We’re live in Berlin, Germany at the HP Connecting Your World event. During yesterday’s keynote, Voodoo PC, HP’s enthusiast line, announced what’s essentially a competitor to the MacBook Air: The Voodoo Envy 133. The Envy 133 is just 0.7” thick throughout; the same thickness as the most thick points on the Air. (Just slightly under, actually.) It’s sheathed in a carbon fibre casing that allows them to bring down the weight to just 3.4 lbs. It features a 13.3” ultrabright backlit LED screen and a backlit keyboard, ambient light sensor and an enormous touchpad that’s multiple gesture-compatible.
Take a look at our first impressions and see what sets the Envy 133 apart, giving it what I believe is the upper hand against the MacBook Air.
At VoodooPC‘s section of HP‘s CES booth, we got a look and some specs about their Elemental series Omen AU, a completely gold-plated PC, covered in 24 karat gold. Sporting the classic Voodoo wiring job and with support for up to triple SLI, the entirely water-cooled, quad-core system seriously rocks. The price tag is enough to by a nice car, however, at $22,000. Only two have been sold thus far, but I imagine Flava-Flav will be calling to have them put one on a chain soon enough.
Sure you’ll need a second mortgage to enjoy this system, but it’s one of the few pieces of technology on the floor you can say will actually increase in value over time. (The price of gold rising dramatically lately.)
Hit the video and see it first-hand, and check out our photo gallery for some up-close pics.
Not much has been heard from the VoodooPC camp since they’ve been acquired by HP, but their announcement of their massive, visible-from-space desktop-replacement Voodoo Envy HW:201 notebook continued their practice of completely ridiculous specs in notebooks. Featuring a 20.1-inch display, two NVidia GeForce 7950’s running in SLI mode and up to 320GB of hard drive space, (and no battery capacity) I sincerely believe that it would actually crack the foundation of your house if you dropped it.
According to a report from Dean Takahashi at Mercury News, Hewlett-Packard will be acquiring high-end gaming PC manufacturer VoodooPC for an undisclosed sum. This move clearly seeks to counter Dell’s recent acquisition of enthusiast-PC maker Alienware, but it looks like the integration for Voodoo will be deeper for HP.
The VoodooPC brand will still live on, but it remains to be seen how much of the core company survives integration. The co-founders, Rahul and Ravi Sood will take high profile positions in the company’s new gaming division in the personal technology group, so hopefully a lot of the esthetic of the company will live on. The Voodoo brand will benefit from access to Hewlett-Packard’s leverage in the supply chain, and HP clearly expects this acquisition to give them credibility in the gaming arena for some of their lower-end offerings.
The acquisitions by both Dell and HP seem to be driven by a couple of factors. First, it recognizes the hard-core PC gaming market as a segment with growth potential, but the focus on gaming also seems to be rooted in the need for both companies to differentiate their PC offerings on things other than price. The commoditization of the PC has made profit margins in the low-end PC market almost unsustainable and embracing the high-end may be one way to get away from cost pressures.
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