Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tablet PC scores supporting role in latest Microsoft Laptop Hunters commercial

Microsoft released its second Laptop Hunters commercial today. This time Laptop Hunger Giampaolo seeks out a laptop from those on display at Frys Electronics.

Laptop Hunters #2 - Giampaolo

What’s so great about this commercial is that it shows off a Tablet PC–although briefly. Yep, the HP Touchsmart tx2-1020us gets honorable mention and a couple seconds of showtime.

The first glimpse of the tx2 comes early on in the commercial when Giampaolo is listing off the features he’d like in a laptop: portability, battery life, and power for under $1500.

This isn’t the Tablet PC’s only cameo, however, a few seconds later in the commercial Giampaolo is actually trying out the HP Tablet and has a few things to say about it:

First, while they show him typing with both hands on the keyboard he declares that “…the keyboard is too small.”

But all is not lost for the mighty Touchsmart. Giampaolo goes on to say “It’s got the processing speed I need.” He sums it up by announcing, “It’s a pretty strong contender.”

About that time the commercial gives a closeup of the tx2 and the Vista logon screen. You can clearly see the onscreen keyboard.

From the background you can see the price is $1099 minus a $50 rebate for a total of $1049. (The HP has the same model and $50 rebate on its site, yet shows a $1049 base price, so maybe that indicates the age of this commercial. It was probaby shot back awhile when the price was $50 higher.)

So based on the closeup shot’s view of the log on screen, you may be wondering if he had a chance to actually try out the Tablet PC? Yep it looks like he did. If you look at the first couple tx2 shots closely you can see that a user has signed on and that Vista is displaying its blue-greenish desktop with the classic Vista desktop gadgets on the right side of the display.

However, the $64,000 question is: Did he even know it was a Tablet PC?

Did he know he could write on it? Did he try Journal? Did he know the tx2 supports multi-touch and the forthcoming Windows 7 touch???? Did he know that you could twist the display? Did he know you could cradle the Tablet PC in his hands while standing up and writing on it? Did he even know it was a Tablet PC? Or what’s more: Did the salesman know it was a Tablet PC? Or did the crew filming the commercial know it was a Tablet? After all, no doubt the commercial was probably edited on a Mac, so it makes me wonder if the video crew knew what was before them.

I realize that these details might be too much for such a fast paced commercial, but come on Microsoft, here you have a chance to actually show a Tablet PC to the millions of people watching TV and the commercial online as a viable laptop choice.

Isn’t it completely obvious that if Giampaolo had tried out one of the Tablet or touch features of the tx2 that he wouldn’t have at least said something like, “this is cool,” or a smile or some other reaction of delight? Come on. I get responses like this all the time when I show people what Tablet PCs can do.

So while I’m glad that Microsoft at least showed a Tablet PC in one of their new commercials, I’m bummed that the commercial didn’t show the HP Touchsmart off as a Tablet PC. Instead, it got mention as a laptop.

Maybe next time.

In case you’re wonder, no, Giampoalo doesn’t pick the HP Touchsmart as his laptop. Instead, he purchases another, bigger machine for $1099. Oh, well. So much for portability.