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All posts tagged "hp"

Friday, April 2, 2010

HP and Dell Shifting Focus Away from 10 Inch Netbooks

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

"Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell have both significantly reduced their investments in the 10-inch netbook segment, with HP reportedly even considering quitting the 10-inch netbook market and turning its focus to AMD-based 11.6-inch notebooks because profits from Intel Pine Trail-based netbooks have been lower than expected, according to sources from notebook makers."

I think 11.6 inch screens are more usable - 10 inch displays can be a little squinty for some, especially once you move beyond 1024 x 600 resolutions - but I do have to question the use of AMD CPUs. Based on my tests using Proshow Gold, the AMD Neo CPU at 1.6 Ghz renders 1080p video twice as fast as the 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom CPU...but the AMD Neo has two cores! That means the performance is in the same ballpark on a per-core basis. The real problem with the AMD Neo CPU is the power consumption; it uses 15 watts at full load, while the Intel Atom N450 shipping as part of the Pinetrail chipset today on netbooks consumes 5.5 watts. Even if you factor in the fact that the AMD CPU has two cores, it's still more power-hungry than the Intel Atom CPU. I have an HP dv2 and it has pretty bad battery life; the fan also never stops loudly spewing hot air. I just don't think AMD has the whole "low power CPU" thing figured out.

As a side note, does anyone have an answer for why the N450 CPU shipping on notebooks uses 5.5 watts while the Z530 in netbooks prior to 2010 used only 2 watts? I thought Pinetrail was all about power consumption savings...Intel more than doubled the power consumption of the Atom CPU, yet it benchmarks no faster. I wonder why the added power consumption was necessary?

UPDATE: This is one of the main reasons I like Twitter; people smarter than me teaching me things. The wise sbrown23 pointed out the following to me when I asked the above question about power consumption: "Pinetrail moved additional functions on-chip, so you may have increased CPU power usage, but lower total system power consumption...Big power killer in 1st gen Atom was the chipset & graphics, much of which is on chip now and much more efficient." And there you have it! That ends up making the AMD Neo chip look even worse though, because I believe the 15 watts is CPU-only, not any other parts of the chipset.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Going Green With a New Windows Home Server

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

Since first hearing about the Windows Home Server operating system a few years ago, I've been intrigued with Microsoft's efforts in this space. I was fortunate to be included in the first beta, for which I used my old software/hardware testing computer, cobbled together from an assortment of parts. I called this my "Frankenbox"; the machine was a standard mid-sized tower with a 400 watt power supply, a 3 Ghz Celeron CPU, and 2 GB of RAM. When I deployed it as my Windows Home Server, I added a few new parts to it: an Intel gigabit Ethernet card, a SATA card for installing extra hard drives, and of course a bunch of hard drives. It's easiest to show the hard drive arrangement with a screen shot. Read more...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Vivienne Tam Digital Clutch is Refreshed

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"The new HP Mini 210 Vivienne Tam Edition, also known as the “Butterfly Lovers” Digital Clutch, will be available for sale on March 19th starting at $599 and if you can’t wait you can call and reserve yours today. In addition to looking good the new HP Mini 210 include s2GB of Ram, an Instant On OS, HP Quicksync to keep important files synced up between your netbook and main computer as well as HP MediaStream for streaming files on the go. Oh yes, and the ability to use the webcam as a “compact mirror” that’s just one click away."

Another pretty stylish laptop for the ladies. When these came out, I had no idea who Vivienne Tam was, but I asked my wife and she did, which I guess is the point. I'd like to see them develop something similar for the male aesthetic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

All in All, It's HP and their Touch Wall

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

"Driven by an H-P Z800 workstation, the wall acts as a large immersive H-P TouchSmart computer both in terms of content and resolution. Users can access cable feeds, satellite feeds, downloaded and streaming content from the web such as YouTube,, and social networking sites, as well view DVR and DVD content."

I can only imagine how compelling an experience like this would be if instead of a "touch" like interface, you used something like Project Natal from Microsoft. A large portion of what HP is demonstrating can probably be accomplished at home with a projector and some open source software like Touchless, but keep in mind the demonstration wall in the video is made up of 9 HD screens! What I'm also interested in is how else this technology can be used. Sure, there are the well establish concepts like an extreme video player and virtual windows, but what about a more immersive telepresence environment? With screens (even joined) reaching that size and detail, teleconferencing could be much more compelling than the usual tiny face pics we see now. Or imagine being a grand parent and seeing your grand child as if there were in the same room (almost).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Q4 2009 Windows PC Sales Explode

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

"While Mac sales in the U.S. were up 31 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, Apple was unable to keep pace with exploding sales of cheap Windows PCs, and fell to the No. 5 spot, research firm IDC said Wednesday. Rival analysts at Gartner, meanwhile, pegged Apple's year-over-year growth at 23 percent, and also put it in fifth place, behind Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer and Toshiba. Apple's new position is down one from the same quarter in 2008."

