HP Elite Bets on ForcePad for Pressure-Sensitive Control
On Tuesday, Hewlett-Packard rolled out new HP Elite products, including the thinnest-ever HP EliteBook and a desktop it says takes up less workspace than most office phones.
With the new line, HP is working from the assumption that employees demand technology that fits their personal styles while still allowing them to stay productive no matter where they are working. At the same time, HP contends, IT managers need to support what it calls the “New Style of IT” with a common set of devices and interfaces, all while exceeding expectations for the security and reliability that businesses demand.
HP also said it’s offering not only the hardware needed to address business challenges, but also the configuration and deployment services needed to save IT time and money. But consumers may appreciate a new innovation in one of the machines, dubbed ForcePad, most of all.
Meet the Elite Lineup
“Today’s business lifestyles continue to evolve at an incredible rate, resulting in a new style of IT that requires stylish, easy-to-use devices coupled with expanding device security and manageability that can be used in a range of settings,” said Enrique Lores, senior vice president and general manager for Commercial PCs at HP. “HP addresses this new reality with a portfolio of high-impact business PCs and services that offer the ultimate in security and manageability, while still providing the style, lightness and ease of use needed for all types of working environments.”
The EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 notebook is 16.1 percent thinner and 7.3 percent lighter than the previous generation. HP said this Ultrabook-qualified HP EliteBook one of the sturdiest, thinnest and lightest available. It sells for $1,299.
The EliteDesk 800 G1 Business Desktop Mini is one of the industry’s smallest business desktop PCs selling for $669. The machine is being introduced alongside the HP ProDesk 600 G1 Business Desktop Mini, which is designed to keep users productive and IT operating costs down and sells for $489. The EliteDisplay S230tm is HP’s first Windows 8-certified touch monitor for business. It features a 23-inch diagonal multitouch monitor with antiglare glass for viewing in high ambient light conditions. It sells for $359.
Betting on ForcePad
The EliteBook Folio 1040 GI also bets on ForcePad. Developed by Synaptics, ForcePad adds a new dimension of control by leveraging capacitive image sensing technology that detects the pressure of five fingers with up to 1,000 grams of dynamic range in force sensitivity. The company said ForcePad's ability to detect varying amounts of pressure per finger enables new usage paradigms in virtually every genre.
Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, got hands-on with the new technology when it debuted more than a year ago and told us it performed "beautifully."
"ForcePad has five dimensions, not just XYZ. It also has F for force and W for width, so it actually has measures for how much finger pad you are actually encountering and how hard you touched it," Kay said.
"Synaptics has taken the X-Y grid of transmitters and receivers and they've put them on the same plane on the glass substrate," he said. "You can change the pressure of your fingers while they are on the pad and you can watch those columns moving up and down. They move immediately when you change any pressure at all. It's very rapid feedback."