When the Intel Santa Rosa platform made its official debut, HP had a whole slew of notebooks tuned for general consumers and the business professionals. With that, they also ended the old HP "nx" series of business class notebooks and introduced four new suffixes to denote the different notebook segmentation of the business class notebooks:- standard (s), business (b), workstation (w) and professional (p). However to-date, HP only launched the b/w/p class of notebooks which were mostly professional business class notebooks or tuned for high-end workstation replacement class types. What was missing was a no nonsense business-centric notebook that was affordable and reliable that would appeal to small business owners. That task now befalls on the just launched s-class series.
The HP Compaq 6520s and the 6720s are among the first notebooks to enter this space and unlike the traditional serious black outlook of business class notebooks, the s-series have a friendlier but still professional silver-grey finish. Besides the outer cover, even the notebook's chassis has been refined for a thinner and lighter build than any of its other series. Speaking with Dan Forlenza, Vice President and General Manger, Worldwide Business Notebooks, HP, he pointed that the goal of the s-series was to increase the industrial design for effective cost points, targeted at the small businesses. Did we mention that they are also simple and straightforward to use? With only power and wireless on/off buttons, modern notebooks don't come any simpler than these US$649 workhorses with decent tech specs.
The typical SMB owner could be a 1-man team or even a 30-man team, but these small business groups often have a more relaxed setup that may not require full fledged business computing machine, but neither does one want a consumer-level notebook which may not come equipped with the correct suite of applications and services required in business environments. Worse still, consumer class notebooks are often pummeled with excessive utilities and software the average Joe. Conflicts, resource utilization, less responsive systems are some of the usual traits from such a configuration leading to counter productivity at some level. With the HP Compaq 6520s and 6720s, HP hopes to capture the growing SMB space with the right hardware options and we think they do have a valid proposition.