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Published: June 06, 2017

OMEN banner.jpg

The OMEN by HP lineup of gaming notebooks, desktops and accessories is getting leveled up this summer with a slew of new devices outfitted with all of the latest specs.

But the real surprise comes with the revolutionary re-think of its design, with the growing OMEN family getting a top-to-bottom revamp.

“The gaming industry has evolved and its users have grown a sensitivity to not only to performance and design, but to the total experience of their device,” said James Cha, industrial designer, consumer notebook and desktops at HP. “They want to look at it as a trophy piece when it’s sitting on their desk.”

HP had leveraged existing computers and outfitted them with gaming-ready parts on past iterations. But it’s changed tack to focus exclusively on the needs of gamers, with inspiring design and functional features that set the newest OMEN products apart.

The reinvented OMEN lineup not only brings best-in-class performance to casual, eSports, VR and immersive gaming experiences, they feature improved thermals, distinguished industrial design and user-friendly innovations.

Redesigned OMEN by HP Desktop.Redesigned OMEN by HP Desktop.“You really have got to listen to gamers when designing products for them,” Cha said. “They are sophisticated consumers who look at how the product is built, the story behind it, and how it meets their preferences for everyday use.”

Top priority for HP was designing for OMEN devices that not only looked cool, but run cool.  

"Instead of taking an existing chassis and building around its constraints, we started with the thermals and built a chassis to house them,” said John Ludwig, gaming and VR product manager at HP. “By redesigning the layout of the machine, we can greatly increase the airflow, which has a big impact on performance.”

Take, for example the OMEN by HP Desktop, which features fighter jet-like notched corners that give it an angular, forward-leaning look. Not only does it have a different profile than other gaming towers, those angular chevron cutouts enable more air intake and improve ventilation.

“The goal was for this thing to run nearly-silent and much quieter than our competitors,” he said. “Gamers want to push the limits on their GPU and CPU without the fans running loud.”

The desktop also has a number of other thoughtful features, including a carrying handle that’s designed to let gamers tote their rigs to friends’ houses for competitions and also a cleverly angled set of hidden double doors for easy access to the hard drives.

OMEN Compact Desktop with dock. Photo credit: The VergeOMEN Compact Desktop with dock. Photo credit: The VergeThermals also figure into the recently unveiled consumer version of HP’s virtual reality backpack, the OMEN X Compact Desktop, which until now has been marketed as a backpack and only been available in a developer kit.

It puts a gaming PC on the user’s back and pairs with a VR headset, offering enthusiasts an untethered, more immersive experience by enabling the player free movement away from the snaking cables of a hefty gaming rig or TV.

HP took feedback from users and reduced the pack’s weight and redesigned the straps to be more ergonomic. The newer design maintains airflow between the device and the user’s back to prevent the wearer from getting too warm.

HP also boosted its performance with an Intel Core i7 processor and added a small form-factor docking solution for customers that wanted to use the VR pack as their main PC. The VR pack pairs with an HTC Vive headset and also the HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset, which is sold as a developer’s kit.

OMEN by HP Accelerator connects to a notebook via Thunderbolt 3.OMEN by HP Accelerator connects to a notebook via Thunderbolt 3.New to the lineup is an external GPU dock, OMEN by HP Accelerator, which zeroes in on PC gaming via Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. The accelerator is paired with a (non-gaming) notebook PC for ultimate versatility. It can also accommodate nearly all of the graphics cards on the market today and pairs with any HP laptop or other Thunderbolt 3-certified notebook.

“You get the best of both worlds: An amazingly mobile notebook for everyday tasks, and high-end graphics processing power to play games when you dock,” Ludwig said.

For the revamped OMEN devices, it was important that smallest details weren’t overlooked.

“We wanted to make sure every, single part you see is a curated experience,” Cha said. “All of the internal components, even down to the littlest sockets, are accounted for in terms of. Gamers appreciate that they are buying a machine where everything inside is built for them.” 

