HP unveils first Chromebook

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Feb 042013
 

HP Pavilion ChromebookHewlett-Packard is jumping into the Chromebook market. Joining Samsung and Acer in offering inexpensive devices powered by Google’s Chrome OS, it announced the HP Pavilion 14-c010us Chromebook. It is the first Chromebook to come with a 14-inch display.

The HP Pavilion Chromebook gives you fast and easy access to the things you love and depend on, from a world of Google apps and services to your photos and social networks. The OS and built-in security stay up to date automatically. And since it’s the first Chromebook with a 14-inch diagonal design, you get full-size comfort without giving up full-on mobility.

HP Pavilion 14-c010us Chromebook specifications:

  • Processor: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847
  • Operating system: Google Chrome OS
  • Cellular connectivity: None
  • Other connectivity: 082.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (dual-band), Bluetooth
  • Display: 14-inch LED-backlit HD (1366×768)
  • Input: Full-size QWERTY keyboard
  • Memory: 2GB RAM (upgradeable to 4GB)
  • Storage: 16GB SSD and SD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: None
  • Front-facing camera: Yes
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI port, RJ-45 port
  • Battery: 4-cell (37WHr) Li-Ion
  • Dimensions / weight: 347 × 238 × 21 millimeters / 1.8 kilograms
  • Colours: Black

HP is offering the HP Pavilion Chromebook for US$329.99. Available in the U.S., there is no word on whether we will also see it in Canada or elsewhere.

Read more: Hewlett-Packard

Oct 242012
 

Hewlett-PackardHP CEO Meg Whitman today reiterated that the beleaguered manufacturer will not launch any smartphones in 2013 but intends to reenter the market at a future point. While being interviewed during the Gartner Symposium IT Expo, she explained that HP will eventually need to offer “a full range of devices” spanning everything “from the workstation to desktops to laptops, to hybrid devices.”

As for why HP is not returning to the smartphone space sooner, Whitman explained that she is focused on turning the companies fortunes around first. “In a turnaround, you need pacing and sequencing,” she explained “Focus is incredibly important.”

Not surprisingly, Whitman provided no clues as to what operating system HP could eventually use for its smartphones. Whether it is something that comes out of its mysterious recent spin-off Gram (its old webOS business unit) also remains to be seen. The pause also gives HP a chance to see how the market evolves.

Read more: Forbes

No HP smartphones in 2013

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Oct 042012
 

Hewlett-PackardHewlett-Packard’s return to the smartphone space may not happen as quickly as earlier indications suggested. HP CEO Meg Whitman yesterday clarified earlier statements yesterday and said that the company has no plans to unveil an HP smartphone in 2013. Recognizing that her earlier statements created “quite a stir,” she clarified: “We don’t have any plans to introduce a smartphone in 2013, but we’ve got to start thinking about what is our unique play, how do we capture this element of the personal computing market?”

Whitman recognized that should HP not enter the smartphone (“or whatever the next generation of that device is”) market within the next “five years”, the company would find itself “locked out of a huge segment of the population in many countries of the world.”

Aside from Whitman’s comments, there were hints that HP’s return might happen sooner than later when an HP-branded Android smartphone was found on the GLBenchmark website.

Is anyone out there holding out for an HP smartphone?

Read more: ComputerWorld

Oct 012012
 

HP ElitePad 900Hewlett-Packard today announced its first Windows 8 tablet. The HP ElitePad 900 is aimed at the business and government sectors rather than the consumer one.

“Businesses used to face a tough purchase decision: How to find a product that will delight employees and help them be more productive, while also making sure IT can secure and manage it,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Printing and Personal Systems, HP. “The HP ElitePad meets all those tests. It combines the great style and user experience consumers demand with the features IT requires.”

HP has not fully detailed the specifications of the HP ElitePad 900 but here is what we know so far:

  • Processor: Intel Clover Trail
  • Operating system: Windows 8
  • Other connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • Display: 10.1-inch with Corning Gorilla Glass 2
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen, pen-based input
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: Up to 64GB SSD and microSD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: Yes
  • Dimensions / weight: 9.2 millimeters thick / 680 grams
  • Other: HP ElitePad Smart Jackets with different connectivity options and an additional ultra-slim battery

HP’s ElitePad Smart Jackets come in two flavours. The HP HP ElitePad Productivity Jacket comes with an integrated keyboard, connectivity ports, SD card reader and adjustable viewing angles. The HP ElitePad Expansion Jacket adds USB, HDMI and other connectivity options.

The HP ElitePad 900 will not be available until January 2013. Specificic availability and pricing information will be announced closer its launch.

Read more: Hewlett-Packard

Sep 162012
 

It would appear that Hewlett-Packard’s return to smartphones may not be so far away after all. Only days after HP’s CEO confirmed the need for the company to return to this key market, an HP-branded smartphone has been found on the GLBenchmark website.

