The DRAM industry knows well that the global economy is struggling, and so too would the processor market if not for the popularity of netbooks and Atom chip sales. But one company who apparently didn't get the memo that the economy is in shambles is Hewlett-Packard.
According to the company's fourth quarter results that were leaked on Monday, the OEM took in $33.6 billion in revenue in Q4 2008, representing a 19 percent jump from the same quarter one year ago, or 16 percent when adjusted for currency affects, Cnet says.
"HP delivered another solid quarter, as it continues to benefit from its global reach, diverse customer base, broad portfolio, and numerous cost initiatives," CEO Mark Hurd said in a statement. "Our ability to execute in a challenging marketplace differentiates HP, enabling it to increase share, expand earnings, and emerge from the current economic environment as a stronger force."
The news gives HP shareholders reason to cheer, who received $1.03 per share, excluding after-tax adjustments. Adjustments related to restructuring, in-process research development, amortization of purchased intangibles, and other acquisition-related charges knocked the figure down slightly by 19 cents per share, netting shareholders 84 cents per share.
The future looks bright as well. HP expects to pull in between $32 billion and $32.5 billion in the first fiscal quarter of 2009, and expects revenue for all of 2009 to be between $127.5 billion and $130 billion, with earnings per share between $3.38 and $3.53, or an adjusted $3.88 to $4.03.
As predicted, HP today announced that they will immediately begin taking orders for the TouchSmart TX2, the first multi touch laptop widely available to consumers. The laptop, priced starting at $1,199, will begin shipping at the end of November.
The TX2’s multi touch interface will work with any program that already supports multi touch, as well as with HP’s integrated MediaSmart media suite. The laptop features an array of gestural controls, including all of the multi touch standards, like pinch-zooming and two finger rotation, as well as the ability to open MediaSmart at any time by drawing an “m” on the screen with both fingers. The screen uses capacitance-based touch detection and is designed to accept input either from the pad of a finger or from a built-in digital pen.
With a 12.1 inch screen and weighing in at 4.3 pounds, the TX2 is physically nearly identical to its predecessor, the TX2000. The only thing differentiating the two visually is the TX2’s glossy, charcoal-colored finish and “Reaction Imprint” design.
All but the cheapest loadouts of the TX2 come equipped with Turion X2 dual-core processors. All models will ship with Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics, and consumers can opt for up to 8GB of DDR2 SDRAM and 500GB of hard disk storage. The laptop also features a webcam and optional fingerprint reader.
What do you think of the TX2? Are multi touch laptops going to become the norm? Let us know after the jump.
According to a filing released Thursday, the Vista Capable program originally included support for the Windows Driver Display Model (WDDM) as part of the requirement for support of core Windows features. Although OEMs such as Dell, Sony, and Fujitsu all asked for waivers from the WDDM requirement for various computer models that used Intel chipsets with integrated graphics that could not run WDDM drivers, Microsoft refused all three companies' request for waivers because of the improvements in stability and features resulting from WDDM drivers.
However, when Intel came calling on Microsoft , it was a different story. After a series of email exchanges between Intel and Microsoft, Microsoft dropped the WDDM driver requirement, enabling Intel and its OEM partners to market systems with Intel 915 integrated graphics as being "Vista Capable" - even though their integrated graphics would never support Aero Glass or be supported by a WDDM driver.
To find out why some OEM vendors were pleased with Microsoft's relaxing of the WDDM rules, and some weren't, join us after the jump.
Back when boutique OEM system builders operated as standalone entities, owning a custom built rig by the likes of a Voodoo PC often required a hefty investment up to several times more than what you could expect to pay if going the DIY route. This scenario has changed somewhat in recent years thanks in part to falling hardware prices and acquisitions by mainstream OEMs. Such is the case with Voodoo PC, who was acquired by HP back in 2006. More recently, HP decided to merge its Voodoo PC unit with its consumer business unit, a move that Raul Sood, CTO for HP's Global Gaming Business, said would "ultimately mean that Voodoo and Voodoo-influenced products will be easier to buy, faster get, they will feature local service, and they have the full power of HP's marketing and sales channel behind them."
Fast forward to today and HP is making good on Sood's promise. Effective immediately, the price of the Voodoo Envy 133 drops a couple of C-notes from $2,100 to $1,900. As an added bonus, each Envy shipped will also include a second battery at no additional charge, an offer that stands until November 30. On the desktop side, the HP Blackbird 002 also gets a price cut and can now be had for $1,800.
Could the days of high-priced boutique builds be nearing an end? Probably not, but gamers on a budget who aren't interested in building their own machine have more options today than in year's past. In addition to HP's price cuts, Alienware (a Dell acquisition) this week announced an affordable dual-GPU CrossFireX gaming notebook.
It seems there's always a notebook battery recall taking place, and the latest round comes from a handful of PC manufacturers using Sony-manufactured batteries. Potentially affected units stands at 100,000 worldwide, with 35,000 of those in the U.S.
