“Innovation for us in personal systems is really focusing on design,” says HP’s Nash. “We want to make sure that people have products that not only help them do what they want but also are great way to express their personal style.”

Expect to see more use of custom materials in HPs 2019 line-up.

Finally, gaming becomes mainstream in the living room

Die-hard gamers know that playing isn’t just a visual experience — it’s an immersive one. HP refreshed some of its products in the OMEN gaming line-up with the world’s first 65-inch gaming display with NVIDIA G-Sync HDR and a custom three-way soundbar.

It can be used on a desktop or wall mount and takes the sensory experience of gaming to new heights with 4K HDR and up to a 144 Hz refresh rate. The soundbar, which features 3-way stereo crossover system, negates the need for a separate subwoofer in an in-home entertainment setup.

HP

GadgetGuy’s take: Premium is in – champagne on a lemonade budget – not!

As I wrote this article I could not help but recall the quote from TCL regarding sales of premium TVs, “99% of TVs it sold were under US$2,000 – leaving a scant 1% in the premium category over $2,000. We suggest that TCL was convenient with its stats – most TVs sold are under A$1000!”

So I went to my spies at JB Hi-Fi and asked a similar question, “What price bracket are the bulk of notebook/laptop sales?”

JB currently list 144 Windows 10 laptops – including 53 of two-in-ones – the most popular 360° hinge format. These range in price from $279 for an 11.3” Dell Inspiron 3000 (normally $399) to $4848 for Microsoft’s fully-specified 15” Surface Book 2.

There are 43 notebooks under $1,000. Without hesitation, the spies said that most sales (estimate 75%) are in the $699-999 price bracket. This bracket includes some really good brands/models Intel Core i5/i7 and touchscreens – ASUS Vivobook, Acer Aspire/Spin/Switch, Dell Inspiron 3000/5000, HP Pavilion x360, Lenovo Ideapad/Yoga… Well, you get my drift.

The most popular notebook over Xmas was HP’s x360 Pavilion at $628 (normally $898). OK, it has a 7th gen Core i3, 8/128GB and a 14” 1366×768 WLED display but it is a touchscreen and well made. The second most popular was an Acer Switch touchscreen with a Pentium processor at $489 (normally $699) – perfect for school kids. These are all price-driven sales.

The next category was $1000-2000 where there were 46. Let’s just say that Acer, Lenovo, Dell, HP and Microsoft all have excellent products there. At the top end is the Microsoft Surface Laptop, Dell XPS, Lenovo Inspiron 7000 and HP Envy. I would be happy with any of these.

Over $2,000 are 54, and these are typically higher specified with 8-16GB RAM, 256-512GB SSD, 13.3-15.6” touch screens and some 4K screens as well.

My spies say that Joe and Jan Average want a sub $1000. Business and professional use start at $1-2,000, and it’s a pretty hard sell at over $2,000. At that level customers already know what they want, e.g. 4K screen, 16GB RAM, 512GB-1TB storage.

I am not arguing with HP’s assertion – yes its good to see premium features flowing down to lower categories. But pretty well all the items referred to above are in the late $3,000-5,000 category. The main flow-on to lower categories is driven by Moore’s Law about things getting faster for the same money!