HP Mobile Workstations: Not Just for Vertical Markets AnymoreBy Chris Talbot | Posted 2010-09-21 Email Print
Mobile workstations -- laptop or notebook computers built to appeal to specific vertical industries -- are making their way into more of the business mainstream, according to HP.
Mobile workstations have often been considered notebooks that are of most interest to specific vertical industries, but according to a presentation by HP during the recent D&H Distributing Virtual Mobility Event, the more powerful mobile workstations are finding their way into businesses of all types.
There is a lot more movement in the market, with businesses buying mobile workstations instead of standard notebooks, said Joshua Carmack, a Personal Systems Group trainer for North America at HP. Mobile workstations have traditionally been purchased by animators, graphic artists, the oil and gas industry, architectural firms and engineering firms, but it's no longer fair to pigeon-hole mobile workstations into those verticals, he said.
"They offer superior graphics performance versus what a regular notebook can provide. They're looking to utilize some specialized software that may be unique to their industry, and they want to make sure they have the processing and memory power to utilize that software without lag time," Carmack said.
With business' mobile computing needs increasing, the higher end notebooks are branching out from specific verticals into more general business environments. Businesses of all types are looking for distinct needs to be met, whether it's in processing capabilities, graphics, the monitor size or monitor resolution, he said. What this means for channel partners dealing in mobile workstations is a growing market for the products, which means additional sales opportunities on the horizon.
Within the HP notebook product portfolio, the highest end notebooks are the HP ProBook S and B series products and the HP EliteBook series. Carmack noted that the ProBook S series provides businesses with a more robust notebook with greater performance than standard commercial notebooks. Although positioned as a business notebook, the ProBook S series is also designed for entertainment use.
"This is really the sweet spot for HP as far as units being moved," Carmack said.
The ProBook S strikes a balance between business and entertainment needs, he added.
"One thing we try to do with this level of notebook is provide a lot of ways to improve the way customers do business with innovations that let them be more productive," he said.
The ProBook B series offers additional advantages, including extra security and connectivity options.
"If you have customers that are looking for extra security and extra connectivity options, you're going to be looking at a B Series product," Carmack said. The B series was designed to be a high-performance unit with both Intel and AMD processor configurations.
At the very high end of the mobile workstation lineup is the HP EliteBook series.
"This is kind of the cream of the crop, if you will, from HP," Carmack said.
Although they are high-end machines, HP offers a lot of promotions around the EliteBook series to help move product out to customers, he said. HP's goal has been to aggressively price the EliteBook series, even with the business-rugged features.
Targeted at environments where durability is important, such as construction and manufacturing, the EliteBook has an anodized aluminum shell, metal hinges and can withstand more exposure to the elements than standard commercial notebooks and even the ProBook models, he said.