The HP Bender as it is known will not run webOS. Instead, it will be powered by Android with version 4.0.4 onboard at this point. It will also use a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 and sport a 1366 x 720 pixel resolution display (size unknown at this point).

Benchmark results for HP Bender

There is no information at this point as to when HP could unveil the Bender.

Read more: SlashGear

Sep 152012
 

Hewlett-PackardHP announced last month the creation of its new “Mobility Global Business Unit” to focus on its return to consumer tablets. At the time, Todd Bradley, HP’s Executive Vice President, Printing and Personal Systems Group, promised that the group would eventually enter other markets “where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers.” In an interview with Fox Business News, CEO Meg Whitman revealed that smartphones may well be one of those future markets. She explained,

“We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device. There will be countries where people may never own a tablet or a PC or a desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We are a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor.”

HP would not be new to smartphones. As late as last year, it offered smartphones, like the Pre 3 and Veer, powered by webOS. Prior to that, it carried a number of Windows Mobile devices. Remember the iPAQ Data Messenger or the iPAQ 900 Business Messenger?

Whitman did not reveal any timelines for HP’s return to the smartphone market or details about any upcoming devices.

Read more: Fox Business News (Source: The Verge)

Aug 172012
 

Hewlett-PackardIt appears that quite a few changes are taking place at Hewlett-Packard these days. First it was the spin-off of its webOS business unit into a new company called GRAM. According to a leaked memo penned by Todd Bradley, HP’s Executive Vice President, Printing and Personal Systems Group, it is creating a new consumer mobility division.

The new group, called the “Mobility Global Business Unit,” will initially focus on consumer tablets. Bradley promises to later broaden its focus to “additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers.”

With this move, we are building on our commitment to re-invest in mobility via dedicated leadership, focused research and development, amazing new products and a growing suite of applications and services.

The Mobility Global Business Unit will be led by Alberto Torres who comes from Nokia. Torres oversaw the MeeGo products and software at Nokia until the company decided to abandon the platform.

As for what products we will see emerge from the Mobility GBU, we will have to wait. While webOS-powered devices are unlikely, we will likely see some HP Windows RT tablets in the near future (albeit not in the immediate one).

Read more: The Verge

Aug 152012
 

GRAMWith webOS’ journey to open source set to reach its destination next month, it was unclear what would happen next to HP’s webOS Global Business Unit. It now appears that HP will launch it as a new company called GRAM likely under current leader Martin Risau.

webOS employees were introduced to the new company at an event last week. Gone is any suggestion that there could be future consumer devices powered by webOS. Instead, the company will focus “software, User Experience, Cloud, engineering and partnering.”

What specific offerings GRAM will have remains to be seen though. Employees can talk about the new company but not much more:

Stealth mode. We are an incubation company, and we are trusting you to keep this company name and product under the radar to give it time to take root and grow. You can wear the logo, help build the momentum of the new identity, talk to your families and friends about it. If someone from the outside asks, you can say, “GRAM is a new company. We are in stealth mode on our product offering.

GRAM will at least initially be funded by HP. How long that arrangement will remain in place remains to be seen though and there appears to be nothing to prevent GRAM from seeking alternative funding sources in the future.

No details were given as to exactly when GRAM will formally launch. It could happen quite soon, possibly as early as the end of next month.

Read more: webOS Nation

Jul 032012
 

While Hewlett-Packard still had plans for webOS devices, a number of rumours hinted at a device codenamed Stingray (as well as Windsor Not). It was supposed to be a keyboard-less webOS device similar to the HTC Evo. A short promotional video released by Transparent House, a design firm that has worked with HP, now appears to confirm those rumours.

It’s not clear why the video was released today but with HP having put to rest plans to release further webOS devices, it is probably no longer a secret that it needs to hang on to.

The report adds that the HP Stingray was headed to AT&T but was cancelled due to its lack of LTE connectivity.

The video could not be embedded here but can viewed here at Vimeo.

Another video shows the HP Opal (also known as the HP TouchPad Go), its rumoured 7-inch TouchPad tablet.

Read more: Transparent House (via Vimeo) (Source: The Verge)

Jun 302012
 

Hewlett-PackardOne of Microsoft’s largest partners will not launch any ARM-based Windows RT tablets this year. HP has confirmed plans to focus solely on x86-based Windows 8 tablets. HP spokeswoman Marlene Somsak said:

“I can confirm that at HP, we continue to look at using ARM processors in business and consumer products. However, our first Win 8 tablet will be on the x86 platform focused on the business market. The decision to go with x86 was influenced by input from our customers. The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future.”

