Exclusive: Aussie customers to get HP's Spectre in weeks

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Exclusive: Aussie customers to get HP's Spectre in weeks

HP’s Spectre ultrabook will make its Australian debut at the end of this month, marking the second step in a war the PC maker has waged against ultra-thin notebook market leader Apple.

Last October, HP unveiled the Folio, the first in a line of ultrabooks it is hoping will claw back market share lost to Apple's MacBook Air computers. Its second, the Spectre, made its debut in January at CES and was released for sale to the US and Canadian markets on February 8.

CRN has confirmed the Spectre will reach Australian shores at the end of February, and will be sold exclusively through JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman stores. 

HP was unable to confirm local pricing. The Spectre retails in the US for $US1399.

At its global partner conference in Las Vegas this week, the company signalled a stronger emphasis on the ultrabook range, confirming a version of the Folio for the business market was in the works.

“We’ll be more aggressive than we’ve ever been before, with ultrabooks,” HP’s vice president of  PSG Todd Bradley said. “The Folio and Spectre are just the start.”

Bradley said consumers can expect to see an enormous amount of innovation in the tablet and ultrabook space when new products are launched in September. 

HP will once again dip its toe into tablet waters despite a false step with its webOS-run TouchPad, which the company killed off mid-last year. It will use the upcoming Microsoft Windows 8 operating system but the company has remained steadfastly tight-lipped on specifics since first outing the plans.

“You’ll see more interesting things as we move into touch and always-connected products,” Bradley said.

Getting once-burnt partners on board

The theme of HP’s global partner conference has been to assure the channel of its continuing importance to HP following a shaky and uncertain year.

Bradley said partners concerned by a second push into tablets coupled by current global economic uncertainty could feel safe in their relationship with PC giant.

“You’ll see a year of far more stability and great products, great vision, great solutions that encompass hardware and software in the cloud, and continued deep engagement in the channel as to how we grow this business in 175 countries.”

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