CES 2009: HP targets business with touchscreen PC

HP has launched the first touchscreen PC for businesses into the market, hoping to build on the release of its iq series for consumers last year.

The HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC is based on the same touch interface HP developed on top of Microsoft Windows that was used in the home PC range it launched in June.

The PC maker said this latest business PC has been developed to make use of interactive applications it has been developing with software partners in the retail, health care, hospitality and education markets.

"There is untapped potential for touch technology in the business marketplace to engage users in a way that has never been done before," said Alan Reed, vice president and general manager of HP's business desktops division.

The 22-inch, widescreen PC comes pre-loaded with Windows Vista Business 64, an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, 4GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive and a virtual local area network (VLAN) driver. And it features a built-in slot-load SuperMulti DVD drive and an integrated five-in-one Media Card Reader.

Reed added: "With our partners, the HP TouchSmart offers hands-on tools through custom programmes and customer-facing applications that help companies better engage, interact and serve consumer demands."

The vendors already working with HP to develop consumer-facing applications include marketing and advertising agency DNA Digital Media Group, in-venue interactive sports experience technology developer Guest MVP, internet protocol (IP) based interactive multimedia and visual communications developer Interactive Multimedia Artists, and kiosk software vendor Uniguest.

Microsoft was particularly pleased about the new PC's potential capabilities. Rich Reed, Microsoft Windows commercial marketing general manager, said it would work particularly well at harnessing new features of the Windows 7 release.

Users could hold video chats with remote workers through a built-in webcam and microphone, access email and the internet, and manage contacts, calendar items and photos, all without using the TouchSmart PC's wireless keyboard and mouse, it was claimed.

The HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC is expected to be available in the US in February at a starting price of $1,399 (929). HP could not supply local pricing and availability details at the time of writing.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.