The news follows Microsoft’s unveiling of its Surface tablets. This has led to speculation that HP decided to scrap its Windows RT tablet plans in response to Microsoft’s decision to compete directly with its partners in the tablet hardware business. But a PCMag source suggests that HP made its decision ahead of the Surface launch. It’s unclear if HP was aware of Microsoft’s plans back then.

Aside from Microsoft, only ASUS has so far announced a Windows RT tablet, the Tablet 600.

Read more: Bloomberg and PC Mag

May 252012
 

Hewlett-PackardThe Verge has learned that a portion of HP’s webOS team are moving over to Google. The hirings involve a number of people who developed Enyo, the webOS HTML-5-based application framework. Among these is Matt McNulty who has been leading the project.

What the Enyo team members will work on for Google is not clear but there are a number of options. They could work on Android (rejoining Matias Duarte who led the webOS UI development at Palm) or join the Chrome team where web apps feature prominently.

For its part, HP confirmed that the project to open source webOS is on track: “The Open webOS project is on schedule and we remain committed to the roadmap announced in January.”

Update: A blog post by the Enyo team suggests that the number of team members who have left is far less than reported.

It’s true that some key members of the Enyo team have left the company, but the majority of the engineering and leadership team remains. We want to reassure you that we’re thrilled with the traction Enyo has gained to date and are redoubling our efforts to continue development, working closely with the community.

It added that the team is not only hiring to replace those who have left but also to grow the team.

Read more: The Verge

Feb 052012
 

PC vendors may be Microsoft’s newest Windows Phone ally. According to a Digitimes report, companies including Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Dell could return to the smartphone market with the next major version of Windows Phone (codenamed Apollo). The close relationship between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 (details leaked this week about a number of common elements) could make it easier for these companies to develop new WP8-based smartphones.

The report adds that one or more current Windows Phone manufacturers HTC, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics could reduce or stop supporting Windows Phone due to low sales. They may also be looking for an arrangement similar to the one Microsoft has with Nokia which includes development funding.

The report also outlines a roadmap for Windows Phone in 2012. Mango will be upgraded to Tango in the March or April time frame. Tango 2 will then follow in mid-year with Windows Phone 8 to arrive by year’s end. Most WP8-based smartphones would then follow in the first half of 2013. Similar rumours first surfaced last October.

Read more: Digitimes

Jan 302012
 

Market research firm Canalys today named Apple the leading worldwide client PC vendor in Q4 2011. Apple owes its success to its iPad tablets which Canalysis includes in the client PC category (desktops, netbooks, notebooks, and tablets or pads as Canalys calls them). Apple shipped some 20 million PCs (15 million iPads and five million Macs), giving it a 17% market share of the 120 million PCs (including over26 million tablets) shipped globally in Q4.

Apple took the crown from Hewlett-Packard which fell to second place. Lenovo took third place, followed by Dell and Acer. Of the five, only Apple and Lenovo saw market share gains (6% and 2% respectively).

Canalys also warns that without the right tablet strategy, 2012 will be another challenging year for many manufacturers.

“The consumerization of IT continues to be a significant disruptive force in the PC industry, but many of the leading vendors have failed to capitalize on the trend to date,” said Coulling. “This year will be a pivotal year for those vendors that were slow to launch pads. It is not just the product that they need to get right, business models are equally important – driving revenues from content delivery can help vendors reach lower price points in a market that is incredibly price sensitive.”

The overall PC market grew 16% year-on-year when tablets are included. Without them, the market actually declined 0.4%.

Read more: Canalys

Jan 272012
 

Hewlett-PackardJon Rubinstein, Palm’s former CEO HP, has left Hewlett-Packard, the company that acquired Palm in 2010. HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan confirmed the departure: “Jon has fulfilled his commitment and we wish him well.”

Rubinstein does not appear to have any immediate plans. He told AllThingsD that “I am going to take a well deserved break after four and a half years of developing webOS.”

His departure had been planned for some time. When acquired, he had made a “12- to 24-month commitment.” HP’s decision under former CEO Leo Apotheker to get out of the webOS hardware business likely did not help convince him that he should stay around longer.

HP this week outlined the timetable it would follow to fully open source webOS.

Read more: AllThingsD

Jan 252012
 

Hewlett-PackardHP today outlined a schedule to make webOS open source. By September 2012, it expects to have completed the entire open sourcing process. Everything it releases will be made available under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

HP also announced that Enyo 1.0, the JavaScript app framework, will be available as of today. It is also releasing a core version of Enyo 2.0, “which will be the foundation for Enyo going forward.” The latter is still incomplete, for example missing UI widgets, but updates will be released shortly. Among the other updates will be a migration to the Linux Foundation’s standard kernel, a WebKit release supporting HTML5, Silverlight and Flash (through plug-ins), and the replacement of the current database with LevelDB.

Here is the full schedule:

HP's webOS open source timeline

Welcome Open WebOS 1.0!

Read more: Hewlett-Packard