Archive for February, 2007

HP Invents Retro?

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

I received an catalog via snailmail (ironic, huh?) the other day. I was really im(de?)pressed by the quality of what they are selling to consumers.

Take a look at the xb3000 Notebook Expansion Base. According to the catalog, for just $200 you “get desktop comfort and convenience”. I suspect it’s a way to overcome the shortcomings of a cheap notebook (no bluetooth, auxiliary video, or even ethernet on some of these HP notebooks!). To me, the whole setup looks very retro — like a kludge for a TRS-80.
HP xb3000

Then there is the new “slimline” Pavillion with the built-in 8-inch floppy drive (NOT!). I guess the black vertical strip is the “slim line” on this squat box.
hp slimline pc

What really caught my eye was the absolutely atrocious molding quality of the Photosmart C6180 printer on page 26. Even to a casual observer, the parts are poorly molded — wavy surfaces, and the parting lines are not parallel. Take a look at the detail. What’s amazing to me is that:

  1. they couldn’t find a better printer to photograph
  2. they chose a view that highlights the printer’s physical defects.

Chalk it up to poor design, poor execution, and a careless attitude in marketing.
HP C6180
HP C6180 detail