PC manufacturers like to draw sharp lines between their machines aimed at consumers and the ones built for business. In the real world, things aren’t that simple. I know consumers who like to buy business computers, since they’re often built at least a bit sturdier, aim for reliability rather than bleeding edge-components, feature industrial design that avoids the trendy, and typically come with better warranties. And I also know worker bees who like to get their hands on cool stuff fast and therefore buy consumer systems.
Lately, computer makers seem to be acknowledging that the line between consumery and businessy design is increasingly blurry. HP’s new ProBook 5330m notebook is a case in point: it’s HP’s first business notebook to come with Beats audio, the sound system endorsed by Dr. Dre. The 5330m also features HP’s “Forge” brushed-aluminum industrial design, whose basically philosphy is “Let’s try to make a business notebook that has a bit of style to it, without getting so splashy that it’ll turn off conservative buyers at big companies.” And it’s got a 13.3″ display and no optical drive, a form factor that was pretty darn scarce among corporate machines until recently.