Unit sales for HP were up 45%, and unit sales for Toshiba were up 71%. Driving all the growth? Low-cost netbook and notebooks - a realm where Apple doesn't exist today. A big factor was certainly Windows 7 - many people I knew were waiting for Windows 7 computers to ship because they "heard Vista was bad". True or not, the perception was there, and Windows 7 couldn't come soon enough. Now that it's here, people are snapping up affordable computers.

Tags: hp, dell, laptops, netbooks

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The HP Slate Device

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 10:40 AM

Engadget has a brief post about the forthcoming HP slate - notice how "slate" is the buzz-word this year at CES - but no one knows much about it yet. HP didn't have it out for display at the press conference event I attended last night (yeah, I'm at CES!), but we know that it's going to be running Windows. The question, as always, is how well can Windows 7 work on a small-screen device? Windows doesn't have a very flexible UI - there are assumptions about the screen size of the device being a certain size, and once you get below the 9 inch range, you start to get into problems being able to hit touch targets. Windows 7 is the best of all Microsoft OS' in terms of having reasonably-sized UI elements - the new taskbar area for instance has nice, big icons. Windows isn't designed for touch though, so how well will a device like this work? What do you think?

Tags: hp, ces 2010, hp slate

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

14 New HP Models Leaked in Advance of CES 2010

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:01 PM

"Holy smokes! A ton of unannounced HP laptops and desktops just came across our desk, in addition to those Envy models we saw just a few days back. Ahead of what we presume will be their formal announcement next week right around CES, we've got some details on 14 new models -- some more interesting than others."

Itching to see what HP has in store for the next few months? Engadget has the lowdown on a bunch of new models of laptops, desktops, and the HP Mini 210 netbook. Looks like some interesting hardware in the mix!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

HP Mini 210 Coming Soon...

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:30 PM

"We've known HP's Mini 210 netbook has been coming for a while now, but today brings a lot of details and a batch of exclusive photos found by yours truly. This new netbook will be the replacement for HP's existing Mini 110 and, as we learned a few days ago, will be powered by Intel's new PineTrail platform. PineTrail is the codename for Intel's updated Atom platform and will bring decent power consumption improvements, although performance is expected to stay largely the same."

The rumoured specs for the HP Mini 210 seem to be pretty close to the 110: 1 GB of RAM, 160 GB or 250 GB hard drive, Windows 7 Starter Edition, 3 or 6-cell battery, and 802.11b/g or b/g/n WiFi. I'd presume that the screen size would stay at 10.1 inches - but hopefully offer the 1366 x 768 screen resolution. I'm digging the red and blue colours - they seem to lack the pattern that comes on the silver and black-lid versions. The pattern is less feminine than previous ones though, so that's a step in the right direction...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Seth Goodin on Setting Up a New Computer

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:04 AM's+Blog)

"I just set up a friend's PC. I haven't done that in a while. Wow. Apparently, a computer is now not a computer, it's an opportunity to upsell you. First, the setup insisted (for my own safety) that I sign up for an eternal subscription to Norton. Then it defaulted (opt out) to sending me promotional emails..."

Seth Goodin is a brilliant marketing/PR guy who somehow manages, every single day, to send out an email with meaningful thoughts about his industry. His email today struck a cord that I thought Digital Home Thoughts readers would be interested in - it was about his experience setting up a new PC. He's 100% right; setting up a new PC does feel like a carnival experience, with distractions and conflicting experiences as part of what customers have come to expect. So much of the new computer experience feels whorish; HP is the worst for this, with their co-branded HP/AOL home page, HP/AOL toolbar, eBay links on the desktop, etc. Read more...

Friday, November 27, 2009

58% Off an HP LX195 MediaSmart Home Server

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 10:44 AM

"Automatically back up and protect your digital memories, centralize your media and content for sharing with friends and family, and enjoy your digital media while at home or away with the HP LX195 MediaSmart Home Server. The LX195 is the first HP MediaSmart to be powered by the efficient Intel Atom processor, which helps use less energy and save you money on your electrical bills. A Sleep Mode conserves energy and saves you money in more ways than one. The built-in sleep mode consumes only 3W of power, and the server can take on many of your PC's responsibilities, enabling you to turn off your individual computers to further save energy and money."

