Thinking new computer. Specifically looking at HP stuff. Since HP merged with Compaq, are they basically the same or should I still avoid Compaq like the plague, as is the conventional wisdom?
I am a contractor working for HP. HP bought Compaq which included their hardware line. The Compaq hardware brands are being phased out. I’m pretty sure they haven’t been rebadging the existing Compaq hardware as HP, they are still selling them as separate products in the retail market. I recently bought an HP PC (six months ago) and it wasn’t a rebadged Compaq. I get the impression that HP is getting away from Compaq’s use of the proprietary interfaces and hardware because my motherboard is a standard micro-ATX in a normal minitower chassis. If you check the vendor WWW site it still states when it is Compaq hardware that it is an HP Compaq system vs. an HP system.
On the flip side, however, HP is rebadging Compaq’s server line - we’ve got side by side servers at my work place that are the same model and generation, one which is HP, the other Compaq.
I think that’s part of why HP acquired Compaq, b/c although compaq’s home computers were absolute crap, their Intel Server boxes aren’t bad at all. . .
I can’t speak for desktops, but Compaq laptops are amazing. I know many people who have them, and never experience problems with them (and this in an extremely hot, humid climate).
For the most part, both HP and Compaq home computers are crap. Compaq’s business desktops were pretty good, but had a price to match.
On the other hand, Compaq’s servers were bulletproof. Beyond the basic ProLiant file servers, Compaq also made the Tandem servers (renamed absurdly as “NonStop Himalaya”) which power most of the ATM and stock trading networks in the US, as well as the “Top Secret” Atalla machines that are also used at banks. HP wanted Tandem and Atalla. And they wanted them bad, thus the birth of a fairly contentious takeover.
Back to the home PCs. HP will continue selling home PCs under both the Compaq and HP brands for as long as they can. Why? Market share, differentiation and shelf space. If they have an entry-level, mid-range and high-end product under each brand, they can have six PCs on the shelf at a store. If they kill off Compaq, they’re limited to having three PCs on the shelf. As for the differentiation - if they portray the HP PCs as great for graphics - a natural tie-in with their photo printers - they can focus that brand at artistic types. The Compaq line can then be aimed at, say, gamers or just general home use.