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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

HP’s Pre-CES Parade: Gasp-worthy Electronic Gadgetry

January 8th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

If you’re a software developer or a hardware designer who likes to work at the beach, in the mountains, or anywhere other than in your cubicle, HP announced this week a set of products that are going to be of more than just passing interest. On Monday, the company debuted two members of its second-generation ZBook family of mobile workstations that include an impressive list of features.

The ZBook 14 and ZBook 15u come with 14-inch and 15.6-inch displays, respectively, fifth-generation Intel core processors, AMD FirePro 3D graphics, optional touch-screen displays, and 10-point multi-touch HD screen option on the ZBook 14, as well as up to 16GB of operational memory and 1.25 TB of storage to service the workstations’ HP Z Turbo Drive capability.

I saw these two mighty mites at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco in late November during an NDA Press Tour, and although journalists are sworn to skepticism, it was hard not to be impressed. These laptops are indeed “sleek and stylish” as the manufacturer says, but they’re also incredibly lightweight and sturdy.

Meanwhile, for those design professionals whose work requires workstation levels of performance across multiple devices, and have the IT staff to support those needs, HP debuted on Tuesday this week something for them as well.

2-hp-workstationThe company announced its super-duper HP DL380z Gen9 Virtual Workstation with “end-to-end security, optimized IT management, and applications from virtually any endpoint device – from virtually anywhere. [The product] ships with HP Velocity WAN optimization software [and delivers] great interactivity even over long distances and poor network connections.”

Importantly, this powerful little box, which supports “1-to-many” workstations, also comes with a suite of NVIDIA cards to meet the most elaborate needs of people who use 3D graphics in their work.

Clearly it was a busy week for the HP marketing folks, but they saved the best for last. In the wow-factor spirit of CES, playing itself out in Las Vegas from Tuesday through Friday this week, HP also announced on Monday a series of displays that should meet anybody’s pent-up yearning for why-can’t-work-also-be-fun.

3-hp-curved-displayThe company released a new series of displays all of which work happily with the new mobile ZBooks or the new Virtual Workstation and are guaranteed to provide users with a fantastic viewing experience. And I know that, because these new products were also showcased in San Francisco in November.

The three families of displays include: 1) the Ultra-High Definition displays which offer mind-bending levels of resolution described as “massive” by the company – omg, the HP Z27q IPS Display boasts 5120×2880 resolution and 1.07 billion colors; 2) the HP Z34c, ENVY 34c, Elite s 270c, and Pavilion 27c curved displays designed with a 3000 radius and physically wrap around you to such an extent that even your peripheral vision is engaged; and 3) the HP Zvr Virtual Reality Display is so cool that once you put on the nerd-alert glasses, even on top of your own glasses, you get the most powerful 3D experience you can possibly imagine: Whaaaat? Is that heart pumping right out of the screen?

5-3d-displayAll of these display products from HP are down-right gasp-worthy and no doubt impressed even the most hard-bitten journalists who attended the Pre-CES NDA Tour last November. The press in Las Vegas have to have been impressed as well, if for no other reason than it’s potently clear that the engineers at HP – and their product visionaries – have been incredibly busy.

So much so, one has to wonder if Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard could ever have conceived of this wealth of creative output way back in that iconic, Depression-era garage where they wrote the opening chapters of their extraordinary company.


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