The affected lithium-ion batteries were manufactured by Sony Energy Devices Corporation of Japan. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says the batteries could overheat and pose a fire hazard, a likely result given the complaints that have trickled in so far. According to the CPSC, there have already been 19 reports of overheating batteries, and all but 2 of those reports also indicated flames or fire. Two consumers report suffering minor burns, and 10 have complained of property damage.
No OEM has been more affected by the latest recall than HP. Out of the 35,000 batteries recalled in the U.S., 32,000 are being used in HP systems. These include the HP Pavilion dv1000, dv8000, and zd8000 sold from December 2004 to June 2006.
Other popular vendors include Toshiba and it's Satellite A70/75, P30/35, M30X/M35X, and M50/55 notebooks, as well as Tecra A3, A5, and S2 systems sold from April 2005 to October 2005 (3000 in all), and about 150 Dell Latitude 110L, Inspiron 1100, 1150, 5100, 5150, and 5160 notebooks sold between November 2004 to November 2005.
Notebook owners sporting one of the potentially affected units are advised to remove the battery and head over to CPSC's website for more information on how to contact the manufacturer to obtain a free replacement.
Edited 10/31/08 for clarification on the number of units affected and to include CPSC information.
Back before broadband, it was common to find retailers selling pre-built computers for hefty discounts, provided you agreed to sign up for a multi-year dial-up plan. By and large, the concept of discounted hardware in exchange for an ISP commitment has largely went by the wayside, but it may be making a comeback, with a twist.
Don't worry, no one is asking you to commit to three years of AOL on a 56K connection. Instead, HP is considering selling netbooks for a significant discount when bundled with a wireless service contract. While a new concept in the U.S., cellular service providers are already doing this in Asia and Europe. One such example is Taiwanese carrier Far EasTone Communications Ltd., who sells an Asus Eee PC for a scant $29 with a two-year commitment.
"The big picture for these netbooks is that kind of model," Kevin Frost, who runs HP's consumer notebook business unit, said in an interview. "That's the longer-term model."
Frost didn't mention which U.S. wireless providers are being actively pursued, but did say that Verizon and AT&T could be potential candidates. Whether or not either of those companies would be interested remains to be seen, but if it's going to happen, expect it sooner than later while the netbook market is red hot.
Would you be interested in a discounted netbook with a wireless service plan? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
There are always some companies that invest their faith in new technologies as soon as they appear, while others adopt a more circumspect approach and wait for results. HP has adopted a very watchful approach as far as the question of embracing WiMax is concerned. As you might have previously read, dearest MPC readers, the world’s leading PC manufacturer hasn’t introduced any notebooks that support WiMax.
The company has once again reiterated that it currently has no plans to integrate WiMax into its notebooks. It is unwilling to commit to WiMax due to the “limited scope of commercially available networks and uncertainties around interoperability, roaming, and quality of service.” It expressed full faith in 3G and WWAN services, which it believes are more mature than WiMax.
"Do you want to touch (yeah), do you want to touch (yeah), do you want to touch me there-ere, where-ere?" Recognize those lyrics? If so, you've either just dated yourself, or you caught a glimpse of HP's latest commercial featuring its TouchSmart PC. And yes, we want to touch.
But HP isn't stopping at the desktop. According to The Wall Street Journal, HP will come out with a touchscreen notebook by the end of the year, and that's only the beginning. An upcoming line of touch-based cellphones is expected to follow sometime afterward, with even more devices on the horizon. What those devices might be remains to be seen, but an HP spokeswoman did acknowledge the company is "building a whole family of touch" gadgets for future release.
Leading the charge into touchscreen technology is Phil McKinney, CTO of HP's PC division. McKinney has been working on software that works with and on top of Windows. He's also enlisted the help of design company Frog Design to come up with new touch software and hardware. If done right, HP could conceivably do for PCs what Apple has done for cellphones.
The largest and second largest PC manufacturers in the world, HP and Dell respectively, haven’t taken an instant liking to WiMax it seems. The launch of the first commercial WiMax network in Baltimore, earlier this month, inspired OEMs Acer, Aspire, Lenovo and Toshiba to launch WiMax-enabled notebooks. However, Dell and HP did not rush to take advantage of the launch.
Moving to the largest PC supplier HP, even though the company is testing WiMax it has no immediate plans of offering support for the technology in its notebooks. It has asked its customers to explore the option of purchasing WiMax enabled PC card, USB dongle or ExpressCard, if they are keen on using WiMax. Dell and HP want to wait until WiMax becomes available in other major cities.
The phone is rumored to be headed to European store shelves first and might make an appearance there in about two month’s time. The new iPaq will feature a touchscreen, keypad and Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1.
A phone aimed at ordinary consumers might increase the popularity of the iPaq brand amongst plebeians, which in turn might have a positive impact on its market share.