HP reinvents sex

HP reinvents sex

Summary: HP have reinvented sex in computers with their new range of piano-black PCs with highly refined silver trim and blue LED lights. Finally, PCs are as sophisticated on the outside as they are on the inside. And all thanks to Satjiv Chahil and his team of designers at HP.

TOPICS: Hewlett-Packard

It's not often that one's grandma reinvents herself as a nymph. As Alan Deutschman explains in his very readable Change or Die, radical change is a challenging business that favors only the most nimble. But Hewlett-Packard have pulled off a dramatic facelift, going from the greyest company in Silicon Valley to the bluest (and a very refined blue at that) with their newest line of personal computers.


Last week, I was invited down to HP's offices in Cupertino last week for a peep show. I was getting a exclusively early preview of HP's new line of personal computer from the guy in charge of their global marketing, Satjiv Chahil. As Chahil explains in the podcast interview (see/hear above), HP are making PCs personal again by designing them to be seamlessly integrated into the living room. The new range of HP computers -- from the Pavilion s3000 Slimline, a6000 Desktop & m8000 Media Center desktop machines to the HP Pavilion tx1000 Entertainment Notebook to matching 19, 20 and 22-inch monitors -- are designed for real people with real lives in real homes. Geeks in dark cubicles should close your eyes -- I'm afraid there's nothing here for you.

So why me, the techno-sceptical author of the Great Seduction? Why did Chahil -- the legendary marketing plastic surgeon who has orchestrated successful face lifts at Sony, Apple & Palm -- give me an exclusive glimpse of his fabulous new range of PCs? After all, what do I, mr technosceptic, know about computers?

Exactly. I may not be much of an expert on processing power or the size of hard drives, but I sure know a good looking computer when I see one. And Chahil was showing off the sexiest looking computers that I've ever set eyes on. Coming in a piano-black finish with a highly refined silver trim and those blue LED lights, the new HP range looks more like a high-end stereo rig than a traditional PC. What Chahil and his HP design team have done is make the exterior of their PCs as sophisticated as their interiors. These computers won't disgrace the most elegant living room. HP's new range is so stylish that it even makes the Apple iPhone look dull. To see an unadulterated, uncensored video of the HP range, go here (parental permission suggested).

But it's not just the sex appeal that has me lusting after these digital darlings. Beyond their piano-black finish and silver trim and blue LED light accents, these PCs has been designed to be as easy and fun to use as a flat panel television or a home-theater system. We hear that damn word "convergence" all too often here in Silicon Valley. But these devices finally signal the coming together of computers and entertainment centers. As Hartmut Esslinger, the founder of Frog Design and original designer of the Macintosh computer said of HP's new range:

 “First, computers entered the personal space based upon function and features. Now, there’s a lot of demand for great design that is integrated into a deeper understanding of real market trends and people’s emotional needs. “HP clearly understands today’s consumer dynamics, and this inspiring line of new products will appeal both to the mind and the heart.”

 Or as John Englehart, managing partner of Branded Asset Management Group and a leading thinker about brand building in the digital age, emailed me about the new HP look:

 "These days, consumer technology is valuable to the extent that it enables desire. Anyone who doubts that should have a chat with the folks who used to say no one would spend more than a buck for a cup of coffee. In harnessing the power of design with powerful technology, H-P is returning to its fabled garage to make the 'digital home' as desirable as it is functional. More than technology, they're poised to create culture.

So yet, I confess, my technosceptical heart and mind have been seduced. It's spring in Silicon Valley and HP have discovered sex.  Grandma has reinvented herself as a nymph. Now all we need is a fiber-to-the-home high speed Internet connection (hint hint -- Verizon) to bring home entertainment nirvana to the Valley.

Topic: Hewlett-Packard

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  • Handsome beasts

    I have to admit that HP does have a set of rather handsome packages for their new lineup, though I prefer a matte finish to gloss, especially with black. (Mac users will probably note that white doesn't show fingerprints anywhere close to as badly as black does.)

    Oh, and the (probably optional) webcam for the monitors should have been piano black, rather than matte silver or grey.

    And though you admit to being somewhat less than knowedgable (or interested, if that's a more accurate description) about the hardware inside those sexy boxes, what's inside is just as important as what's outside. Let's hope that HP will pur a little more effort and value into some of the hardware components (speedier HDDs and heftier video adapters; more standard memory would be nice, too) they offer with their new machines.

    And, lose the more egregious examples of crapware they usually load onto their products. :)
    M.R. Kennedy
  • Lusting after grandma?

    Man, we need to work on your analogies. ;)
    • Apt analogy in other ways, though.

      Aside from the lust aspect. :-) Just as most any grandma I know needs to be, say, carefully packaged to look their best, a nice, piano-black HP will look just as trashy as any other with the side cover off, a mismatched white CD drive hanging out the front, and a few uncoordinated grey USB cables running around. . .
  • And what exactly this articla have in-common with it's title?????

    "HP reinvents sex" what a BS!!!!
    After my last experience with HP I will not buy their product if I can avoid it ever again. maybe if they make it gold and give it away for free.....

