What happened to the HP Voodoo laptop?

HP was one of the early trend-setters in the ultrathin laptop market with its Voodoo design. But this has languished for more than a year.

Hewlett-Packard was one of the early trendsetters in the ultrathin laptop market with its Voodoo design. But the product has languished for more than a year. What happened--or what will happen--isn't clear.

The ultrathin laptop market is hot and one of the most visible laptop segments today. And activity in this segment has spiked recently in the wake of a raft of new, inexpensive thin laptops from MSI, Acer, and Lenovo, using low-power Intel chips.

HP's Voodoo Envy was a trend-setting ultrathin laptop but it hasn't been updated in a year.
HP's Voodoo Envy was a trendsetting ultrathin laptop but it hasn't been updated in a year. Hewlett-Packard

The Apple MacBook Air and Dell Adamo are two of the most prominent designs. The Air has now been refreshed twice. Dell's svelte Adamo was announced in March, complementing its ultrathin business laptop, the Latitude E4200.

But the razor-thin 0.7-inch-thick Voodoo Envy 133--first announced in June 2008--has stood still. HP had no comment about future plans.

HP has upgraded its consumer ultraportable with dual-core Athlon and Turion Neo chips from AMD
HP has upgraded its consumer ultraportable with dual-core Athlon and Turion Neo chips from AMD Hewlett-Packard

And the Envy's specifications speak of a bygone era in the fast-moving laptop market: an old SP7700 Intel ULV chip, last year's 64GB solid-state drive, and ancient graphics based on Intel X3100 silicon.

That doesn't mean HP is completely ignoring the new ultrathin space (and, who knows, the Voodoo laptop could get updated tomorrow). In the interim, HP has brought out the Pavilion dv2 line based on AMD Athlon and Turion Neo processors as well as AMD graphics.

The dv2 is under four pounds and an under an inch thick, though it is no match for the Voodoo Envy in looks. Where it does handily beat the Envy is in price.

The dv2 starts around $780 with a dual-core Athlon "Ultrathin" Neo chip, 4GB of memory, and a 320GB hard disk drive. The Envy, despite its creaky specifications, starts at more than double the price: $1,600--with only 2GB of memory and an 80GB hard drive.

And HP has just added a new AMD chip to the dv2: the AMD Turion Neo X2 L625 (1.6 GHz) is offered as a $50 upgrade over the dual-core Athlon Neo chip. This features a larger cache than the Athlon version of the Neo: 1MB versus 512KB.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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