By MIKE PASINI
The Imaging Resource Digital Photography Newsletter
Review Date: June 2009
Touchsmart interface connects to Web to print coupons, tickets, boarding passes without a computer.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Across the street from the ballpark where Giants fans have become accustomed to the grand dreams of Spring withering with the autumn leaves, Hewlett-Packard announced new printing technology it will introduce in September. The HP Photosmart Premium printer is an all-in-one device using the company's TouchSmart Web technology to print online content without waking up your computer. It's the world's first Web-connected home printer.
At the event, held at Current TV headquarters on King St., Vyomesh Joshi, HP executive vice president of the Imaging and Printing Group, unveiled the new device. He was later joined in a panel discussion moderated by Sarah Lane, Current.com Tech channel producer, with four HP partners in this new approach from Google, Coupons.com, Nickelodeon and Fandango.
Afterwards, we took a look at the new printer in action and got a few images of the interface posted in an HP Premium gallery.
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During his opening remarks, Joshi said HP introduced its first home printer 25 years ago, riding the personal computer wave. But now the company was leaving the computer behind to print content directly from the Web.
Just as photos have moved from analog prints to digital photography and many other analog products, including social networking and video, have "gone digital," Joshi said he expects printing to go digital to keep up with a "content explosion" on the Web. And HP wants a part of that.
"Printing will continue to grow," Joshi said, because even at a constant seven percent print rate, the number of pages are exploding from 312 extabytes to 3,000. An extrabyte is a million terabytes, he explained (a terabyte being a million megabytes).
So HP wants to make sure its customers have wireless access to the Web and that printing is very easy. For 25 years, you had to use your computer to print anything but today's announcement, he said, unleashes the printer from your computer. You will be able to print anything you can get on your computer with an HP Premium printer alone.
The Web-connected printer and the "power of touch" using HP's TouchSmart technology combine to make that possible.
The first all-in-one was introduced in 1993, he said, and has evolved into a wireless device that can print anything. But today it will become a Web appliance, too. "What we want to do," he said, "was to have the world's first Web-connected home printer."
Joshi then demonstrated how the new printer connects to the Web using small apps associated with each Web site to deliver its content to the printer.
The apps are displayed in uniform icons across the large LCD on the printer. A swipe of your finger scrolls through the available apps. You can download new ones, too (but you aren't really downloading software, just a link to the Web site's HP service).
Tap the icon for Coupons.com, say, and you can look through the available coupons, tap the ones you want to print and then print up to three on a sheet in color or black and white.
No worries about the printer driver or formatting the page or what printing application to use. Instead, the printer makes it easy to find the coupons you want and print them to take to the store. It's the power of customizing and personalizing the Web, Joshi said.
And what goes for coupons goes for recipes and maps and even newspapers, Joshi said. It can be your daily ritual to print out your favorite sources to take with you on your train ride or flight.
"We are giving the customer the all-in-one that can be connected to the PC in wireless fashion," he summarized. "But now you have access to the Web directly."
To encourage the development of printing apps for the new system, HP has developed an open application programming interface for building them. The company hopes Web sites will develop their own custom apps for the printer. To that end, the company partnered with Google, Nickelodeon, Fandango and Coupons.com to show the way. In addition, HP has developed apps for its own Snapfish image sharing service.
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In the panel discussion following Joshi's remarks, the details of the new printing capability became a little more fleshed out.
The HP partners on the panel included Michael Jones, Google chief technology advocate, Steven Boal, president and chief executive officer of Coupons.com, David Williams, senior vice president and general manager of Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Group, and Rachel Dardinski, director of marketing for Fandango.
Moderator Lane's first question to the group was the obvious one: why's the approach make sense for your company?
Jones, eyeing this from the perspective of Google maps, liked the accessibility and usefulness the printer provides. "Where ever there's a printer," he said, "you have a portal to the Web." And it lets you take the output with you in a permanent form.
Dardinski, the Fandango representative, sees it as being where the consumers are, making the sale on their turf rather than requiring them to be at a certain place at a certain time.
Boal, from Coupons.com, finds it "a natural fit" for coupons, which were introduced in newspapers in 1894. Newspapers, the primary carrier for the 350 billion coupons delivered in the U.S. every year, have been declining but in the last three years digital coupons have grown from one to five percent. So this technology is a natural fit.
Williams observed his company wants to entertain kids and make life easier for moms. This does both. Moms can print activity booklets, for example, at the last minute as something to do on the long car trip.
Joshi elaborated on that, pointing out it's wireless so you can put it anywhere. And it's very easy to use, he said. HP is starting out with a $399 device using the technology but eventually, he predicted, it will be available in even $99 printers.
