...25 watts on the Neo vs. 2.5 watts on the Atom), but it's more capable - especially when paired with the ATI Radeon HD3410 which should allow it to play back HD video with ease...including 1080p Blu-Ray content (an optional external Blu-Ray drive will be sold). No Atom-based netbook I've tested has been able to play back 720p h.264 content. HDMI out and a starting price of $699 will make this an extremely compelling notebook for a lot of people. I predict this will be a hot seller for HP - assuming they can get it into the retail channel where people can see it.

The dv2 has great fit and finish, and feels really good in terms of build quality. The chrome side-panels are slightly suspect from a style point of view, but hey, you can't have it all. I never thought I'd prefer a white notebook over a black one, but the black one is such a horrible fingerprint magnet I think I'd prefer the white one if only to hide the smudges better. Do consumers really prefer the shiny-glossy-everywhere look? They must, because the whole industry is going in that direction, model after model. I guess I'm the grumpy old man that remembers the days when I didn't have to polish my notebook every day to have it look remotely clean.

The dv3 is a step up in size and power over the dv2 in every way: it features a 13.3 inch screen, can rock up to an AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core CPU at 2.4 GHz, up to 8 GB of RAM, a ATI Radeon 3200 GPU, up to a 400 GB hard drive (no 7200 RPM option though, boo!), a back-lit keyboard, a slot-loading DVD drive, and the choice of a 6 or 9-cell battery. Pricing starts at $799.

Below is a snippet from the full press release where HP lists several of their new products.

"The sleek HP Pavilion dv2 and Pavilion dv3 Series Entertainment Notebook PCs provide stylish mobility and performance at a great value. The dv2 provides productivity and rich entertainment capability while measuring just under 1-inch thick and starting at 3.8 pounds.(1) Plus, powerful discrete graphics and a full range of connectivity options make it easy for customers to work and play on the go. A variety of high-capacity hard drive options up to 500 gigabytes (GB)(2) provide ample room for photos, music and other content.

The notebook is powered by a specially designed new AMD Athlon Neo Processor-based platform and features a sturdy magnesium casing, 12.1-inch diagonal LED BrightView display and a nearly full-size keyboard. It will be available in two striking finishes with matching HP Imprint designs on the palm rest: Espresso and Moonlight." Read more...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Best Netbook Bang for the Buck

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:30 PM

"Of course, all I can do is offer an opinion: that and a buck will get you cup of coffee at McDonald’s. But that’s what he asked me for, so here’s my opinion on the best netbook for the money right now. I ruled out any device with an 8.9-inch display in my thought process. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but the larger 10-inch screens represent nice “bang for buck”. You can always upgrade some components, like memory or storage capacity, but you’re generally stuck with a screen size for the life of a device. This pushed the current Acer Aspire One, the Dell Mini 9 and some of the Asus Eee PCs out of contention."

Great article. I was looking at the HP 1035NR at $450 as a replacement computer for my wife. She currently has a 5 year old Compaq laptop, so about time for an upgrade. While not quite as sexy looking as the HP, the ASUS Eee PC 1000HA is quite the bang for the buck.

Tags: HP, Asus, Eee, netbook

First Look at New HP MediaSmart Server

Posted by Timothy Huber in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:00 PM

"As a result, as we look towards future versions of the platform, I think we’ll remember 2009 as the year that Windows Home Server began the transition from an excellent, if relatively worthy (read: slightly dull) file server, backup and remote access system to a sexier, more powerful home media hub - easier and more exciting to market both to the industry and end-users. That transition starts today with the announcement of two new HP MediaSmart Server models - the EX485 & EX487 (codenamed "Encore"). A home server design that will be familiar now to many but with new, powerful media sharing, streaming and management software built on top of the core OS that opens up the path to a new generation of home servers."

