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The world’s largest PC-maker Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ - Analyst Report) is planning to arouse consumer interest with three new PCs (one hybrid and two Ultrabooks) this holiday season. Apart from some stunning features, the new offering will be available with the latest, yet-to-be-released Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Analyst Report).
Industry experts believe that the PC market would benefit from the Windows 8 OS. They also believe that customers have withheld purchases ahead of the Win 8 launch. Microsoft plans to make the software upgrade public by October. We believe that the timing for H-P’s new releases is perfect.
New Kids on the Block
Now, let’s have a look at the features of the three new family members. H-P is launching ENVY x2 hybrid PC, SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook and ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4.
HP ENVY x2 will allow users to get the feel of both notebook and tablet. The upper lid of this notebook is detachable and can be used as a tablet. Also, with Near Field Communication technology (‘NFC’), users will be able to share contents easily with other NFC-led mobile devices with a single touch.
HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook and ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 have more or less similar features. The common features include multi-touch high definition display, Intel Corp.’s (INTC - Analyst Report) core processor, metal body, certain HP invented applications and solid state drive. SpectreXT’s special feature is Intel’s Thunderbolt technology (copper-based interface for connecting peripheral devices to a computer via an expansion bus). On the other hand, TouchSmart is powered by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s (AMD - Analyst Report) graphics card.
Pricing of ENVY x2 and ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 have not been disclosed, while SpectreXT prices could start from $1,399.
What We Think
We have already mentioned the possibility of Windows 8 driving PC demand in the holiday season. H-P has a lineup of Win 8-feautured desktops, laptops and tablets to be introduced later this year. We look forward to the reception of these products, which could boost HP’s PC business.
But the scenario may get challenging with the launch of Microsoft’s first-ever tablet “Surface” during this Christmas season. Also, Dell Inc. (DELL - Analyst Report) and ASUS are planning to launch Win 8-enabled hybrid PCs, quite similar to HP ENVY x2.
We think the similarity of the products basically means that consumer dollars will be more or less divided between the players, with no clear winners.
Currently, H-P has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating, while Dell has a Zacks #4 Rank, implying a short-term Sell rating.
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