HP Announce New Toys

Just in time for Christmas, we take a look at a whole bunch of cool new HP gadgets!

HP invited a lot of us journos out the other night to show us a bunch of technology that they’re bringing out this holiday season.

It was coincidentally a Halloween event and I arrived in my full devil get up with horns under my hat and a tail that people only noticed at the last minute.

Still, HP had even more surprises for us than what I could hold under my hat as they let us take a look at a few devices that took my attention and will probably take yours.

While they were showing off a bunch of multifunction printers, desktop computers, and laptops, a few things took my eye that I feel the need, the compulsion to share with the rest of you.

The new TouchSmart series looks like its really living up to its moniker: a computer that when you touch it performs intelligently. In all seriousness, the platform looks to have really matured since we first saw it in our review of the TouchSmart IQ770. It’s new brother – the IQ800 – looks sleeker, shinier, and while last time we complained of a lack of speed from weak software and a use of the AMD Turion platform, this new version sits pretty on top. Running with a 25.5 inch widescreen display, Blu-ray drive, and an Intel Core2 Duo (YAY!!!) – as well as software that looks like it’s going to be fresh and stable – we think we’re looking at a real winner here.

Now to just convince HP to build them into toasters. Seriously, how cool would that be? A TouchSmart toaster. Maybe I’m just obsessed… with toasters.

Something else I’m also obsessed with is getting people good deals. HP were showing off the next in the HDX series of laptops (you might remember the Dragon from last year) with Blu-ray drives, proper 16:9 screens, and with up to 800GB of space in a laptop… but I didn’t care. Out of the corner of my eye I spied an interesting little lappy that’ll sit under the Compaq brand which has me very interested.

Named the CQ60, this new laptop is inexpensive and comes with one of the new 15.6 inch proper widescreen displays. Traditionally, our widescreen displays have been widescreen at 16:10 but not the movie ratio of 16:9. That’s a minor detail that won’t concern many but if you’re looking to make those black bars in widescreen films disappear almost completely and truly use your screen real estate, the 16:9 displays like the one in the CQ60 do it best. They’re even better in HP’s high-end HDX laptops but at a price point of $999, the CQ60 is certainly the least expensive proper widescreen lappy we’ve seen yet. Looking forward to that one.

HP also have a couple of phones, one which looks like its to tackle the BlackBerry Bold head one. The iPAQ 912 Business Series Messenger has a GPS, touchscreen, and feels really sturdy in the hands. Though I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with it, what I did play with felt well-developed and solid.

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The HP Mini 1000 is probably the most interesting of the bunch, however. Hot off of the success of the HP Mini-Note 2133, the HP Mini 1000 is a different computer inside a similar design to that of the Mini-Note 2133. It’s still thin and small like a book but gone is the metal shell replaced with a surprisingly sturdy black plastic casing.

The chip has been changed and it looks to adopt the all-too familiar Intel Atom setup being used by manufacturers such as Asus & Acer but this computer feels like it’s been weighted better than much of the competition offering a true Netbook experience. We’re unsure about the mouse – something left over from the first series – but this model looks like it could be the Netbook to look out for if the clunky size of Netbooks has been preventing you from getting one.

Written by Leigh D. Stark