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HP Bets on Google With the Help of Nvidia

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After years of strategic and executional debacle, HP (HPQ) is undergoing a variety of divorces and entering new relationships as part of the surgery it takes to find itself a future in the personal computing business. By personal computing, I mean PCs, tablets, as well as in the future also likely smartphones.

Let's start by mentioning HP's relationship with Microsoft (MSFT). To be sure, HP will continue working closely with Microsoft in all conceivable product categories -- as they should. This includes PCs, tablets and smartphones.

What is important to realize, however, is that until very recently Microsoft was HP's exclusive partner in these areas. In a few short months, this exclusive relationship has started to change.

In February, HP launched two new products based on Google (GOOG) operating systems:

  1. A 14-inch Chrome OS laptop ("Chromebook") based on an Intel CPU, priced at $330.
  2. A 7-inch Android tablet based on a RockChip CPU, priced at $169.

The HP Chromebook has just recently started shipping, and I will most likely be reviewing it starting in a matter of days from now. It's basically a laptop for any person seeking security, speed and simplicity. The laptop doesn't require any maintenance, anti-virus updates or complicated set-up. Just open it up and you can start working in a matter of approximately 10 seconds.


Furthermore, there are no expensive warranties or software you would bother buying. It's $330 and that's it -- forever. Other than that, its main selling point is that it is the only Chromebook in the market with a screen size larger than 13 inches. It's basically the ultimate productivity tool, certainly anywhere close to $330.

The $169 Android tablet, on the other hand, is a more dubious first entry in the market. The product is too closely matched with Asus' Nexus 7, which costs only $30 more. It really doesn't bring anything new to the market, other than the slightly lower price.

HP's Next Step With Google

Tuesday, I got a chance to see a demo of HP's latest Android device, a 10.1-inch screen tablet-laptop combo-convertible running Android. This device will become available in August and cost $480. Aside from Nvidia's (NVDA) own Shield gaming device, it is the first specific product to be announced that's based on the Tegra 4 CPU/GPU.

Here is the demo that I saw that was very impressive: It was a browser load test. Basically, a script that causes the browser to load one Web page after another, a couple of dozen of them.

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