HP announced the first product of its joint design efforts with Voodoo PC this evening. Our review of the HP Blackbird 002 is up, and it achieved the highest rating we've ever awarded a desktop. We'll let the review speak for itself, but we'll only add here that while we wrote about a custom configuration that won't be available until Oct. 1, you can buy a similar, fixed-configuration system today for $5,500 that looks like this:
HP also announced its new Pavilion Elite line of digital-media-oriented desktops. They look basically the same as the Pavilion Media Center systems from earlier this year, with a few tweaks to the glossy case. We're still working on our review of the higher-end Pavilion Elite m9040n, but we can tell you so far that we're perplexed by the fact that it has bays for two different kinds of removable HP hard drives. This feels like a serious waste of space design-wise, and also like a transparent upselling tactic. The good news is that this system no longer has the superfluous "Media Center" designation in its name, as all PCs with Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate include Microsoft's Media Center interface. Stay tuned for that full review tomorrow.