Hewlett-Packard is sending mixed signals on what exactly it plans to do with the Voodoo PC brand it acquired three years ago.
After purchasing the gaming and PC enthusiast brand in 2006, HP in 2008 began using the Voodoo name beyond powerful gaming PCs. It painted the name Voodoo and VoodooDNA on high-end HP notebooks and desktops, and talked up their premium engineering and design. They used the analogy that if the HP brand were a Smart Car and Compaq were a Chrysler, Voodoo would be their Maybach.
But a year later, HP's consumer PC lineup contains little trace of the Voodoo branding. HP had introduced the HP Blackbird with VoodooDNA and more recently HP Firebird with Voodoo DNA. Both are nowhere to be found on HP.com. In a more recent example, a new notebook, called the HP Envy was released last week. A year ago it was called the HP Voodoo Envy 133. Though the updated model takes some Voodoo ideas like the thin profile, quick booting, the power adapter, and packaging, you'd have to be a Voodoo fanboy to know Voodoo had any sort of influence at all on it.
So what gives? It seems the Voodoo team didn't have much to do with the Envy, despite its sharing the same name with older products.
"The reason there's no 'Voodoo DNA' on the (most recent) product has to do with the overall design language, the target market, and the fact that we weren't directly involved in the design," Rahul Sood, the founder of VoodooPC and the chief technology officer of gaming PCs for HP, wrote on his personal blog.
In the same post, Sood that Voodoo is "transitioning from 'desktop and notebook' manufacturing to something beyond." While it's unclear what "something beyond" means, he hints that besides HP taking some design and engineering cues from Voodoo that the company he founded didn't quite fit into HP the way Sood had initially expected.
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