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Microsoft, HP blaze business tablet trail

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft think the tablet is more lean forward than lean back. Are they right?

The PC has one (at least) distinct advantage over Apple. Windows 8.1 isn't a mobile operating system like iOS. In other words, the same 64-bit Windows 8.1 that runs on a brawny desktop PC now runs on featherweight 8-inch and 10-inch tablets.

And that may be a good thing because the tablet is in dire need of new markets, with predictions that the rate of growth will drop sharply in 2014.

"As consumer shipments slow in many markets, commercial (business) … Read more

Chromebooks 'have surprised us,' says HP CEO

Speaking at a technology conference this week, Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman said she is surprised by the appeal of the Chromebook.

"Chromebooks have surprised us in the breadth of their field. It is not just education, it is small business," she said, in response to a question at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco on Monday.

"It's a broader appeal than I originally anticipated or we anticipated that it would be...it does appear there is a real life to Chromebook in the small to medium-sized business and even in [corporate] … Read more

Chromebooks compared: New and upcoming Chrome OS laptops

With a small but growing slice of the PC market, Chromebooks are finally a viable choice for anyone looking to buy a secondary or travel laptop. Unlike the similarly priced netbooks of old, these systems, running Google's Chrome OS instead of Windows, tend to focus on doing one thing and doing it well -- giving you low-cost access to online tools and services.

But with myriad models available from Acer, HP, Toshiba, and even Google -- many with annoyingly similar names -- which is the Chromebook to beat?

Compare our hands-on reviews and impressions of the major Chromebook entrants … Read more

First of 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablets arrives, this one from HP

Hewlett-Packard is one of the first to offer 64-bit compatibility on Windows 8.1 with a tablet using Intel's latest mobile processor. But others will follow.

On Sunday, Hewlett-Packard announced the HP ElitePad 1000 (PDF), which it describes as the "redesigned and upgraded 64-bit HP ElitePad." That tablet, starting at $739, will be available in March.

The ElitePad sports a quad-core Bay Trail processor, Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and a 10.1-inch 1,900x1,200-megapixel display.

And Dell will roll out updated Venue tablets with 64-bit mode turned on, Dell told CNETRead more

HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop takes a page from Yoga's book

BARCELONA, Spain -- One of the few laptop-style devices at MWC 2014 is the HP Pavilion x360, an 11.6-inch hybrid that switches between clamshell and tablet modes thanks to a 360-degree hinge.

If that hinge mechanism looks familiar, that's because it's very similar to the one found on the popular line of Yoga laptops from Lenovo, as well as me-too models from Dell and others. The idea of the 360-degree hinge is that you can use the system as a traditional laptop, then bend the lid backward, stopping at a kiosk or table tent form in the … Read more

Microsoft said to slash Windows 8.1 price on low-cost devices

Microsoft will implement a 70 percent discount on the price of Windows 8.1 for inexpensive devices, according to a report from Bloomberg. This follows a similar report last year.

Device makers will be charged $15 "to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50," according to Bloomberg.

A similar report emerged from Asia last year. But that report cited size and device-type restrictions. That will no longer apply, however, said Bloomberg. (Other reports last year also cited discounts.)

Some observers see this as … Read more

Meg Whitman: Traditional PCs drive growth, not just tablets

Hewlett-Packard executives had a lot of positive things to say about PCs in the company's earnings conference call on Thursday. And CEO Meg Whitman said she's seeing renewed interest in traditional PCs over tablets in business.

"There is some momentum in a long overdue PC refresh. What I think commercial customers are understanding from their employees, while they may want a tablet, they actually also need more traditional compute devices to do their real work," Whitman said during the company's earnings conference call for the first quarter of 2014. In the quarter, HP delivered better than expected results. … Read more

HP resurrects Windows 7 PCs 'by popular demand'

Windows 8.1 isn't getting a lot of love from Hewlett-Packard.

The computer maker has begun offering a handful of desktop and laptop PCs running Windows 7, touting the older operating system as "back by popular demand." To spur sales, HP is also offering the Core i5- and i7-powered machines at a $150 discount.

As pointed out by Neowin, the home section of HP's retail Web site also offers Windows 8.1 machines for sale, but the focus of the page is definitely machines running Microsoft's 4-year-old operating system.

Although Windows 8.1 has managed … Read more

HP's Chromebook 11 is now available with LTE

Hewlett-Packard's Chromebook 11 is now available with LTE -- and can be purchased at Best Buy stores.

The 11.6-inch laptop (see CNET review) running Google's Chrome OS is priced at $379 at Best Buy, where it is beginning to show up in physical stores, as first reported by Liliputing.

That's $100 more than the Wi-Fi-only version but still relatively cheap by Windows 8.1 laptop standards.

HP opted for a 4G/LTE chip from Israel-based Altair Semiconductor.

Altair said in a statement Wednesday that it can be used on Verizon's network for "an additional $… Read more

This serious Intel, Nvidia silicon is not for tablets, smartphones

LAS VEGAS -- There were occasional reminders at the Consumer Electronics Show that even in 2014, the fastest silicon is not in tablets and smartphones, or even inside PCs.

Enter Hewlett-Packard's new all-in-one workstation. It squeezes some pretty brawny silicon behind a 27-inch touch screen. And some serious cooling power too.

Announced at CES, the Z1 G2 can be configured with the 82-watt Intel Xeon E3-1280 v3 processor and up to a 100-watt (max power) Nvidia Quadro K4100M graphics.

While consumers have gotten used to fanless phones and tablets, professional-class -- and some might say real -- horsepower still … Read more