HP updates commercial PC line, bets on ForcePad

HP will be among the first to include the ForcePad, a touchpad designed to mimic multi-gestures on smartphones and tablets, on high-end laptops.

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday outlined the latest additions to its corporate lineup and introduced a ForcePad, which is a multi-gesture touchpad that aims to replicate the experience with phones and tablets.

The ForcePad, a feature on the HP EliteBook Folio 1040G1 is being outlined at the company's Discover conference. The Folio 1040G1 is the thinnest and lightest in HP's Elite portfolio and will start at $1,299.

elitebook forcepad

Aaron Slessinger, notebook category manager at HP, said the company is the first to include the ForcePad via an exclusive with Synaptics, the outfit developing the technology.

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Synaptics technology enables multi-finger control and pressure detection so those familiar left click, right click buttons can disappear. Although Folio 1040G1 is likely to be ordered with Windows 7 by enterprises, the ForcePad can make Windows 8 a better experience.

In practice, the ForcePad seemed relatively easy to use, but there is likely to be a learning curve for some. It remains to be seen if the ForcePad, which is only on high-end laptops, is a selling point to enterprises or not.

Overall, the Folio 1040G1 is thin (15.9 mm), 16.1 percent lighter than the previous generation and comes with an all-aluminum keyboard deck. The system is available this month.

Among other additions to HP's commercial PC portfolio:

  • The company launched its latest Revolve convertible notebook, which also serves as a tablet. The tablet doesn't detach but swivels. The Revolve G2 system is spill resistant and has the latest Intel Core chips, Windows 8.1 and a solid-state drive and is aimed at the healthcare industry as well as sales people in the field.
  • The HP Classmate notebook was updated with the latest Celeron chip from Intel and Windows 8.1 and will be available in late January.
  • HP added a new EliteDesk 800 G1 Desktop Mini with 6 USB ports in a case that's one-liter and smaller than most office phones. The system won't be available until April 2014 at $699. A ProDesk 600 G1 Desktop Mini starts at $599.