The most intriguing news from HP this week is the introduction of the ZR2740w display, a $729 27-inch IPS panel with native resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. It’s not a DreamColor display, but it also doesn’t cost $2500. HP is aiming the affordable ZR2740w, as well as more modest IPS panels in 24-inch, 21.5-inch, and 20-inch configurations, directly at the animation, broadcast, design, and game development markets.
Interestingly, the 24-inch ZR2440w (with screen res of 1920×1200) is a 16×10 monitor, a configuration that HP expects to offer for at least two years and possibly longer, depending on customer demand. And if you’re on the prowl for a cheap IPS display for some reason — IPS panels offer much more accurate color reproduction, especially from off angles, than TN panels — the 1600×900 ZR2040w is attractively priced at $189. Three of the four new screens, including the 2740, are available now. More details are in the press release
HP also introduced some new digital signage products, including fairly nice 42-inch and 47-inch touchscreens and the HP SignagePlayer mp8200 for driving them.
Of course, when HP announces new PC products these days there’s a pall over the proceedings. Sure, the new all-in-one desktops the company rolled out for consumer and business use look snappy and innovative — though some might question how well the hinge that’s central to their design will hold up over time. But the personal-computer division’s parent company killed its TouchPad and the failed webOS operating system that went with it and now says it plans to get out of the PC business entirely, raising speculation about whether the division will be spun off or sold, and what its future will look like.
At a recent press event in Manhattan, Jim Christensen, director of media relations for HP’s personal systems group, underscored the strength of the company’s PC business, pointing to its $40 billion in yearly revenue and a supply chain that ships 2 PCs every second. And other officials at the meeting downplayed the importance of the growth in mobile devices, which they said aren’t hurting the desktop market as much as conventional wisdom might suggest. More to the point, as Xavier Lauwaert, HP’s director of product marketing for consumer desktops, put it, “You’re not going to do Photoshop on a tablet.” The old-school tower PC still has two or three years left in it for the gaming market and other high-end consumer applications, he said. The company’s new line-up of all-in-one PCs is meant to fill the gap between those high-end towers and tablet devices.
Those all-in-one TouchSmart consumer PCs are pretty slick, by the way, so while nobody in this industry is going to get serious work done on them, they might find their place in some pro shops for demos or other client-facing applications that demand a modern, minimal PC style. HP has more information online at www.hp.com/go/allinone