    OHH wait maybe there is sometihng in the headline that is true..
    Let see:
    I bought a PC from Amazon, got it in 2 days and i came in broken
    Amazone did not have a replacment so I called HP tech support
    after 2(!) hours on the phone and on line chat with them
    (bad phone directory, useless automated system and long on-hold time) I finaly was told that a repaire order will be created and I will be sent a box with all the info on how to send it back.

    after 2 days the box was delivered FedEx and I packed and droped it off at Kinkos.
    Week later got the fixed PC back well the Video worked greate BUT tey have raplced my CPU with a lesser model (granted it was not a totla crap 2.0Ghz instead of 2.6GHz but still wrong CPU)

    again 2 hours on the phone and on line. anouther shipping box and Kinkos drop off and anouther 1 1/2 weeks of waiting got the Pc back with the same CPU unit as the last time (they did not do anything but check the Pc if it was working and send it back)

    got my case escalated to CR and was told that my model is not avalebel anymore and that I will be sent a new model based on the original specks. 2 weeks later FINALY got the new PC working and all BUT for a month I was not able to use my brand new PC at all, had to carry it to and from FedEx becouse I am working and they deliver during working hours. So this experience might constitute a sexual axperience os sort... you know the one when YOU are getting scrued!!!!
    • He needed hits so titled is so people would click

      Anybody can see through this attempt to get clicks....even John Dvorak can do better
      and he's a click whore.
      It doesn't matter how well you polish a turd. At the end of the day, it's still an HP
      home machine running some form of Windows.
      Too little too late to try to appeal to the hip in crowd that discovered under all the
      shiny wrappers of the Apple line beats the heart of a thoroughbred championship
  • HP is awful

    I was told by an HP supervisor just last week that it was perfectly reasonable to expect to have 5 significant issues in less than two years with their notebook comupters. Next time, I'm going with Dell...or even a Mac because HP basically gave me the finger when I presented my problems with their product to them.
    • Uhu...

      I'm pretty sure you're not talking about Hewlett-Packard because all of my experiences with HP have proven to be top-quality. A Dell is not even a consideration these days...we need quality.
      • Nope...

        I'm talking about Hewlitt Packard... and once you're out of warranty they treat you like like crap. I'll never buy an HP product again...never. Maybe Dell sucks too, but I have two friends that have Dells and they swear by them...we're talking 4-5 years now. I've had my HP for under 2 years and it's been nothing but trouble...

        Glad yours is working out, but extend that warranty as long as you can otherwise they'll just give you the finger...
  • The connection is:

    HP and sex do have something in common. You can participate in one while the other is in the repair shop.
    Have to agree with you on never again with HP. Had my experience. Oh a great well made machine for sure, until trying to upgrade. Then comes all the non standard components.
    As once said to me HP machines are throw away systems once their usefullness is gone.
    • Well I can not agree. with this coment at least...

      I checked my new Pc and the components inside are very common and
      preaty good.My new Pc uses ASUS MB with A2 socket and ddr2 ram
      I have an Invida VGA card 7500 with 256MB dedicated memory(ExpressPCI) and WinTV with analog and digital tuners for Video processing. All good and time tested hardware and notihng is proprietory at all. My only graips with HP are :

      1. Very bad designed and implemented Customer relations and contact system. very very very long time on hold and not very experienced tech.reps. it took me 3 calls to get to some one who
      seamingly knew sometihng about the computer workings.
      first 2 calls went to india(reps with bad accesnts and a list to read from) I told them repeatedly that I am a Pc technician for 12 years and I know a tihng or two about computers and yet they still try to make me going through the list like click on icon "A" goto menu "C" and reboot!!!!!!!

      2. very bad and time consuming Repaire service
      Very anoying return policy, long turnaround time
  • lol on sex and HP

    very funny
    Andrew Keen
  • A computer with blue LEDs...

    ...is about as appealing as a $2 hooker.

    In industrial design, elegant simplicity trumps techno-glitz every time.
  • I'm not so sure about reinventing sex in computers

    It's black and shiny, ooooooooh so glorious.

    Kinda looks like a PS3 with a monitor, except it still has that HP box look.

    There really is nothing inventive about this, all it is, is a new coat of paint on a rather tarnished and cheaply made computer.
    Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
  • Message has been deleted.

    • Interesting.. deleted my message 3 months later.. wtf is that.

      Hell, i cant even remember what i said, but i dont think i have ever said something that was a deletable offense.

      Maybe i was drunk?
  • By the way.

    The "sexy" stand for that monitor looks vaguely familiar!
  • Wow, so the SAME old case is now black

    Other that now using black plastic and paint, it looks like the SAME old HP computer they have been selling for the last several years, so they change the case color from gray/silver to black and it's new???

    There's seductive engineering chic libido on the outside alright.You've got me saying:"Yeah baby---you live with your three sisters".But Microsoft on the inside with all of those bug problems is like hearing:"And they all have vows of celibacy and eat only celery".
  • Nice looking cases

    The new HP look is indeed cool. But! Systemax has had the same look, albeit without the blue lights, for about a year. In addition the Systemax case has far greater expansion capabilities than the HP. My ULTRA model came with two 3 1/2 external bays, two 5 1/4 external bays, and four internal hard drive bays. Two of the hd bays can be used in an SATA RAID configuration leaving two bays for PATA drives.
    Don't get me wrong, I like HP's. They are well made, reliable units. I have two of them in my den. But good looks aside, HP has dropped the ball when it comes to expansion capabilities.
  • Ever heard of a grammar checker?

    Dood, you seriously need to proofread your own writing before posting stories. There
    were at least a dozen serious flaws in this article and I cannot take anyone seriously
    if they are making simple grammatical mistakes. Clean it up and maybe your point
    can make it through all the grammatical chatter.