The unannounced HP Envy 13 and 15 popped up today on a couple of foreign sites just as Rahul Sood, Voodoo founder, Twittered about something new coming. Let’s just assume that the HP Envy 13 and 15 is what he’s talking about. They seem like solid performing notebooks, but what’s the Envy naming doing there?
HP’s high performance line, Voodoo, also uses the Envy product name for its mobile computers but this notebook isn’t branded a Voodoo product. So what the hell is going on here? Has HP changed its product focus and showing the Voodoo brand the door? Or is the HP Envy 13 the first product in a line that will take cues from Voodoo products? It could be both.
There is still a certain degree of esteem with owning a computer from a boutique manufacture like Voodoo or Alienware. It’s somewhat like driving a BMW 5 Series verses a Pontiac G8 because while the G8 might technically be a better performer at a lower price, the BMW is put together so much better.
But both Voodoo and Alienware are owned by HP and Dell respectively. It’s tough times in the consumer electronic world and we’ve already seen the Alienware brand become more mainstream with the recent announcement of an Alienware-branded keyboard, mouse, headset, and LCD. What’s happening is that Dell is trying to milk the highly-regarded brand. The same thing might be happening in a different way with Voodoo and HP.
Voodoo has always been known for killer looking, high performance systems and that didn’t change once HP bought the company. In fact, its rigs only got better. The Voodoo Envy 133 is one of the best looking notebooks I have ever seen and is wildly different than anything else in the HP lineup. It has sharp lines, no fluff, and is very clean.
But while the new model maintains the naming scheme, the look has been very HP-ified for the new notebook even though you can still kind of see the Voodoo influence. The HP Envy 13 now has a rounded-off and a more mainstream look. I wouldn’t be surprised if this notebook will eventually be available in a wide range of colors. The HP Envy 13 might have taken notes off the Voodoo Envy 133, but it doesn’t have the same sex appeal at all. HP hasn’t even announced the specs on the new Envy 13 but it doesn’t matter. Even if the notebook runs a quad-core in the tiny package, it will still will not be the same as an HP product.
But then again, perhaps the HP Envy 13 is just another notebook and has nothing to do with the Voodoo brand. Maybe the product designers just liked the Voodoo Envy 133 enough that they carried over the name. Even though HP hasn’t announced anything about the new notebook, chances are that this model will sport everything that the Voodoo Envy 133 had months ago, but at a much lower price when it eventually launches.
Hopefully the HP Envy 13 isn’t a sign that the Voodoo brand is being absorbed by HP entirely. The Voodoo brand used to be something special. Hopefully HP knows that.