For a full rundown of all things OMEN by HP, visit hp.com.OMEN family shot banner.jpg

 

 

    Desktop Computing Gaming Mobile Computing
Published: July 25, 2017

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Let’s face it, while making compromises might build good moral fiber, it’s usually not much fun. Thankfully, the new HP Pavilion All-In-Ones makes having it all seem easy. How? HP has added a slew of its premium product features into the new Pavilion lineup.Moscato_R_Hero_FrontLeft_KBMouse.jpg

Today, the company announced a pair of revamped Pavilion All-in-One (AiO) devices just in time for the back-to-school spree. Pitched as the magnet that draws the family together, the new devices have perks for parents and kids as do-all, no-compromise PCs. Parents can listen to music, get news, pull up recipes, pay bills, and watch favorite shows. Kids can do homework, create videos and edit and share photos. Family movie night becomes an immersive entertainment experience on the Pavilion AiO. 

“We listened to our customers when redesigning the HP Pavilion All-in-One to ensure we’re bringing features consumers crave, making it the perfect overall family PC,” said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, Consumer Personal Systems, Displays & Accessories at HP. “It’s a powerful desktop that can handle whatever a family wants to do—connect, work, create, or consume—while the architecturally-inspired design packs style and personality to make it a home-enhancing investment.”

 

Premium features

Just-right 24” or 27” edge-to-edge full HD, in-plane switching (IPS) screens serve up crisp text, sharp images, and vibrant photos. A fabric overlay on the speakers, and audio custom-tuned by B&O Play provide more acoustic transparency for a richer, clearer, immersive sound. And staying closely connected has never been so simple or fun. Post, chat, like, stream and share—across the globe or down the hall.

You can finally remove that unsightly tape or sticky note from your webcamnow, there’s a better way. Returning to this generation of All-in-Ones is HP’s privacy cameras, a must-have feature for the many customers who cite privacy as an important concern, especially with kids in the house. HP included a webcam that safely tucks out of sight when not in use. An optional infrared camera adds another layer of security with face authentication through Windows Hello.  Privacy camera stows away when not in use.Privacy camera stows away when not in use.

The latest 7th generation Intel Core processor delivers an exceptional level of performance for working, surfing, streaming or creating. Along with the versatility of the Pavilion line, AiO displays are built to last—the die-cast aluminum and metal stand includes a hinge tilt that is tested for the equivalent of three times a day for nine years. It’s not only stylish, but also durable.

And that tilt range goes from -5 degrees to +35 degrees, so it’s easy to find the perfect, neck-friendly view. Expansive touchscreens are a more natural way to interact with your PC, and a more engaging way for kids to learn and connect. Plus, it’s easy to share with HDMI input/output that enables you to add a second monitor or project to your TV.

At only 8.5 mm—approximately 40 percent thinner than the previous generation—this is the slimmest Pavilion All-in-one to date.At only 8.5 mm—approximately 40 percent thinner than the previous generation—this is the slimmest Pavilion All-in-one to date.Talking about multitasking, not only does the Pavilion AiO work hard as the home’s communications and entertainment center, it looks fantastic doing it. At only 8.5mm—approximately 40 percent thinner than the previous generation—this is the slimmest Pavilion All-in-one to date. All the hardware is packed in the bottom, making the display ultra-thin. Although the profile and strategically placed ports keep desks neat, the modern, clean design and fabric accents make it look great in any room of the house.

 

Creation station 

AAA_9294-5-24.jpgGot a casual gamer or budding video creator in the house? Optional AMD Radeon 530 Discrete Graphics and up to 16 GB of memory supply the performance and faster response rate for graphics-intensive activities such as  gaming, and for demanding applications such as photo and video editing.

To improve the experience even more, HP has put extensive customer insights to work, which resulted in minimizing the amount of pre-installed software and desktop clutter. This more streamlined experience translates to improved OS operation and general system performance.

Powered for productivity, created to connect and entertain, and designed to enhance the home, these newly redesigned HP Pavilion All-in-Ones gives consumers tools to do it all, without trade-offs.

For more on the new smart, stylish HP Pavilion All-in-Ones, visit: www.hp.com/go/pavilion-allinone.  

Published: May 12, 2017

As I am sure that some of you have read, on May 11, a Swiss cyber-security firm, Modzero AG, released a whitepaper highlighting that a keylogger issue – which in this case, is debug code – that is present in Conexant audio drivers on select HP computers.

At HP, customer security is our top priority, so I wanted to give an update on the issue, what we have done, and our best advice to customers.

First and most importantly, there is a fix for our commercial PCs available on HP.com as of today, May 12, with fixes for all consumer PCs scheduled to be available on May 13. In addition, HP has not had, nor will it have, any access to user data as a result of this issue.

