Hewlett-Packard has launched a new armada of consumer and business laptops, ultrabooks, and "fauxtrabooks" along with a dose of new printers. The product launches are among the first since HP divided its units into two sides -- enterprise and consumer.
The wildcard for HP's new PCs is whether they have the designs and enough sex appeal to entice workers to tote them to their corporations.
Let's face it: We're entering a bring-your-own-device world. Companies just aren't into PC upgrades. For instance, I have a crappy Lenovo T61 with Windows XP from CBS. The thing barely works and was used in 2006 when it showed up. But here's the catch: this laptop clunker is not old enough to be replaced. Sure, I could lobby the executives above (I was told to pitch the CTO), but frankly I'd rather bring my own laptop and blog about it.
The point for HP is that its fancy laptops -- Envy ultrabooks, "sleekbooks" and the Elitebook Folio -- are designed to straddle the line between courting consumers who covet MacBook Airs and the corporate warriors.
Overall, the prices appear to be right. CNET's Scott Stein notes that HP's ultrabook starts at $749. An AMD sleekbook hits $599. Those price points will appeal to most corporate types.
For HP's PC unit to keep its lead and inspire some Apple-ish Envy it needs two upgrade cycle -- consumer and corporate -- to fall its way. Increasingly, those two upgrade cycles are intertwined. HP's real competition may be tablets and Apple's iPad going forward.
Bottom line: now that HP has split its businesses into two camps it'll become clear how these PC designs play out and the need to entice corporations.
This story was first published as "HP's new laptop lineup: Will consumerization kick in?" on ZDNet's Between the Lines.