People, this is an AMAZING deal! Amazon normally sells this for $472, but it's on sale right now for $199, a whopping 58% off. This is a full-fledged Windows Home Server, with all the awesomeness that entails, but it's aimed at someone who doesn't need ungodly amounts of storage right out of the box - it has 640 GB of storage, and no internal storage bays for expansion. It has four USB ports though, so you can easily expand it using external USB hard drives. This isn't the right product for everyone, but for $199, this is a great product for anyone that doesn't have lots of digital media but has multiple computers and is looking for an easy way to keep them backed up. I believe that Windows Home Server is a truly fantastic product that should be in every home, and I've never seen such an affordable way to do it...and what a gift this would make!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For HP, Envy is a 13 inch Notebook

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM

"Intentional or not it bears more in resemblance with Apple's lineup than its own predecessors, it's part of the very first wave of computers with Windows 7 pre-installed, it places a large emphasis on battery life but still manages great performance, and it's a "luxury" PC that actually provides some pretty good excuses for its inflated pricetag. We've spent a nice solid week with the laptop, so find out if the Envy 13 can live up to its promise after the break."

HP has been a busy boy. In the past couple of months, it has released the HP Mini 311, dm3 and now for its premium line of ultra-portables, we have the Envy 13. It is pretty. It does perform well. It also comes with an optional battery slice to give you that all day computing. But none of these really make the Envy 13 stand out. The only new thing that it can really trumpet is that it uses Windows 7. I am trying hard to come out with something to say that makes the Envy 13 a must buy, especially something to justify the $1700 price tag, but I cannot. Can anyone think of why someone would pay the price of several netbooks for this?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unboxing Photos of the HP Envy 15

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 06:00 AM

"As configured, the HP Envy 15 is the most powerful five pound notebook on the market. As you can see in the image below, this envy 15 comes with an Intel Core i7-720QM processor, dual 160GB solid state drives, 16GB of DDR3 RAM and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics with 1GB of deicated graphics memory."

I'm eyeing the HP Envy 15 for my next laptop - my XPS M1330 is starting to feel a little aged, though it still stacks up nicely against most other notebooks in the spec department - so I'm eager to read everything I can about the Envy 15. It blends the opposing traits of a powerful CPU with great battery life by including the battery slice in the box, which is excellent - it's one less thing to buy. I've seen the Envy 15 in person and there are two things I'm iffy on: the 1920 x 1080 resolution is really high for a 15.6 inch screen, and I'm not sure if bumping font sizes (or the DPI) would be enough to make it workable. The second thing is HP, for some bizarre reason, went with a very "girly" floral-style pattern on the lid. I hate the way it looks, so I'd be looking to slap a decal from DecalGirl on there right away...which seems ridiculous to me. I'm not aware of any other laptops out there that have the Core i7 mobile CPU but still manage decent battery life...any suggestions?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

HP dm3 Gives You All Day Computing

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 08:00 AM

"Ultrathin and decked out in brushed aluminum, the HP Pavilion dm3t is one of the best looking notebooks of the year. In fact, it looks more expensive than its price tag would suggest (starting at $649; $839 as configured). And thanks to an Ultra-Low Voltage Intel processor, this Windows 7 system lasts all day on a charge while offering good performance compared to the competition."

While netbooks have been all the rage, the notebook class has definitely been stagnating. Stylish ultrathin laptops like the Dell Adamo XPS and powerhouse Core i7 laptops get most of the attention, but the middle of the road laptops like the HP dm3 are worth a look. The dm3 has all the regular bells and whistles expected of a laptop but has the notable exception of having an extremely long battery life, topping over 9 hours. Being the paranoid geek that I am, I am rarely away from a power outlet, but the idea of being able to go anywhere and not have to worry about being near an outlet is a tempting prospect indeed!

Tags: hardware, hp, laptops, dm3t

Monday, October 26, 2009

HP's Core i7-based Desktops Plagued by Problems?

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

"Hewlett-Packard customers are up in arms about a major glitch affecting the company's Core i7-based PCs. A HP forum containing a shedload of gripes about the technical cockup - that some suggest may have been caused by a defective motherboard - runs to over 100 pages. A Reg reader told us that HP's line of Intel Core i7 CPU-loaded computers were locking up, freezing and regurgitating blue screens of death. He added that the vendor's Elite Pavillion Series appear to be particularly hampered by the nasty glitch."

