updated 04:00 am EDT, Tue June 10, 2008
Voodoo Envy 133 and Omen
HP's performance label Voodoo PC today launched a complete overhaul of tis designs with systems that directly challenge the design aesthetics of the MacBook Air and the Mac Pro. The Envy 133 notebook joins both the Air and the ThinkPad X300 in the newer class of ultra-thin but still fast portables: the use of an LED-backlit screen and a carbon fiber chassis help the Envy measure 0.7 inches thick at every point while weighing under 3.4 pounds. A new generation of Intel's notebook platform helps reach these dimensions while still supplying speed, the company says. Voodoo's design is also the third after those from Apple and ASUS to sport a multi-touch trackpad with support for pinching and scrolling.
The PC designer also aims to fix some of the perceived flaws with the MacBook's design and allows a removable, 3.45-hour battery as well as both a dedicated USB port as well as a unique combination External SATA and USB port useful either for fast outside storage or more peripherals. Also unique is an Ethernet jack built into the power brick: connecting an Ethernet cable automatically sets up a wireless connection that allows use of the cable without having to build the port into the Envy itself. A backlit keyboard, lid-mounted webcam, and ambient light sensors are also built-in. A pre-boot environment lets the notebook browse the web or make Skype VoIP calls "in seconds" without starting Windows, the company adds.
Voodoo declines to provide full specifications for the Envy 133 at this stage but explains that a base system comes standard at $2,099 with 802.11n Wi-Fi as well as a matching external optical drive. Several paint hues as well as laser-etched Voodoo "tattoos" are also available. A solid-state drive is available with at least one version of the ultraportable, which goes on sale later this summer.
Launching near the Envy is a completely revamped Omen for very high-end gaming and workstation use. The full tower is based on an extremely minimalist, Mac Pro-like aluminum chassis headlined by a 7-inch secondary display used to display either useful information such as news or game stats as well as to play music and videos. An internal redesign also makes it extremely quiet, Voodoo boasts. In addition to one of the first uses of a quad radiator, copper pipes are built directly into the case walls, while the mainboard is rotated 90 degrees so that heat naturally flows upwards, reducing the strain on the components inside.
The Omen is characterized as one of the most customizable pre-built gaming systems with tool-free side panels that can be replaced with glass, leather, or wood; cables are plugged in through a top panel rather than spread across the mainboard, while battery-powered LEDs inside and out are there both to produce a subtle visual effect as well as light the case for internal expansion work.
The Canadian PC builder is again silent on specific configurations but estimates that the price of an Omen will scale from between $6,500 to $20,000 depending on the trim level. No launch date has been set, though Voodoo is taking a Ferrari-like approach to pre-orders and is inviting existing customers to purchase systems rather than opening early sales to the public.