Hewlett Packard has launched 6 new notebooks in India, across four of its bands, including a new Pro series for business users. They include:
The HP Mini 110 in what is generally called the Netbook or Mini notebook form factor comes with a 10.1 inch LED backlit screen; 160 GB of hard drive and a 6 hour battery life. It weighs just over one kilogram. (Rs 22,990)
The HP Pavilion series models, DV2, DV3 and DV6 have 12.1 inch, 13.3 inch and 15.6 inch( 16: 9 ratio) LED backlit screens respectively. The DV2 claims to be a third lighter than comparably sized notebooks ands is optimised for high definition ( HDMI v 1.3b) speeds; the DV3 is optimised for on-the-move entertainment freaks with a fast eSATA interface which is six times faster than USB; the DV6 has in addition 1 GB of discrete graphics memory and a Blu Ray DVD drive. (Rs 38,490, Rs 50,990 and Rs 40,990 respectively)
The new ProBook series touted as the ultimate machine for professionals on the move features a 2 MP webcam and an industry-first 'chicklet' keyboard for extra ruggedness. The Quicklook2 feature allows the user to check mail, calendar or organizer without booting. It also comes with a suite of security features including a deleted file sanitizer. ( Rs 40,990)
HP's entry level Compaq notebook series has a new entrant the 610 which is tailored for budget business mobility (Rs 33,500)
The new offerings reflect HP's perception that the archetypal customer today is younger -- 18-30 years and demands a multimedia mix of movies, music and 'masti' even in a productivity machine, says Director, Mobility Business Unit, Rajiev Grover.
The six new releases are nicknamed cover drive, hook, straight drive, pull, sweep and cut shot, in keeping with the Super Six tag of the launch.
We looked for a compelling offering in the mini note or net book category that would bring the asking price below the lakshman rekha of Rs 20,000... which is what the Atom processor combined with a smaller screen and no optical drive seemed to point at. But HP clearly has no game plan to address the market at the very bottom of the portable PC pyramid. It has not given up the wintel mindset to explore a non Windows OS. Pity; that would have been a sneaky leg glance going all the way to the boundary for budget-conscious, young Indian buyers.
(Anand Parthasarathy, Bangalore June 23)