Lane asked the group if they'd noticed trends in the industry that make this technology "not just cool but necessary?"
Boal said there were probably more articles written about using cell phones to display coupons than the number of cell phone coupons actually redeemed. How, after all, do you use a cell phone coupon at the supermarket checkout stand? Paper coupons, he said, still have about 10 years of useful life before digital coupons will be as convenient.
Williams observed that 30 percent of Google map users print maps every week and an additional 30 percent print a map every day, about 100 million people total. So there's a need to print a map for an awful lot of people. And this makes it easy.
Dardinski added that printing movie tickets with a bar code lets customers bypass the lines and go straight to the ticket taker.
When Lane asked the group to highlight some features they'd like to see in future apps, Boal said he's already got it. The ability to customize what kind of offers he's interested in and delivery them at a specific time.
Dardinski would like to see recipes, she said, which are something you want in hand when you're cooking.
Jones likes to have printed maps and "an incredibly hard Sudoku puzzle" every day.
Williams liked being able to print games, too, but said for him it was all about being in control, selecting which games to print, having "the puzzles I want" rather than being stuck with a big fat book of puzzles.
Lane wondered how Joshi would answer those concerned about the paper usage issue.
Start with the customer, he said, who has a specific task to do of which there is a necessary printing component. Like printing a map. You have to have the physical map to bring with you on the trip. This revolutionary technology is really at the service of some common, familiar needs.
Digital photography, he said, is a good example. People thought it would change everything but what we are seeing is that people want to customize and organize their photos and to then print photo books.
Lane asked about coupon printing now that people aren't buying as many newspapers.
Boal said newspaper coupons were redeemed at a rate of half a percent but coupons printed from the Web are redeemed at a rate of 17 percent and are integrated into shopping lists. You don't have to wait for the paper to come out either.
Joshi said since all newspapers and 60 percent of magazines are thrown away, printing just the coupons you need on your printer is more efficient. There's much less waste.
Boal added that every coupon in a publication comes with a full page ad, so there's even more waste in publishing them. But the Coupon.com app prints three coupons per page and at an average of a dollar savings each that's the most cost effective use of your printer you can make.
Williams emphasized that it's characteristic of the Web in general as "a personal voyage of discovery." What you search for is a tiny fraction of what's available on the Web but it's 100 percent of what you actually care about.
Boal said consumers want to customize and create. It used to be a one-way street but now it's an interactive process, which this technology facilitates.
It's a pull not push technology, Joshi said. The customer decides, not the publisher.
Lane then asked Joshi where the technology will evolve from here.
This is just the beginning. You launch a product and then you learn from the customers and launch the next product. He doesn't expect this to be a three year cycle but a much shorter one. By this time next year, he said, he expects to see many more apps for the printer. There will be speed issues, connectivity issues, services levels to be discussed. It will be very exciting.
What's the revenue model, Lane asked.
The starting point, he said, is an all-in-one device just like any other. The good thing is there is no premium pricing for this new technology. You're buying an all-in-one but it includes more capability.
He said he believes in a simple business model. Delight the customer and they will print. And enable the developers to make the apps.
Lane confessed to Dardinski that she finds it a hassle to go to the movies and asked how this technology helps.
Going to the movies is still a popular form of entertainment. But this makes it a lot easier to do, she answered. You skip the long lines and for those shows that sell out before the movie is even released, you can buy your tickets in advance.
APPS IN DETAIL
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After a brief question and answer session, we were able to get a closer look at a few models in action.
Our accompany Fact Sheet details the printer, scanning, copy and fax specification, which reveal the Premium to be a very fast all-in-one featuring HP's new single ink cartridges (black, photo black, cyan, magenta and yellow). The paper tray in front delivers letter-size sheets or photo paper up to 5x7 in a separate tray. Scan resolution is 4800x1200 and the fax address book can store up to 60 numbers. You can connect to the printer wirelessly (802.11 b/g/n), via USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, Ethernet or Bluetooth. A card reader is also built-in.
Like the HP C4680 all-in-one we recently reviewed, the real highlight of the device is the touchscreen menu system. As we said of that unit, "The decision tree is very clear and easy to manage, even better than Canon's (our previous favorite). HP isn't wrong to beat its breast about how simple it is to use the C4680. If you've never used one of these before, you'll get more done sooner with this one."
You might worry that tossing the Web into that menu system might convolute things, but while the printer accesses the Web, you really aren't. You don't use a browser. You select an app.
So the first big issue is whether or not there's an app for what you want to do. You can't, for example, select an Imaging Resource gallery shot and print it on 4x6 paper because Imaging Resource hasn't written an app for that. You can't even browse our site. In fact, you can't browse any site.
