Hewlett-Packard's Black Phoenix

October 14, 2007

Because of their quality products, I have been a supporter of Hewlett-Packard printers and computers for many years now. I believe that affection will only be enhanced with the recent unveiling of a joint venture project between Hewlett-Packard and their new acquisition, Voodoo PC. The desktop gaming computer called the HP Blackbird 002 has the quality and dependability of a Hewlett-Packard, and the aesthetic and ergonomic design of a Voodoo PC. Several PC reviews have given high praise to this new release into the niche market of gaming PCs.

I will not go into all the technical specifications of this new computer, simply because I find all those numbers and acronyms for computer parts a bit dry for reading material. What I will say though is that some of the concepts put into this new desktop are impressive, and yet in my mind I cannot help but think why hasn’t this been done before? It is the simple things like a tool-less entry into the guts of the computer. Although I am sure early computer manufacturers had a reason to put the side panels of computers on with screws, quirky pop hinges, and the like, I cannot help but smile when I see HP’s Blackbird open up with the push of a button.

It is my hope that with Voodoo’s touch, Hewlett-Packard computers and laptops get a bit more of the “Voodoo DNA” that is so prevalent in the Blackbird desktop. Concepts like a slide-out hard drive bay, which changes the time it takes to switch out hard drives from ten minutes down to a single minute, tops. It’ll be interesting, on October 1st, when the Blackbird 002 becomes available for customization to the public, it will be interesting to see what will that do to HP’s brand equity.

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Now that computer manufacturers are realizing the money that is made in the niche market of gaming computers, all the big companies have been picking up the little boutique gaming computer manufacturers, like Alienware and Voodoo PC. HP seems to be finding the perfect balance between their own brand and Voodoo’s. Voodoo PC maintains their own brand of high performance computers, separate from HP. The Blackbird, although it displays Hewlett-Packard in the name and on the casing, still pays respects to the “Voodoo DNA” that makes up the internals of the system. By this dual branding, Hewlett-Packard can expand its product line and notoriety, just as Voodoo PC can.

The potential here is for the power of HP’s brand to bring customers over to Voodoo PC for high performance computers, while Voodoo PC’s reputation for high performance and aesthetic design methods brings customers over to HP and their commercial market line of computers. With each side bringing business in for the other, both can grow and expand against their mutual competitors.

What will be nice is when HP’s reputation for quality and high performance become more widespread in the market; Hewlett-Packard can tie in more of Voodoo PC’s style and performance into their regular product line. I can only imagine what the HP product line would look like with the Voodoo style behind the casing. The HP Blackbird 002 is definitely a step in the right direction for both companies, and I look forward to further developments in both of their product lines.

For more please visit: www.hp.com/blackbird

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