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

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.

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