You can only connect to a site and interact with it to the extent the app hosted on the site allows you. Since apps are free, there's little incentive for third-party developers to develop them. But you might see a Wordpress app for the printer that would let bloggers using Wordpress allow you to print pictures on their blogs, for example.
The Snapfish app, illustrated in our gallery, is a good example. You click on the Snapfish icon, enter your user name and password with the onscreen keyboard, and then your images are displayed on the LCD (rather than the Snapfish interface you're familiar with on your computer). You select which images you want to print and supply the print command (no slide shows, no product ordering that we could see). And that's it.
The apps do a lot of formatting for you that the HP techs were proud to show off. Google maps doesn't print the Web page with the map embedded but the map itself with a notes section, if you want. A Google calender is printed full-page in a landscape orientation. And so on.
If that reminds you a little of HP's built-in ruled papers printing, no one will blame you. It's a little like that, only using the Web as the source for the image rather than some popular images in firmware.
The apps themselves are not really resident on the printer, we were told, although you can "get" apps from the printer. The Web site hosts the code and the printer merely accesses it. This helps protect the printer from security issues.
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The unanswerable question we had leaving Current TV was whether you could revolutionize Web display with, uh, paper and ink. Clearly HP wants to sell a lot more ink -- and if a compelling number of apps start appearing it may supply away the printers.
The coupon example seemed to answer no. While we appreciated Boal's argument that paper coupons are universally accepted, the big problem is that printers aren't portable. Portability matters quite a bit here. How many Borders coupons have you printed without using them before they expired? How many have you not printed and then found yourself in the store wishing you had?
An iPhone, though, is portable and of sufficient resolution to present a scannable bar code. In fact, Greg Grunberg's Yowsa iPhone app will tell you what coupons are active in nearby stores and makes it very easy for the merchants themselves to deploy coupons. Because the phone's always with you, so are your coupons. And if you want to do a little comparison shopping at the list minute, well, you can.
Maps, too, seem transitional if far from obsolete. Who hasn't printed out directions and a map? And yet with the growing popularity of GPS navigation, how long will that be going on? Would you buy a new car without GPS?
There may be some usefulness in printing a boarding pass or ticket ahead of time, particularly if you can avoid standing in line longer than it takes to print the thing. But at what point do you resent paying for the ink and paper for the airline or studio? It's a convenience that's costing you money.
But what's most troubling about this revolution is the requirement for every single site to develop their own app for the printer. That's going to be a real problem for a long time. You can't really customize unless you can choose and you can't choose until the site becomes available.
The partners said development of their apps was rapid, taking only weeks instead of months. They're a mix of HTML5 and Java, apparently. But that's an investment we don't see being made casually by many sites (like Imaging Resource where you might want to print the current news, sample images, the newsletter, a review). Perhaps the New York Times will follow USA Today in developing an app, but will Engadget? Will your favorite RSS feeds come with apps? It seems a flawed solution to depend on others for something as fundamental as this.
The thing needs a browser, period, with selective printing of page elements. And an email reader would be just the ticket for those inline photos from your sister-in-law. Tap the photo to print it on 4x6 photo paper and forget the message.
On the old other hand, HP isn't charging a premium for the Premium and you won't have to install HP's horrendous drivers on your computer to use the printer. If what's available now (coloring books, Snapfish photos, coupons, movie tickets) is of interest, why not buy the HP instead of the Canon or the Kodak all-in-one?
Well, we can think of a reason or two. In our review of the C4680 we weren't terribly impressed with the image quality. So if printing great pictures is what you're really interested in, you might skip the HP. We can't really say until we've put it to the test, though.
If we came away underwhelmed, we only had to cross the street to the ball park to remember the season isn't over yet.
HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web is the world's first Web-connected home printer. Powered by touch, this sleek device provides quick, simple touchscreen access to important, useful and personal online content -- without the need for a PC. (1) With the largest LCD touchscreen of any all-in-one inkjet printer (4.33 inches), the HP TouchSmart Web control panel conveniently connects users to the Web (1) via pre-installed print apps. These apps enable easy printing of maps, coupons, movie tickets, recipes and more from partners including Google, DreamWorks, Fandango and Coupons Inc., among others.
Users can also connect to Snapfish and the HP Creative Studio directly from the HP Photosmart Premium Web, which saves time and enables customers to archive or print photos from the site like never before -- just touch, print and go. (3)
A versatile printing solution with print, fax, copy and scan functionality, the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web is perfect for multi-tasking households -- meeting all their high-quality home printing needs in one premium product, from laser-quality text to lab-quality photos. With a full range of wired and wireless connectivity options, this printer provides the freedom and flexibility to print directly from WiFi enabled PCs, Bluetooth-enabled devices, the iPhone and the iPod touch using HP iPrint Photo. (4)
This Energy Star-qualified all-in-one helps users save paper with automatic two-sided printing and reduces packaging waste by using an innovative, reusable bag.
