The Name’s Packard, Hewlett Packard

Amidst a backdrop of vodka Martinis, Aston Martins and Bond girls, HP announced a new range of consumer focussed digital products.

Although HP has a very strong reputation in the corporate market, it’s clear that the company wants to make serious in roads into the digital consumer space. You only have to look at the massive advertising push for HP digital imagery, to realise that it wants a large piece of the consumer electronics pie.

To showcase its new line of consumer digital products, HP took journalists from all over Europe over to Monte Carlo for the product briefings. So, after a delayed British Airways flight, and a superb helicopter ride along the coast, I found myself in the playground of the rich and famous, surrounded by HP’s new products.

Taking pride of place at the event was the new HP Pavilion dv1000 Entertainment Notebook. This is a notebook that is aimed squarely at mobile entertainment, rather than spreadsheets and Word documents.

The dv1000 sports a 14in widescreen BrightView display – BrightView is just like Sony’s X-Black technology, and it offers a very bright and vivid image from the screen, albeit with slightly more reflection. The resolution is 1,280 x 768, so it’s not as high as some machines out there, but it should be adequate for the target market.

The specification ranges from an Intel Mobile Celeron entry level to more powerful Intel Pentium M chips. A Centrino branded version will feature an Intel Pro/Wireless 802.11b/g WiFi adapter.

There’s a 6-in-1 memory card reader and a DVD writer that will handle both DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW media.

A neat trick is HP’s QuickPlay utility, which allows the dv1000 to play music or DVDs without booting into Windows. We’ve seen this feature on some small form factor boxes, and similarly, the dv1000 uses a Linux based shell to run QuickPlay. To get the most out of the media features, the dv1000 comes with an infrared remote control, which hides unobtrusively in the PC Card slot.

”’There’s also a new docking solution coming from HP, complete with adjustable stand and hard disk bay.”’

The dv1000 looks like it could be a great mobile solution for someone looking for a bit of fun as well as work on the move. Expect a full review of the dv1000 soon.

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