When a rising Korean break-dance group performs to hip-hop lyrics extolling the new HP, you know that the company is aiming for that elusive 'street cred' among the desired demographics - mainly the young, trendy and tech-savvy. Occurring midway through HP's glamorous regional press launch in Seoul, where we were invited to witness HP's new suite of lifestyle computing solutions, this was a song and dance routine that said everything about the new face of HP.
Granted, it wasn't exactly new, since this was merely a continuation of its "The Computer is Personal Again" marketing campaign that started last year which paints a picture of a world where computers have increasingly become inseparable from our personal lives, while each of us forms our own unique relationships to the devices around us. Accordingly, HP's goal is to deliver on the 'personal' aspect by empowering consumers while keeping the technical nitty gritty bits in the background away from end-users.
That PCs are now an integral part of our everyday lives, extending beyond just work and into our homes, was a constant theme highlighted in the opening keynote speech by Adrian Koch, senior vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group for Asia Pacific and Japan. One of the scenarios offered in the speech was the PC as the entertainment hub for the entire family, playing and sharing effortlessly and wirelessly digital media like movies and music. Another was the fashionable and hip image that the company apparently hopes to convey by stressing its design credentials (Paris and Milan were some of the names mentioned). These two main concerns have heavily influenced the design of the new products, especially the main stars of the night, the world's first all-in-one touchscreen PC, the HP TouchSmart PC and the HP Pavilion tx1000 entertainment notebook.