I still don’t trust HP enough to spend a ton of money on one of their computers, but I do want to report on something positive I noticed recently. On certain HP laptops that come with the Beats audio package they have designed a really cool volume knob on the right hand side of the laptop. It has a really good feel to it and reminds me of a volume knob you might turn on a vintage amp of days gone by. I think everything today is push this, or swipe your hand this way, or the dreaded touch strip to control the volume.

Beats audio dial

Beats audio dial

A lot of computer makers are forgetting that people like to feel what they are trying to control. People don’t like to hunt for small buttons and then fail to find them, or end up pushing the wrong buttons. With the HP Beats volume dial you simply run your finger along the side of your laptop, it is a natural feel to turn your volume up or down.

You won’t find this on a cheaper model HP laptop, it takes a $1100 to buy a laptop from HP with this volume knob. Theres no way in hell I’m spending $1100 on a HP laptop after the DV2000, DV6000, DV9000 fiasco of a couple years ago. (massive failures of the motherboard nature)

What other areas of a modern laptop could computer manufactures go a bit more vintage? ¬†Apple has the power jack to ac adapter connection wrapped up tight in patents, it is the best out there. Quit using slot loading DVD drives already, we don’t mind a drawer that slides out, ok. It beats wondering how the heck to eject or not knowing if it is ejecting or what.

Quit using touch panels to control stuff, there is nothing worse than turning your laptop on when all you are doing is touching it in a certain place. Quit using glossy screens, the glare from a glossy screen is a pain when it is a bright environment. Quit using glossy plastic all over the flipping place, fingerprints show up so easily and it looks terrible.

I didn’t have a lot of time to spend with this HP laptop but I also didn’t notice a hard drive activity light. Maybe there was one and I didn’t see it. I am not happy about computer makers cutting corners on things like a hard drive activity lights. It is important to have that light and it lets the owner know if the computer is working on something or not.

In the end it is all about profits with laptop makers. If they can save 75 cents by not putting a hard drive activity light on a laptop they will probably do it until the customer base starts to complain about it.  Then they will add it and raise the price $50 saying it is a premium feature.

The end.