Smart tech: When it comes to personal computers, lightness matters

Published: October 9, 2019 12:21 AM

HP’s new Elite Dragonfly convertible is designed to manage multitasking and demanding workloads of modern consumers.

Alex Cho , president, Personal Systems, HP IncAlex Cho, president, Personal Systems, HP Inc

By Devbrat Roy Chaudhary

Seasoned industry analysts may be discussing the discouraging trends in personal computer (PC) shipments and how smartphones are eating into the notebook market, but HP Inc. continues to bet on PCs. While that makes business sense given that it is the second largest player in the market, it is clear the company is aware of changing customer behaviour, launching smarter and lighter products.

The launch of HP Elite Dragonfly in Tokyo recently indicated as much with its theme of ‘Lightness in the New Era’ and portended, perhaps, the way forward for the notebook industry. A sub one-kilogram product that is billed as the world’s lightest compact business convertible notebook, Elite Dragonfly looks to push work and life boundaries for mobile business professionals, being powerful, lightweight and offering up to 24.5-hour battery life and the latest Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. Also launched were HP S340c Curved Ultra Wide Monitor—featuring HP Device Bridge that allows users to seamlessly and simultaneously control two PCs —and HP E344c Curved Monitor, which offers an immersive 34-inch diagonal curved display for the next-gen worker.

Said Alex Cho, president, Personal Systems, HP Inc, “HP innovation is moving businesses beyond the status quo with incredibly light, powerful and highly secure PC designs and a connected ecosystem for next generation workplaces”. The company, he said, was focused on holistic solutions. For instance, HP WorkWell, its personal wellbeing software, made health measurable and actionable at work, coaching users to take breaks and exercise even as it provided productivity tips. For security, HP Sure Sense harnessed the power of deep learning for protection against malware attacks.

Vinay Awasthi, VP & GM, Personal Systems, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Inc, highlighted Asia’s critical place in the PC industry’s, and therefore, his company’s future. The future of mobile solutions lay in Asia which had 19 of the world’s 33 mega cities, with India and South Korea offering the lowest data and broadband rates, respectively, he said. It was for this reason that HP was “innovating in Asia for Asia”, designing products through observation of megatrends in the most populous continent.

Vinay Awasthi, VP & GM, Personal Systems, Asia Pacific & Japan, HP Inc.Vinay Awasthi, VP & GM, Personal Systems, Asia Pacific & Japan, HP Inc.

Speaking on the trend of notebooks becoming lighter by the day, Gagan Singh, Global Head of Strategy, Innovation and Premium Notebooks, Commercial PCs, HP Inc, accepted there was a threshold which could not be crossed for now without compromising on quality. But “nobody has made such a product before,” he said with reference to Elite Dragonfly. While that is an assessment that would have to pass the market’s scrutiny, the swish exteriors of the Dragonfly blue colour are sure to catch the attention of women. “For far too long have notebooks been designed with the male user in mind,” said Singh, and HP has broken the mould with a notebook that makes a bold and personal statement, launching it in Japan that has introduced reforms for women workers of late. Sandra Ng, Group Vice President, Asia, IDC summed it up when she said, “it represents an integration of fashion and technology.”

(The writer was in Tokyo at the invitation of HP Inc.)

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