I was invited to the launch of the new HP Pavilion dv2 Series Entertainment Notebook PC at Supperclub. Make that two notebooks actually, one in black and one in white. Which do you prefer?
Separate Blu-Ray DVD recorder - just like the MacBook Air.
Lots of cool HP software. You can now write Chinese characters and some other Asian scripts and manage your media files, wherever they’re stored. I feel that because Apple included its iLife software with its operating system, it raised the bar and Microsoft took a while to fill the gap.
You can also manage your photos. Looks like HP’s answer to Apple’s iPhoto.
As a business student who’s learnt some things about customer segmentation, I’d like to see if more girls buy the white model and more guys buy the black model. Of course, the hardcore guy gamers will want a more powerful notebook.
I actually think this will be popular among female students, because it is slim, not too heavy, and parents won’t complain about the extremely affordable price. Especially in difficult economic times like this.
Can you guess how much this costs? (don’t peek… scroll down if you want the answer)
As the world’s press (at least, those not covering WWDC!) starts filing stories, I think one great angle to cover is how HP’s new superslim laptop, the Voodoo Envy 133, compares with Apple’s MacBook Pro for form factor.
Is it a MacBook Air killer, or just a pretender to the throne? Or do they simply rule different kingdoms? Here’s my 2 cents’ worth.
Betting on black
The Envy133’s shiny black exterior and interior should appeal to the design-conscious. The only downside is that fingerprints show up more obviously on this than on a MacBook Air/Pro or other laptops with a metal finishing. We have yet to scratch an Envy 133.
Slimmer than Air
While the Envy133 has an all-round rectangular design, it is evenly thin at 0.7 inches. The MacBook Air is still indisputably the thinnest at the sides, but at its thickest is 0.76 inches. So who’s the slimmest of them all?
Perhaps we can say that the two notebooks are on different tracks, at least for finger-pointing devices. The Envy 133 has an unusual trackpad. It isn’t a flat surface but a rectangular patch of dots, almost making me wonder if it was some kind of inverse Braille. However it did work like a normal trackpad, as you can see in this video.
Same, same but different
For hard drives, both the Envy and MacBook Air have 64GB (solid state drive) and 80GB (hard disk drive).
For processors, the MacBook Air uses 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors. The Envy uses 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz Intel Centrino processors.
In terms of price, the Envy 133’s US$2,099 price tag is more expensive than the basic MacBook Air which uses a hard drive (not solid state).
Both have 13.3” widescreen displays and backlit keyboards with ambient light sensors.
Keeping you up all night
On paper, the MacBook Air gives 5 hours of battery life while the Envy 133 gives 3h 45min, “depending on usage”.
Along with power and processing, another challenge for ultra portable laptops is the number of ports that can be fit into them. HP moved the ethernet port to the power adapter, which makes sense to me - if you’re at your desk you’d use the power cable + adapter, which becomes more like a mobile dock. If you’re on the go you’d use wireless internet connection anyway (which is become more ubiquitous). The MacBook Air does away with this.
I would like to see: A side-by-side comparison of the MacBook Air and the Envy 133. Apparently a journalist here is walking about with one. Someone please grab him and do a story on this. [Update: Found him, he’s a blogger and he’s already posted a comparison between the two, in French]
I am not too clear on the market positioning for this, as I thought Voodoo series was meant for gaming (as a rival to Dell’s Alienware) but we’ve been told this model is more for mobile users.
So in the end, which is better, Envy or Air? If you’re a personal PC user who wants a mobile laptop, you’d want to give the Envy a second look. If you’re a hardcore Machead, you’d never get a PC anyway. For those of us who are comfortable with both PCs and Macs, like myself, I would look beyond the form factor, since both machines are lovely to behold, and see which runs faster and whose battery lasts longer. Benchmark tests should do the trick.
CNN Money/Fortune Mag also discusses whether this can be a MacBook Air killer. Their answer: Not really.
Here’s the link to the infamous pic of a guy cutting his birthday cake with a friend’s MacBook Air. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘cutting edge’ technologies. To add more spice to the story, this guy is Rahul Sood who’s the founder of VoodooPC (under HP).
HP aims to change personal computing with their new TouchSmart PC, with a completely touch-sensitive monitor and sleek user interface. Official press release Just added to HP’s website: Interactive guide to the TouchSmart PC.
Here are the VERY FIRST photos from the global launch. Stay tuned!!!
Check out this YouTube video I shot of the launch. It may still be processing as it just got uploaded, so just wait a while.
Just logged in. Check this post often for updates, or watch my Twitter updates.
Great fanfare as HP heralds its achievements in an opening movie (will post clips later).
Eric Cador (HP Europe) is giving the opening address, on the importance of touch. We still don’t know what the new products are, but it’s definitely got to do with touch. Any guesses?
Berlin news presenter on stage, saying that HP and Berlin have a lot in common, both having significant growth in the past few years.
He says “Definitely by far, it is the biggest and most innovative” thing they have done, with a “unique personality, unique spirit”.
HP Executive Vice President Todd Bradley emphasises how big HP is now. HP spends US$3.5 billion on R&D, more than any other competitor. They are enjoying significant growth in China and Southeast Asia, among other places.
Bradley says the youth market is important to HP, mentioning Jay-Z and Serena Williams (not sure - were they brand ambassadors? cos I haven’t heard of them endorsing HP products). He says he wants to connect the world.
Finally - new HP products!
HP Pavilion notebooks - I see 13 or 14 notebooks on stage. Talking about the new metallic finishing on a notebook. Widescreen display. If you drop a notebook it will automatically save and shut down the hard disk. Useful, but other brands have done it already.
The Elitebook seems promising for business - it also has an unscratchable exterior (anyone want to give it a scratch?), biometric fingerprint reader and GSM/CDMA connectivity for Europe and USA respectively.
ENVY133 is HP’s new kickass gaming notebook. Only 0.7 inches thin with an even slimmer removable battery that looks just like a thick plastic sheet!! 13” screen (I think). As it is so slim, the ethernet connectivity has been added to the power adapter instead. (Will confirm these facts later, am typing/photographing/videoing/Twittering all at once!)
It has an ambient light sensor and they’ve done a one-up on Apple for this. When you move your hands AWAY from the screen, the backlit keyboard will dim. When you move your hands back, the keyboard will light up again. Fwah!!
The Envy doesn’t have tapered edges like the MacBook Air but it is so slim, black and shiny that we’re all staring at it. The global news media is taking lots of photos, lights flashing everywhere.
Looks like HP is aiming at Apple (MacBook Air) for looks and Dell (Alienware) for power at the same time with this baby. It is SOOO beautiful and only costs US$2099 - a fair price for a superslim notebook. I actually want one.
HP Dreamcolor is a new monitor aimed at Hollywood Studios. Apparently Shrek and Kung-fu Panda were made with HP products. (But aren’t the processing systems still dominated by Apple?)