Over at We Got Served is a great review of the new HP MediaSmart Server line, running Windows Home Server. The hardware has been upgraded with a faster processor, more RAM, and more drive space. But the major enhancements are all in software including better media sharing and streaming support, online backup to Amazon, and full Mac support. I'm particularly interested in a media collection tool that scans your network for pictures, music and video, and copies it to the server. I have one of the first generation MediaSmart Servers and it's been one of the best technology purchases I've ever made. These new servers look to deliver even more.

Monday, December 1, 2008

HP Magic Giveaway Links

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Events" @ 05:30 PM

If you want to maximize your chances of winning the contest Jason recently announced, you need to enter as many times as you can. You'll get your chance to enter here soon, but in the meantime, you can enter right now at these site:

Gear Live

Bleeping Computer

Windows Connected

Thoughts on Poetics and Tech

Morningside Mom


Boston Pocket PC

Tags: Free, HP, Contest

Friday, November 21, 2008

HP tx1000 Laptop: Problems Galore?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 12:42 PM s-network-card-fix-t522o.aspx

A concerned Digital Home Thoughts reader reached out to me recently to ask me to look into this issue of the tx1000 failures, and not owning a tx1000 I have no personal experience with this, but it seems like something is very wrong with this line of laptops. Lots of angry forum comments, and blog entries about the problem with an equally huge number of forum comments from users who have GPU failures, wireless card failures, and more. I've generally hard good experiences with HP laptops, but reading all these frustrated comments certainly seems to indicate that HP has failed their customers in a significant way. HP, what's up?

Friday, October 24, 2008

HP's Free Online Print Studio

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 12:00 PM

I haven't the foggiest clue as to when HP launched this service, but I was looking at HP printers today and noticed this free service for the first time. It's a browser-based Flash design tool that's surprisingly sophisticated - it's based around templates, so you don't have complete design freedom, but since most of us aren't designers it's nice to start with a template. The service starts with two broad categories: Projects for Home, which includes calendars, greetings cards, and iron-ons, and Projects for Business, which includes business identity kits, business cards, letterhead, and shipping labels. Once you select your project type, there are up to a dozen templates to chose from. I selected a single-page calendar as my project, and was impressed that they allow you to upload your own photos and import them into the project. It's all done in a slick Flash-based tool that allows you to drag and drop the photos into the project, and to crop, rotate, scale and flip the photos. Nice! Equally slick is the fact that once you upload your photos, they're available across any template you select. Read more...

Monday, October 20, 2008

HP Releases Two New Desktops and 25.5 Inch Monitor

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:00 PM

HP has released a trio of new products that are quite stylish - although I'd have preferred to see a new Slimline computer in this mix. Most consumers don't need full-sized computers like this. I dig the paint jobs on these though!

This is the HP Pavilion Verde Special Edition a6645f PC. Rolls off the tongue like peanut butter, doesn't it? I'm impressed with how much hardware they can pack into this for $579: and AMD Athlon X2 4850e dual-core CPU at 2.5 Ghz, NVIDIA nForce 430 chipset, 5 GB of DDR2 RAM, 500 GG 7200 RPM hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE graphic card. Really? A 6000 series GeForce, still? The HP Slimline computer I bought earlier this year has the same GPU, and it's not powerful enough to run the screen animations on the Zune software at full tilt - they really need to let that GPU line pass away gracefully instead of cramming it into new desktops. That one issue aside, this looks like a decent computer.

The equally long-named HP Pavilion Phoenix Special Edition a6655f PC is going to be available from Best Buy on November 9th for $659. It will ship with an AMD Phenom X4 9150e Quad-Core CPU running at 1.8 Ghz, the NVIDIA nForce 430 chipset, 5 GB of DDR2 RAM, a 640 GB 7200 RPM hard drive...and the same lame GPU as the machine above: the NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE.

