HP's new laptop lineup: Will consumerization kick in?

Summary:The wild-card for HP's new PCs is whether they have the designs and enough sex appeal to entice workers to tote them to their corporations.

HP has launched a new armada of consumer and business laptops, ultrabooks and "fauxtrabooks" along with a dose of new printers. The product launches are among the first since HP split divided its units into two sides---enterprise and consumer.

The wild-card for HP's new PCs is whether they have the designs and enough sex appeal to entice workers to tote them to their corporations.

CNET: HP updates Pavilion laptops, including new m6 fauxtrabook | HP announces Envy ultrabooks, 'sleekbooks,' business-targeted EliteBook Folio | Mobile all-in-one stands out among trio of new HP printers | ZDNet UK: HP delivers EliteBook Folio ultrabook for business

Let's face it: We're entering a bring your own device world. Companies just aren't into PC upgrades. For instance, I have a crappy Lenovo T61 with Windows XP from CBS. The thing barely works and was used in 2006 when it showed up. But here's the catch: This laptop clunker is not old enough to be replaced. Sure, I could lobby the executives above (I was told to pitch the CTO), but frankly I'd rather bring my own laptop and blog about it.

I digress.

The point for HP is that its fancy laptops---Envy ultrabooks, "sleekbooks" and the Elitebook Folio---are designed to straddle the line between courting consumers who covet MacBook Airs and the corporate warriors.

Also: HP's reorg: Enterprise carries the team

Overall, the prices appear to be right. CNET's Scott Stein notes that HP's ultrabook starts at $749. An AMD sleekbook hits $599. Those price points will appeal to most corporate types.

For HP's PC unit to keep its lead and inspire some Apple-ish Envy it needs two upgrade cycles---consumer and corporate---to fall its way. Increasingly, those two upgrade cycles are intertwined. HP's real competition may be tablets and Apple's iPad going forward.

Bottom line: Now that HP has split its businesses into two camps it'll become clear how these PC designs play out and the need to entice corporations.

Related BYOD: Five reasons why iPad and iPhone are THE choices for BYODYes, BYOD, but fix it yourself.BYOD: Are businesses prepared?SMB: 5 ways ‘bring your own device’ will impact your companyAsia: BYOD boosts staff's productivity, job satisfactionUK: Bring Your Own Delusion (BYOD)AU: Build your own laptop stand

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Mobility


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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