As if there was any doubt left that Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) is sick of Wintel, the top PC vendor in the world has just announced a new device that further diversifies HP away from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and Intel.
The Slate 21 is an all-in-one desktop that runs Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and sports an NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA ) Tegra 4 processor inside instead of the usual Wintel combination. The PC is a 21.5-inch touchscreen device that can even be used as an enormous tablet if one is so inclined. The news comes on the heels of HP unveiling its Slatebook x2 last month, an Android/Tegra-powered convertible laptop.
The new all-in-one, whose pricing and availability are yet to be announced, marks the third Android device that HP has introduced in just a few short months. Two of these are powered by Tegra 4 processors, as NVIDIA begins to score design wins with its newest mobile chip and expand into PCs. The first was the Slate 7, which carries a more generic processor in order to hit a lower price point. HP appears to be repurposing its Slate brand into an Android offering.
Much to Google's glee, Android is starting to infiltrate PCs. The search giant may also be pleased that HP is going with a relatively stock version of Android, adding minor tweaks. That's in stark contrast to how smartphone and tablet OEMs approach Android, who tend to overlay as much software modification as possible. Using stock Android saves on development resources, but also increases the speed of commoditization.
Rival Acer is similarly betting big on Android PCs, recently showing off a prototype Android all-in-one desktop as well at the Computex trade show. Windows 8 has driven PC OEMs to desperation, because the new platform hasn't resonated with consumers thus far. The upcoming Windows 8.1 may address some important shortfalls, but significant damage has already been done to the PC market.
HP's turnaround is being built on a multiplatform strategy. Investors can expect the PC giant to continue expanding its Android arsenal.
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