The short but obscurely-named HP w2558hc boasts a massive 25.5 inches of screen real estate, and an equally large HDMI logo on the front of the monitor. I sure hope that's a sticker that can be peeled off - why would someone need to be reminded that their monitor has HDMI? The w2558hc runs at 1920 x 1200 resolution, has a 3000:1 contrast ratio, a 3 ms gray to gray speed at 1920x1200, a 2 megapixel web cam, and according to the spec sheet, integrated rear-facing four-watt speakers. The price? A very reasonable $599. The HP screens are super glossy though (I have a 22 inch version), so you have to want the hyper-gloss effect. It makes things look nice, but if you have any sort of sunglight hitting the monitor, all you see is glare.

The full press release for all these products is after the break. Read more...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Engadget: Voodoo Envy 133 Unboxing and Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:00 AM

"HP's Voodoo Envy 133, first announced in June, has struggled a bit off the blocks, with manufacturing problems keeping it out of buyers hands until last month. Of course, HP has a good excuse: carbon fiber. The notoriously difficult material wasn't used sparingly on the Envy 133, and if you've been looking for a laptop dripping with the synthetic material, HP's got your number. We mention this to remind ourselves that, like the MacBook Air before it, this laptop is about looks first, function second, and the Envy 133 succeeds in that regard wildly. There's always room for taste in these things, but HP makes quite a statement here no matter what your persuasion."

The Voodoo Envy 133 looks like one tasty laptop - I'm considering it for my next laptop purchase when I eventually replace my XPS M1330, but the high-gloss surface gives me pause. High-gloss, fingerprint-prone surfaces drive me nuts on phones, so on the much bigger surface area of a laptop, I might have a nervous breakdown. The specs on the laptop look great, although having an X3100 GPU is somewhat limiting as I learned with my Dell Studio Hybrid - I'm surprised HP didn't go with an ATI solution instead. Perhaps for the second generation model? Regardless of my quibbles, this is one unique laptop in the Windows space and it looks like there are great things ahead for HP and Voodoo.

Friday, August 22, 2008

HP's dv6885se Special Edition Copper "Thrive" Notebook

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

This gorgeous laptop from HP is a special edition product that's sold exclusively at Best Buy locations. It features an Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 CPU at 2.1 Ghz, Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN WiFi, 3 GB DDR2 RAM, a 15.4" WXGA screen, a 250GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 rpm), a 256 MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS GPU, and all the usual ports (USB, Ethernet, Firewire, HDMI, VGA-out, etc.). Full specifications can be found at HP's Web site. At the time I shot this video, it was selling for $1149 USD directly from Best Buy (today it's $1149), but I've seen it as low as $999. With the Centrino 2 platform now shipping, one would hope HP would update the hardware on this laptop. Check out the video, and my testing notes, after the break. Read more...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

31 Days of the Dragon Contests Wrapping Up: Your Last Chances to Enter

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 09:43 AM

Here are the the last of the 31 Days of the Dragon giveaway contests:
And the Hardware Geeks Dragon giveaway has been extended by a couple of days because just like this site, Hardware Geeks is located in the Planet hosting facility that had an explosion last weekend. They must be still having trouble because it took several minutes for that contest post to load. This is your last chance to enter the contests, so go for it!

Friday, May 30, 2008

HP's A10 Printing Mailbox for Presto Service

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:47 AM

"Presto's HP A10 Printing Mailbox lets you share email and photos with family and friends who don't have a computer or internet connection. The HP Printing Mailbox is for use with PrestoSM Service. It shares an existing phone line to connect to the Presto Service, uses plain paper and standard HP print cartridges. With Presto Service and the HP Printing Mailbox, family and friends send ordinary email and attached photos from any email client to the Presto user. Purchase the HP Printing Mailbox, then call 1-800-919-3199 or go online to to purchase the $9.99 monthly plan or the $99.99 annual plan. Presto automatically transforms messages into beautiful full-color printouts. Several times per day, on a schedule you choose, the HP Printing Mailbox dials in to the Presto Service to retrieve new messages and prints them in beautiful color-automatically. Presto only delivers messages from people on your Presto Friends list, so there are no ads, no spam, no junk mail."

