April 4, 2007 8:20 PM PDT

HP eyes aspiring gearheads with new PC brand

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SAN FRANCISCO--Hewlett-Packard plans to introduce a new category into its PC lineup, hoping to snag buyers who would like the best but are on a budget.

HP has yet to come up with a name for this strategy but has a clear idea of the kind of buyers it wants to attract, said Phil McKinney, vice president and general manager of HP's gaming business. "These are customers who are going up to the high end, but don't need all that customization," he said.

The announcement came as part of an event designed to highlight HP's progress in PC gaming since acquiring Voodoo PC last year. Rahul Sood, the founder of Voodoo and now chief technology officer for HP's gaming division, outlined the new strategy. Sood used the analogy of a Mercedes brand when describing the forthcoming segment, sandwiched in between Voodoo as Maybach, HP as Smart (but maybe an Accord is more appropriate), and Compaq as Chrysler.

This is almost precisely the same language that Dell used to unveil its XPS PC brand back in 2005--although it borrowed from the Japanese car market with its "Lexus" strategy. The idea was relatively the same; to go after PC customers who couldn't afford a boutique PC from the likes of Voodoo or Alienware (later acquired by Dell), but who wanted the best performance on their block. Those types of PCs--with high-end components--are more profitable for Dell and HP than their lower-end cousins.

McKinney wouldn't provide many more specifics on the new "Mercedes" strategy, but did say, "We're not going to go off and create a fourth brand." HP currently sells PCs under the Voodoo, Pavilion and Compaq brands.

The new systems will include desktops, notebooks and handhelds, and should be available by the end of 2007, McKinney said.

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Phil McKinney, Voodoo, Mercedes-Benz, HP, brand

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Avoid HP!
They make money by preinstalling advertising software as part of the original configuration. Even when you spend lots of time removing it, if you ever need to reset the computer to its original configuration all the adware returns.

HPs are for people that know very little about computers. Google craputer and go to the top site on the list ( <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cexx.org/craputer.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.cexx.org/craputer.htm</a> ) for a good explaination as to why you should not buy a computer like this.

From the site:

Sponsored icons and Internet links on the desktop, Free Demos and Special Offers popping up at random . . . and other factory pre-loaded marketing crap

Lack of a genuine Operating System installation disc or driver diskettes. Craputers often come with a set of "Recovery Diskettes" which, if used, will format your hard drive and restore your system to exactly how it was when you got it (in other words, re-load all the craputer components, regardless of how hard you've worked to get rid of them)
Posted by CommandHerTaco (43 comments )
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Thats what u get for making it cheaper.
The crap helps to reduce some cost of e hardware. Its just like advertisement, a necessary evil.
Actually every time u have a new com or reinstall, i expect to spend half day at least to cope wif it, just dun have too high expectations and life is much easier, it is really tough to go complaining left right centre most of e time.
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Link Flag
Good piost, however...
How and where can I get a PC with standard components (including MoBo) and the "real" OS install disks without building it myself?
Posted by jb3177 (4 comments )
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Good post, however...
How and where can I get a PC with standard components (including MoBo) and the "real" OS install disks without building it myself?
Posted by jb3177 (4 comments )
Link Flag
more hyperbola from the innovators of pretexting
Rubbish and garbage is what you can expect from hp including this "new" line of pc's.

They would like you to think this is a step up, but woe is the fool that is waylaid by the hp marque and advertising.

What the unsuspecting and assuming customer will get is a totally proprietary hunk of over priced junk. Just try and secure upgrades for it. The consumer would be locked into a very UNremarkable piece of hardware that is only incrementally a step up from the other pc's they fashion and whose parts would have been obtained at bottom dollar prices [for that level of performance] and whose configuration will not match nor optimize the over all assembly of the parts into a pc.

For example if the Conroe processor (cpu) were to be eyed for deployment into a pc by hp they would take the one that is obtained at the best prices regardless of features or capabilities and pair it with a motherboard (circuit board) that had nothing to do with optmizing the cpu's performances or capabilties so that you may have a processor capable or higher bus speeds and faster memory but bound by the cheap crap motherboard and other parts that hp uses. This is in fact the way they have conducted all their pc/server business so far. Something not well known or understood at the consumer level is the selection of parts used for rebranding by hp. Price is not the only criteria they use to geld the products but the Mean Time Between Failure, MTBF. This is the statistical mean which gives an estimate on how long the part will last. Hard disk drives and power supplies are 2 of the primary components in this consideration but can actuially be applied to anything, even the finished hp pc themselves. Hp will select components, do the math for x number of units and make the estimates for people not smart enough to buy elsewhere or that might trust them for service or "upgrades". Anything that has a dubious history or reputation will most likely be found in an hp product.

Now try and secure an upgrade yourself and you will be locked into any of the following proprietary, pirate positioning: they would special created components [case, powersupply, formfactor, etc) that would defy use on this hp computer; you would look for a hp certifed part and be charged more than 400% more for it (case in point powersupplies $40 vs $170); they would unnecessarily re-engineer special electrical configurations in the pc to prevent the use of any other component but hp's.

Stay away from "boutique" pc's as well. You can get a reputible mom and pop shop to help you select components (value vs perfromance), assemble them at nominal cost, provide value added extended warranties as well as a way, way better support than hp could ever imagine. You will save at the very least 30% of the cost which will carry forward into even greater savings in the cost of ownership.

If I ever had to recommend any maker/assembler of pc's hp would not even make the potential list.

hp also, in keeping with their criminal tendencies of secretive spying and control, also pre-install rootkits and malware designed not to be uncovered by their pre-installed "protection" such as symantec, virus utilities, etc. They maintain a whole host of "information" gathering techniques across the board in all thier products.

Too bad the hearings did not delve into that.
Posted by Dragon Forge (96 comments )
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Hyperbola
is a conic section. Hyperbole is exageration.
Posted by PzkwVIb (462 comments )
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My HP: Problem free since 2002
My 2002 HP desktop computer has been problem free, and is still going strong. It hasn't had any hardware problems/repairs, any software problems, or any other type of problem. It Just Works. My next computer is going to be an HP too.

Sorry Mac Fanboys - it has never been infected by a virus/worm either; and I have never had to reinstall Windows.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
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nothing personal - but Mr. Hurd (CEO hp) if you have really had to use it..
I would not expect every hp pc to either blow up nor completely fail, but perhaps you may fall into that segement of the population that really does not know all that much about pc's.

pc's that are not turned on, leveraged for their use or very simply just used for picture looking ( and since you have had this one since 2002 and it still is of acceptable performance and capacity - meaning it is neither 'pushed' nor had to have been upgraded) I do not expect users to know what they have sitting on their desks.

No offence but anything/anybrand would do in that case and perhaps if only turned on once a week, they could last quite some time.
Posted by Dragon Forge (96 comments )
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