New notebooks come with greater connectivity, collaboration features
HP is rolling out an array of new PCs and workstations aimed at giving employees working from home the fast connectivity and collaboration they need to be productive, whether they remain remote or get ready to return to the office.
The Lowdown: Such capabilities will continue to be important as many employees that were sent home to accommodate social distancing requirements and slow the spread of the coronavirus will continue to work remotely even once the pandemic is over.
The Details: The sudden move to working from home has presented employees with a range of challenges, including competing for bandwidth with others in the house – including spouses also working remotely and kids being schooled from home – which impacts videoconference calls. On the other end, security becomes a concern for IT departments with so many people working from home.
The new offerings from HP, announced Tuesday, include:
> EliteBooks: The new G7 series premium business notebooks support both 5G and Gigabit Class 4G LTE for improved connectivity, a wide-angle camera with an 88-degree field of view, audio based on artificial intelligence (AI) that minimizes background noises, and tapered edges that make the systems easier to open. Rubber dome keys on a redesigned keyboard make for quieter working, and an integrated webcam comes with a privacy shutter that blocks the camera. HP also has added to its EliteBook 800 Series with machines running on AMD’s Ryzen Pro chips and Radeon Vega GPUs and others powered by Intel’s 10th Gen six-core Core vPro processors.
> EliteDesks: The vendor’s latest desktop PCs are quieter and come with an upgraded chassis. Among them is the Collaboration All-in-One G6 with Zoom Rooms, a dedicated Zoom Room appliance that comes at a time when 54% of companies plan to cut back permanently on travel. It runs Windows 10 IoT, enables one-touch start, and comes with a 5-megapixel pop-up camera with an 88-degree viewing angle, as well as an integrated speaker and a microphone. There also is a desktop mini PC and a small-form-factor system.
> ZBook Firefly workstations: The newest powerful notebooks in the lineup come with up to 17 hours of battery life, high reliability, a larger and brighter display, and a range of security features. They include 14- and 15-inch models and leverage Nvidia Quadro P520 GPUs and Intel’s latest Core processors.
The Impact: When businesses first began sending employees to work from home as the global COVID-19 pandemic grew, there was a rush on PCs from vendors that were still trying to build up inventory even as the supply chain in China was impacted by the outbreak. Despite this, market research firms like Gartner are predicting a drop in PC shipments this year. Still, working from home will become a more permanent thing for some employees, which makes vendors like Lenovo hopeful for the market in the coming years. For channel partners being asked by companies for help in adapting to a more mobile business model, new offerings designed for a remote workforce, like the ones from HP, will be welcomed.
The Buzz: “As we experience a new normal that blurs reality between life and work, it’s clear that the PC is essential – allowing us to work, live, learn, collaborate, and create regardless of distance,” said Alex Cho, president of HP’s Personal Systems unit. “Today’s lineup of innovative products, our largest commercial product launch ever, including the next generation of Elite PCs and desktops, the world’s first ergonomic monitors with always-on low blue light, and the world’s brightest 14-inch mobile workstation, along with dedicated services to improve remote employee experiences, reinforces HP’s commitment to equipping workers with the right tools, power, and performance for the ultimate work-from-home experience.”