The idea of printing email has always seemed ridiculous to me, but the more I considered the target market for this device, the more it started to make sense. I have two surviving grand-parents, and neither one of them has a computer - nor have they ever indicated they have a desire to own one. Yet I know they'd both enjoy being in better contact with family members - so this device certainly fills a niche. Unfortunately for me, it's 100% US-based, so I can't use it (sadly typical). But if the person you want to use this device lives in the US, you're in luck: the printer is $50 off at the moment, costing $99 USD. The way it deals with spam is excellent: the service will only print email from people that you've allowed onto the list. Nice. Father's day is coming up - anyone have a non-technically inclined father that might enjoy this? [Affiliate]

Thursday, May 15, 2008

31 Days of the Dragon: Other Contests Now Running

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 11:00 AM

Our contest is still going strong, but remember there are other contests out there that you should be entering if you want to maximize your chances of winning the HP HDX9200 (Dragon). The full list of sites is at the official 31 Days of the Dragon site, but here's a list of the sites that currently have contests running:
That's it for now - I hope everyone has fun with the contests! If anyone's curious, our contest will be closing around 10 PM (GMT -7) on the 17th. I'll be attempting to pick the winner that night - wish me luck. ;-)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

31 Days of the Dragon: We're Giving Away an HP Pavlion HDX9200 Notebook PC + Software + DVDs ($5500 Value)

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 09:23 PM


The time has finally arrived (yeah, sorry for being a bit late): we're launching our 31 Days of the Dragon giveaway contest today. All the details about what's in the giveaway bundle can be found here, but the short version is that it's a pimped out-to-the-max HDX9200 notebook PC worth about $5000 if purchased at retail. The laptop features an Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 CPU (2.8 Ghz), 500 GB of storage (2 x 250 GB hard drives), 4 GB of RAM, integrated HDTV tuner, fingerprint reader, nVidia GeForce 8800M GS with 512 MB of RAM, a 20.1 inch WUXGA screen (1080p, 1920 x 1200), and lots more. The software bundle includes Office 2007, three Blu-ray DVDs, and more. I'm reviewing it, but when I'm done (on or around the 17th of May), I'm giving it away to one of YOU.

*** The Official Contest Rules ***
OK, so you want to win this awesome prize bundle. I've been doing more YouTube videos lately, and as such I want to bump up our profile there. You know how YouTube works: the most popular videos and channels got there by first getting some exposure. I'd like you to help me with that! Here's all you need to do:
  1. If you don't already have a YouTube account, create one (it's free and fast). If you have one already, you're golden.
  2. Jump over to the YouTube page where the HDX9200 unboxing and first impressions video is posted. Watch the video, rate it, and post a comment on the YouTube page. Your comment should answer this question: "How will the Dragon rock your world?" Meaning, if you were to win the HDX9200, how would it change things for you? Would it allow you to get rid of your current computer, monitor, keyboard, and speakers? Would you come up with creative uses for a powerful workstation that could be moved - could you finally launch that mobile music recording studio business, be a wedding photographer and edit photos on the spot, or would it allow you to achieve some other goal? Or would you just revel in the sheer power of being able to play games and edit movies faster than ever before? Tell me how you'd use this powerful computer!
  3. After you've posted your comment (only one comment per YouTube account), click on the yellow Subscribe button to subscribe to the Thoughts Media YouTube Channel.
  4. If you want to double your chances of winning, also post your comment here on Digital Home Thoughts as a reply to this post. Please post your YouTube username as well so I can verify that you've subscribed to our YouTube channel and posted a comment there. If this is your first post to Digital Home Thoughts, please allow up to 24 hours for your post to appear.
  5. I'll randomly select one person from the combined total of all the YouTube comments and the comments here. That person will win the laptop. Boom! Anyone in the world can win this laptop, thanks to the generous support of HP and Buzzcorps - it will be couriered to you.
The fine print about how I'm doing the random selection: When I do the random drawing, I'll do it from a combined total of all the YouTube subscribers and all the comments posted here on Digital Home Thoughts. Each YouTube subscriber and each comment posted here on Digital Home Thoughts will be assigned a numerical value, and I'll use to pick a random number from the total. That's why if you post a comment both on YouTube, and here, you'll double your chances of winning. When I select the winner I'll be checking it against the comments, so make sure you fulfil all the contest requirements. If the person that is randomly selected hasn't followed my instructions, another winner will be chosen.