It's sometimes hard to tell when a technology problem is wide-spread, because people with the problem tend to complain loudly while people without the problem quietly go about their business...but this seems like a legitimate issue with HP's Core i7 systems. Any Digital Home Thoughts readers bitten by this problem?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Win an HP Envy 15 from

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 07:00 AM

"One lucky reader will get to unwrap an HP Envy 15 on October 22. That's right, we're giving one of these bad boys away and you have a chance to win it. Wouldn't you rather spend the day playing with one of the most powerful notebooks on the market than waiting in line to buy Windows 7?"

A 15 inch screen at 1080p? Intel Core i7 processor, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drive? ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 GPU? Wow...what's not to love? Full contest details are over at, though be aware this contest is US-only.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

HP Envy 15 Beats Limited Edition

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 PM

I can't seem to find any information about the pricing on this Beats limited edition version of the HP Envy 15, but I have a hunch it will come at a slight premium - made less painful by the fact that this version of the Envy 15 doesn't come with the Core i7 features an Intel Quad Core CPU instead. CPU aside, I love the black finish on this looks slick!

HP Envy 15 Walkthrough Video from

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

Curious about the new HP Envy 15? Xavier got some hands-on time with the Envy 15, and this video is a walkthrough with HP's Kevin Wentzel. Am I the only one who's feeling very "iffy" about the design on the lid? I thought it was originally going to be a design-free lid, which I thought was a great idea...but looking at the unit in this video, I see a very busy design that frankly really detracts from the overall aesthetic of the very clean design. What do you think?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Behold the HP Mini 311! Powerhouse Netbook!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 06:30 AM

"When is a netbook not a netbook? PC makers have been looking to expand the definition of these systems by outfitting them with larger screens and bigger batteries, but one constant has remained: a low-powered processor that limits their use to surfing the Web, checking e-mail, editing documents, and watching standard-def video."

Laptop Magazine is one of the first publications to get a review of the eagerly anticipated HP Mini 311 out of the gate. The HP Mini represents one of the first NVidia ION powered netbooks to come to market. The review covers all the details you need to know about the sweet little device, and yes, it plays games faster than in slide show mode, and yes, it is capable of 1080p video, provided you are playing back something that is GPU accelerated (Flash 10.1 cannot come early enough!) and yes, it can even do video editing at a reasonable speed. Unfortunately, I see two things that could potentially make the Mini 311 less attractive. First, with a 11.6" screen, the Mini 311 comes dangerously close to entering the notebook market. This is probably on purpose though, since people are finding lilliputian screens hard to watch for an extended period of time. Second, why, oh why does it have a single core CPU? Still, at a launch price of $399, it is really hard to knock this beauty and it will probably find its way into many homes soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gaming on a Netbook? Surely You Jest!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 10:30 AM

"I don’t spend a whole lot of time playing games, but I do enjoy playing them. You can’t even get graphics-intensive games to load on most netbooks, but they’re playable on the Mini 311. In this video you can see that Call of Duty 4 plays smoothly on low settings."

The HP Mini 311, though not available yet, is one of the first netbooks that will be released using the Nvidia ION chipset. One of the big draws about ION, aside from potentially offering 1080p video playback, is the 9400M class GPU. While it will not be able to run games with the highest quality settings, it is way faster than the antiquated GMA950 that comes with most netbooks. Way faster. I mean, 3D games no longer look like someone using a slide projector. even has a video demonstrating Call of Duty 4 to give you a real world example of what you can expect. I doubt that any hardcore gamer would settle for what the HP Mini 311 provides as their primary rig, but being able to start up the occasional game without having to cart around a behemoth is very attractive. At an estimated starting price of $399, there is little reason to pick from the older generation netbooks.

Thursday, September 17, 2009 Video of the HP dm3

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:30 PM

"The HP Pavilion dm3 is a great looking notebook PC that starts at just $549. Its premium metallic finish makes it stand out from the crowd of notebooks with plastic finishes and I'm sure this will be a hot seller this holiday season. The dm3 is a thin and light notebook with a 13′ display. It weighs in at just over four pounds, making it light enough to carry around all day long. It utilizes mild processors that are relatively affordable and that increase battery life."

One word: wow. It blows me away that HP is able make such a thin, light, and frankly great looking computer and sell it for such a low price. Dell keeps cranking out plastic computers - other than the ultra-expensive Adamo of course - and HP is pushing the envelope with their materials and designs. One thing I wish though is that HP offered more colour choices. I'm a sucker for a coloured laptop, and HP is sadly inflexible when it comes to that. But I'll take the great looking dm3 any day!

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