HP

Who’s buying?

PC companies just can’t get a break.

Shipments from the Taiwanese manufactures that make most of the world’s desktop and laptop computers hit a three-year low last quarter as consumers waited for fixes to Windows and decided to buy tablets and smartphones in the meantime. For those Taiwanese companies, those disappointing stats are one more reminder of the need to diversify away from their core PC business.

 Read more

… erm, sort of.

The PC-maker is selling Autonomy’s stake in video advertising engine Blinkx, which is traded on London’s AIM market.

And since that stake is worth around 40 per cent more than when the acquisition for Autonomy was agreed in August 2011, HP’s accountants can book a handy profit of around £16m (depending when the actual sale occurs). So no hard feeling about that $8.8bn write-down then, Ms Whitman?

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP has sold its webOS operating system, developed by its Palm acquisition for smartphones and tablets, to LG Electronics, which plans to adapt it for consumer electronics devices such as smart TVs.

The move comes as little surprise – HP had abandoned development of webOS-based products and announced an Android-based tablet at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the weekend. Read more

Chris Nuttall

First impressions of HP’s Envy x2 when the company showed it to the media last year were that this appeared to be the best of the first wave of Windows 8 laptop/tablet convertibles.

But spending some time with this hybrid device since it was launched last month, I find the x2 highlights how convertibles do not necessarily offer the best of both worlds, but can often represent unsatisfying compromises. Read more

Chris Nuttall

We pick our highlights of the product unveilings, bringing you the essential news from the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas (January 6 -11).

What it is: Budget-priced to higher-end monitors from Hewlett-Packard

Key points: Eleven new monitors ranging from a 20in Pavilion monitor to 27in Envy display (pictured). The trends are affordability, in-plane switching (IPS) technology for wide-angle viewing, Full HD resolution, edge-to-edge bezel-less displays, and Beats audio speakers included with the Envy model. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Comparing Apple’s new iMac, reviewed in this week’s Personal Technology column, with HP’s Spectre One all-in-one, there are some striking similarities in the design decisions taken.

Sony’s Vaio Tap 20 and Lenovo’s A720, also reviewed recently take different approaches to the category, one adding a touchscreen and portability with its built-in battery, the other’s mechanism allowing it to lay flat if necessary. But the iMac and Spectre One are like Mac and PC equivalents. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Hybrid convertible computing devices may seem like a new phenomenon created by the dual interfaces of the Windows 8 operating system, but Hewlett-Packard has been pushing similar products at businesses for years.

And so the HP Elitebook Revolve, a notebook unveiled today with a swivelling screen that can turn it into a tablet, will actually be a ninth-generation convertible for the Silicon Valley company when it goes on sale in March. Read more

Ferguson illustration

Things got quite exciting in London at noon on Tuesday. First Kweku Adoboli, the rogue trader formerly employed by UBS, was sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud. Then Hewlett-Packard accused the former management of Autonomy, the UK software company, of wrongdoing. The moral appeared to be, as a New York journalist wryly tweeted: “Don’t trust the British.”

 Read more

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Rating: 4/5

The first ThinkPad laptops were introduced by IBM 20 years ago and Lenovo, which took over the brand in 2005, has maintained the tradition for durable, business-friendly machines that are much loved by “road warriors”.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba have been showing the shape of Windows 8 computing to come, unveiling hybrid PC/tablet devices that take advantage of the new dual-mode operating system when it launches on October 26.

HP has been demonstrating its Envy x2 (pictured left) to media in San Francisco, while its Asian rivals launched their takes on hybrid computing at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.  None of them have anything to fear from Apple in this area, in terms of patent disputes or rival devices, with Tim Cook, chief executive, describing such designs as being as unsatisfactory as combining a toaster with a refrigerator. Read more

Now we know what people mean when they say merger integration is torture. Former staff at Autonomy, the UK software company bought by Hewlett-Packard less than a year ago, say submitting to the US company’s “stifling” bureaucratic procedures felt “like being water-boarded”.

In turn, Meg Whitman, HP’s chief executive, has blamed “classic entrepreneurial company scaling challenges” for Autonomy’s “very disappointing” latest quarter. She has ditched Mike Lynch, the British group’s outspoken founder, often lauded in the UK as a hero of the homegrown technology sector.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP has announced a new line of “Sleekbooks” - a variation on Intel’s Ultrabook category that adds processors from its rival AMD and achieves lower price points.

The leading PC maker also unveiled Ultrabooks under its Envy brand name including a new model of the Spectre, the premium ultrabook it introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Read more

Chris Nuttall

For an extreme gaming PC maker, Alienware has come up with the smallest and most moderately priced machine in its history in the $699 X51.

The company, acquired by Dell in 2006, is looking to expand beyond the 1 to 2 per cent share of the PC market owned by enthusiast gaming PCs, with a model that is quieter, more affordable and less obtrusive in a living room environment. Read more

Chris Nuttall

CES is over for another year and the awards have been handed out for best in show, with the CNET tech site choosing the HP Envy 14 Spectre in the PC category and Simple TV in “Home Theater”.

I liked both at close quarters when I was briefed on them, but also had some reservations. Read more

Joseph Menn

Smack in the middle of the ultrabook and tablet hoopla from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas comes a sobering report from the market researchers at IDC: PC shipments in the critical fourth quarter were down 0.2 per cent from a year before. Read more

Toshiba Portégé Z835 

Toshiba Portégé Z835

Competition in the Ultrabook category of laptops resembles a runway cat fight among skinny supermodels, as these thin and light devices battle it out over looks and vital statistics. The models from Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard, and a hybrid alternative from Asus, all excel but the right option will depend on your needs.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

Hewlett-Packard has made a weighty entry into the Ultrabook category with its Folio 13 laptop.

At 3.3lbs, it seems positively obese next to rival machines from Acer, Asus, Lenovo and Toshiba, which like the 13.3in MacBook Air they try to emulate, all come in at under 3lbs. But there is a reason for its heavyweight proportions. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Since its integration with Facebook, MOG, the music streaming service, has reached 160,000 monthly average users, a 264 percent growth for the month of October, Venture Beat reports.

Apple is planning to update its retail store to allow customers to buy items through an app, BGR reports. The update is supposed to start on November 3rd. Read more

When Taiwan’s Quanta landed orders from Facebook and Google to help custom-build their data centres earlier this year, it was the first step into a new industry for the world’s biggest contract maker of notebooks.

Quanta chairman Barry Lam’s said on Monday, however, that his ambitions go further than just completing built-to-order projects for tech companies. Quanta will instead look to offer a full turnkey solution for servers, he said for the first time. It is a move that will put it into direct competition with industry leaders like HP, Dell, IBM and Sun Microsystems. Read more

With all the tablets and smart phones that fight for our attention, more traditional tech companies have been pushed to the background. Yet IBM and HP each managed to grab the attention of the tech world this week when IBM appointed Ginni Rometty as chief executive and HP announced it would keep its PC division. Read more