When HP learned about this earlier this month, our Cyber Security team immediately investigated the issue, found the root cause and worked on a fix. In addition to being available on HP.com, we are also in the process of getting it published through Microsoft’s Windows Update Service. This is so customers – especially those with PCs not managed by an IT organization – will get the update automatically. For customers whose PCs are managed by their internal IT team, the update is available for deployment through their standard sets of tools.

As Modzero’s report states, there was a keylogger capability in the Conexant HD audio driver package that is preinstalled on some HP PCs. This capability was created by Conexant during the development process to help debug an audio issue. Adding debug code is a normal part of the development process and such code is supposed to be removed and never included in a commercially available product. Unfortunately, in this case, Conexant did not remove the code. We certainly never intended to include this code in shipped products.

The debug code stores keystrokes in a log file that it creates to help developers diagnose an issue. This code is stored in a file locally on the PC, and then it is cleared out each time the user logs off and whenever the PC is rebooted.

Some media coverage suggested that the log files are sent back to HP. These articles are inaccurate – such information is never sent back to HP. Again, HP never intended to include this functionality in a shipped product used by customers. What is most important to know is that there is an immediate commercial fix available with all consumer fixes available by May 13.

This issue effects certain commercial notebooks and desktop systems manufactured since 2015. In addition, a select set of our consumer systems are effected. For more information on the exact systems that need an update to the audio driver, check out our security advisory.

Our best advice to customers is to install the updated driver package. If you are a consumer customer or a business without a dedicated IT team, we recommend using Window Update to keep your PC updated automatically. For customers with a dedicated IT organization, download the Softpak from HP.com and distribute the updated driver package as you would any other update. Given the nature of this issue, our advice is to deploy this update as quickly as possible.

While HP didn’t create the driver, our job is to keep the customer safe even when the issue is with third-party code. We have learned from this situation and will work to with our partners to further verify the debug code is removed from their software before it goes final. That said, we will also continue to work with the security community to learn about these issues if they do come up, and then work to make sure we can get high quality fixes out to customers as quickly as possible, just as we are doing in this case.

For more information, please read the security advisory available here.

 

Published: May 12, 2017

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The explosion of virtual and augmented reality hardware and software—at a recent check, it’s a market that’s set to grow to $108 billion by 2021—is already changing the face of the video game and entertainment industries.  

But what if it could also change the way healthcare providers interact with their patients, the way educators teach their students and even the way office workers run meetings?

That’s the vision offered by MIcrosoft and HP, who this week unveiled the new HP Windows Mixed Reality Developer Edition Headset, which is available for pre-orders at Microsoft Stores, priced at $329 USD and $449 CAD.  

“Windows Mixed Reality is not just about gaming, but how we will interact with computers in the future,” said John Ludwig, gaming and VR product manager at HP. “From an experience perspective, we’re helping Microsoft put Windows Mixed Reality technology into your everyday life.”

The devkit, which offers tools for the MR/VR/AR software development community, aims to inspire them to build software and applications with immersive capabilities for a broader, more mainstream audience ahead of the planned consumer launch later this year. 

 

Bringing Windows Mixed Reality to the mainstreamMetal_lensdetail web.png

 Before VR can do things like offer virtual travel experiences, facilitate social networking or help people receive mental health services, there’s room for its hardware to evolve.

As it is right now, the headset market is fragmented. There are high-performance devices for tethering with high-end gaming rigs that deliver immersive experiences, such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. There are also lower-end devices, such as Google’s Daydream platform and Samsung’s Gear VR, that are meant to hook up to a smartphone for mobile applications.

But for the average PC user, there’s not much in between, Ludwig said.

“What’s innovative about Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform is that it spans both worlds, from accessory-driven, mobile applications all the way up to hardcore gaming,” he said.

Even when creating a device for software developers, HP’s designers set out to make a headset that’s both versatile and hones in on improving the user experience, according to Ludwig.

  

Metal_frontdetail web.pngGearing up for consumer launch

The developer kit precedes the eventual HP consumer hardware, which is expected to roll out later this year. It costs about half of what’s currently offered in the market for consumers and takes advantage of some key innovations that make it more appealing to a wider audience than ever before.