If you have questions about the contest, please don't post them here, only post your contest entries - send me a message with your questions using our contact form and I'll update this post with further details if I've forgotten anything. I hope everyone has fun with this contest!

*** UPDATE: PLEASE READ THIS. *** I just finished approving 65 (!!) new posts for this contest, and over 10 of them were duplicates. ONLY POST ONCE. You will not see your post right away if it's your first post to this site. It's held in moderation, then will be approved and will show up. Post ONCE, then come back in 24 hours and confirm your post is here (it will be). Anyone who has more than one post in this thread will be disqualified.

*** UPDATE #2: PLEASE READ THIS. *** If anyone posts more than once to this contest thread, or to the YouTube comments, they'll be disqualified. I just spent 30 minutes cleaning up more than a dozen posts in this discussion thread from a single user. I appreciate everyone's enthusiasm for this contest, but because each post is an entry, I can't allow more than one entry per person per location (one entry here, one entry over on YouTube). When I randomly select the winner, I'll be searching through all the discussion posts and if that person has posted more than once, they'll be disqualified and I'll pick another winner. That's the only way to keep this contest fair.

And That's a Wrap: Hope You Enjoyed The Contest!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 03:00 PM

...and we're done. That was one of the biggest contests, I've ever put on for any of my sites: 46 different prizes from13 different companies, totalling just over $7000 USD in prizes. Whew! I hope all of you Digital Home Thoughts readers enjoyed it, and that you'll return here again and again to read our news, reviews, and contribute to our community. One of the challenges in running a site with such a broad focus like this is it can be hard to build a critical mass of community - this contest was a mechanism to get people posting, get them involved in our forums, and get them reading the site. Keep coming back if you like what we do here!

A big thank you goes out to all of the companies that donated awesome prizes to this contest: Microsoft and the Windows Vista Team, Orb Audio, LumaPix, Kingston, HP, Audioengine, Corel, Cyberlink, Pinnacle, Proporta, PPC Techs, Roxio, and NTI.

And you'd think I'd be all done with contests for a bit, but nooooo, it's time to ramp up for the 31 Days of the Dragon giveaway event. Check back later today for the rules on how to enter to win an awesome $5500 prize pack, the centerpiece of which is an HP Pavilion HDX9200.

Our Dragon Contest is Coming Soon...

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 11:40 AM

[image courtesy of digitalmediaphile]

Because of the server move we had to do last night and this morning, things are a bit back-logged on me getting the 31 Days of the Dragon contest up on Digital Home Thoughts. It will happen today for sure, but it won't kick off until tonight - sorry about that! Watch for it. In the meantime, here's an updated list on some of the contests that are still going on, and some that are ending very soon:

Monday, May 5, 2008

HP "Dragon" Giveaway Contests Continue to Launch

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 07:03 PM

The contests keep on coming, and as of today, there are contests going on at the following sites:
Remember that each of the 31 sites involved with this promotion are giving away a prize bundle valued at $5196 if purchased at retail. So if you want, you can enter all 31 contests and have 31 chances to win. What's not to love? I'd encourage everyone to jump on this opportunity, because frankly the more energy we see around this, the greater the odds are that it will happen again. So jump to it!

Featured Product

The Canon PowerShot S100 - The incredibly fun and small camera that offers you 12.1 megapixels with a bright f/2.0 lens and full 1080p video recording . MORE INFO

News Tip or Feedback?

Contact us

Thoughts Media Sites

Windows Phone Thoughts

Digital Home Thoughts

Zune Thoughts

Apple Thoughts

Laptop Thoughts

Android Thoughts

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...