Latest Microsoft/HP Ads Are Aimed at the Clueless

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If I am going to be labeled a fanboy I am going to take it all the way, baby! The latest Microsoft ad is more of the same. It is squarely aimed at people who don't know technology and what makes a sound machine. There are plenty of good PCs out there, but the ones they are trying to sell in these ads aren't them.

By the way, it looks like they did the shooting in the Escondido Fry's Electronics - which is awesome. I love Fry's. Not because the people in there know anything about technology, but because they have a department store full of electronics and such interesting themes. If you haven't been there, take off some time your next trip to California to visit one.

The Commercial: "Portability, Battery and Power"

OK, back to why this is a bad advertisement for consumers. That PC, the HP HDX 16t is misleadingly poor in a number of areas:

1. About Macs, he says:

"This [Unibody MacBook] is soooo sexy, but Macs to me are about aesthetics more than they are the computing power. I don't want to pay for the brand. I want to pay for the computer."

Tired stereotypes ... but I'll play. That PC is a big piece of plastic. Not sure how this is supposed to persuade me to buy a PC.

2. He wants a "portable" but ends up with a 16-inch display. At 7.06 lbs, that fits more into the "luggable" category.

Laptop Magazine said:

"The HDX 16 is a pain to lug around."

Latop Logic said:

"The HDX16 is not small, weighing in at 7.3 pounds and with dimensions of 14.9 x 10.0 x 1.7 inches. Still, it is small enough to fit into standard laptop bags without issue, and light enough that you can lift it and move it around if you need to, although you won’t want to much."

3. That 16 inch display has about the same resolution (1366x768) as a 13-inch MacBook (1280x800). You can get a 12-inch Lenovo Thinkpad with this resolution screen. Or a Pocket sized Sony P with better resolution. Those extra inches are just fluff.

For another $175 he could upgrade to a true 1080P HD screen. It would be a no-brainer to do so - except it wouldn't meet the cost requirements.

4. "Battery": The standard 6 cell battery is less than mediocre. It is, again, rated at under three hours. That is low for a $1000 laptop. Again, Laptop Magazine said:

"The six-cell battery lasted 1 hour and 59 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi). That’s about an hour and a half short for a mainstream notebook."

5. Video card? A very solid 512 mb NVIDIA GForce M GT. That's the same card as Apple's MacBook Pro. Except the HP's 1366x768 screen hardly needs it. That is also why the battery dies so quickly. This is an example of an over-specced hardware.

6. Good news! It has a BluRay ROM. Bad news: Your screen is too small to support BluRay resolution, without the $175 upgrade (again, no brainer).

This is, again, Microsoft misleading the public about a machine that has some good specs but falls way short on things that people need everyday. Apple's computers aren't perfect, but you absolutely know that they've been built to perform well all around.

At the beginning, this guy said he wanted "Portability, Battery and Power".

He got a 16-inch laptop that isn't considered very portable to say the least. It has the same processor as an entry level MacBook. The battery is substandard to other laptops in its class. He got none of what he wanted.

Congratulations G. You are a PC.

If you want a thinner, faster PC with a better battery and screen for less, Amazon has a Sony Vaio that I've heard very good things about. It also has Vista Premium instead of Home and looks much better.

This story, "Latest Microsoft/HP Ads Are Aimed at the Clueless" was originally published by Computerworld.

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