Today’s higher-end devices are expensive—running at about $500 for a single headset—and require pairing with a gaming or other high-performance PC with beefy graphics processing. They also require a lot of complex setup, including a dedicated space to install sensors around a room so that the player’s movements can be tracked with accuracy.

For example, to make setup easier, the device taps a pair of front-facing cameras that scan the space around the player to track movement.Metal_leftfacingcable web.png

 It also ups the game on visuals, with a resolution boost to 1,440 x 1,440 pixels per eye. That’s an improvement from the existing standard of 1,280 x 1,080 per eye in most headsets today. It also features a 2-in-1 cable that pairs HDMI 1.4 and USB 3.0 together for easier, plug-and-play setup with no additional software to install and compatibility with whatever computing device the consumer already has – even an ultrabook. 

“We want to expand the market and spur developers to get started making great content and novel applications for today’s users and potential users,” Ludwig said. “Microsoft has enabled us to move the Windows Mixed Reality headset into a much more consumer-friendly place.”

The HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition is available for pre-orders at Microsoft Stores for U.S. and Canada, and on HP.com.

Published: April 25, 2017

HP's updated lineup of fourth-generation ZBook Mobile Workstations.HP's updated lineup of fourth-generation ZBook Mobile Workstations. While most people still think about VR as being about the hardware – like Samsung Gear VR or Oculus – it’s the content that will really matter in the long run.

That means that game designers, animators, filmmakers and graphics professionals need to be ready with powerful tools in their back pocket to meet what’s projected to be a $41 billion market for global VR content creation.

HP, the leader in the fast-growing professional workstation market, recognizes the unique needs of digital creators who rely on powerful mobile workstations to support today’s graphically intense content creation projects.  

HP's 4th-gen ZBook 17HP's 4th-gen ZBook 17At NAB Show this week during the launch of HP’s 4th generation ZBook Mobile Workstations family, HP unleashed its first Virtual Reality (VR)-ready mobile workstation: the HP ZBook 17, which aims to help designers meet rapidly growing demand for VR content.

Last year, the number of global downloads of VR games and apps from Google Play and the App Stores totaled 226 million, representing a 276 percent year-over-year explosion from 2015, according to recent Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, mobile VR software downloads across both platforms totaled more than 85 million worldwide, a 205 percent year-over-year increase.  

A scene from "Henry," by Oculus Story Studio, one of first original characters entirely designed for VR viewing.A scene from "Henry," by Oculus Story Studio, one of first original characters entirely designed for VR viewing.The entertainment industry has been warming up to VR lately, too. This year’s Tribeca Film Festival was reportedly set to include VR projects tied to director Kathryn Bigelow, musicians John Legend and Pharrell Williams and producer Megan Ellison. And last year, an Oculus VR film called “Henry” managed to take home an Emmy.

For its part, HP is delivering the tools to help digital designers pursue that opportunity – now. Creators can configure the ZBook 17 with optimal horsepower, select one of two NVDIA graphics cards (the P4000 or P5000) and be assured of an ultra-smooth 90 FPS (frames per second) experience.

Beyond its VR capabilities, the ZBook 17 shares numerous important innovations found in the other 4th generation mobile workstations, including: HP ZBook 14u and 15u models; HP ZBook 15; and the top-of-the-line HP ZBook Studio.

For example, because client security continues to (or should) be a major concern for digital creators everywhere, HP re-invented its 4th generation lineup to be the industry’s most secure and manageable workstations. Each workstation offers unique security features, such as: HP Sure Start Gen3, the industry’s first-self healing PC BIOS with comprehensive encryption, strong authentication, malware protection, data protection, identity assurance and threat detection and response.

ZBook Mobile Workstations also come preloaded with HP Remote Graphics Software for remote collaboration HP Performance Advisor for optimal performance and HP Velocity for reliable and fast network performance.

 With HP taking the lead, workstations have undergone a complete change and emerged as tools that many industries use to produce mind-blowing visual content.

Best of NAB award.jpgThe entertainment industry is at the forefront of this trend, and HP workstations have played a central role in creating some of the most magical scenes in memorable Hollywood blockbusters, such as, "Hugo,” “Shrek,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” Spider-Man 3” and all “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.

This year at NAB, the HP ZBook 17 was awarded the "Best of NAB" by Videomaker magazine. 

To learn more about HP ZBook Mobile Workstations, visit HP's website. The NAB show continues through April 27th in Las Vegas.