10) Energy Star qualified -- use less energy, save money and help reduce the environmental impact of printing.
11) Easily print Web pages with HP Smart Web Printing (10) and save both ink and paper by combining multiple Web pages onto one printed page.
12) Use Windows Live Photo Gallery to easily edit, store and print photos, make photo cards, calendars and more.
13) Enjoy convenient and responsible ink cartridge recycling at no additional cost through HP Planet Partners. (11)
14) Identify features that reduce environmental impact with the HP Eco Highlights label.
15) Replace each cartridge separately when it's needed with individual inks.
16) Original HP inks: Print photos with enhanced detail using dual-drop volume technology that delivers an extremely small drop size.
(1) Requires an Internet connection to the printer.
(2) Coming soon.
(3) Requires a Snapfish.com account and an Internet connection to the printer.
(4) Using HP iPrint Photo software. Free download available from Apple's App Store, details at http://www.hp.com/go/iPrintphoto
(5) Wireless performance depends on physical environment and distance from access point.
(6) Requires Windows Vista
(7) When using HP Advanced Photo Paper.
(8) Requires a WPS router with an integrated push-button. Wireless performance depends on physical environment and distance from access point.
(9) Printing screen captures is only available on games that support this feature.
(10) For Windows only. Requires Internet Explorer 6.0 to 8.0.
(11) HP ink cartridges return and recycling is available in 41 countries and territories around the world; see http://www.hp.com/recycle for details.
(12) After first page. More information about print speeds is available at http://www.hp.com/go/inkjetprinter.
(13) Maximum resolution may be limited by PC system and scan size.
(14) Does not support Windows XP Professional x64.
(15) Estimated U.S. street price. genuine price may vary.
(16) Not included, please purchase separately.
With most growth stocks getting hammered this year, many investors are likely considering adding more dividend stocks to their portfolios. After all, even if these stocks fall, most quality dividend-paying companies will still send quarterly payments to shareholders. Indeed, many dividend stocks continue increasing their dividend payouts during bear markets and even recessions.
As investors look for good ways to beef up their portfolios with some income, a good place to hunt for ideas is the holdings of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) (NYSE: BRK.A) -- the holding company led by famed investor Warren Buffett. With a long history of market outperformance, there's a good chance that dividend stocks in Berkshire's equities portfolio represent some of the best ideas in the market.
Here are two high-yield dividend stocks in Berkshire's portfolio worth considering.
Direct-to-consumer banking company Ally Financial (NYSE: ALLY) currently boasts a dividend yield of nearly 4.2%. The company is also returning cash to shareholders through an aggressive share repurchase program. For the last two quarters, the online bank has been repurchasing about $600 million worth of its shares per quarter, with total cash spent on buybacks this year at $1.2 billion.
Berkshire has been aggressively buying up Ally's shares. After initiating a small position in the first quarter, Berkshire more than tripled its position in the company by the end of the second quarter, bringing the total value of the disclosed stake close to $900 million at the time of this writing.
No wonder Berkshire has been buying shares. If Ally keeps up its current pace of share repurchases, the company could reduce its share count by about 25% by the end of the year. And it can pull this off while paying a substantial dividend.
Looking ahead, Ally's dividend payout could increase, continuing a trend of strong dividend growth recently. Ally's current quarterly dividend of $0.30 is actually up 58% year over year since the company increased its dividend twice in a 12-month period recently. Given the company's payout ratio (dividend payouts as a percentage of earnings) of just 20%, Ally looks poised to be able to easily boost its dividend again soon.
An even larger investment Berkshire has made in a new high-yield dividend investment this year is personal computing company HP (NYSE: HP). Berkshire's stake in the company is currently valued at nearly $3 billion. The tech company, which sells computers, printers, and related products and services, currently has a dividend yield of 4%. Furthermore, the tech stock has a cheap valuation. HP stock has a price-to-earnings ratio of less than five.
Like Ally Financial, HP has the fundamentals to support continued dividend growth. The company is currently only paying out 16% of its earnings in dividends.
Sure, Ally's and HP's earnings could both decrease materially in the coming quarters, increasing their payout ratios. Both companies have arguably benefited from elevated demand profiles recently, with Ally profiting from growth in used car loans and HP seeing rapid growth in personal computer sales as the world became more reliant on technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But even if these two companies' net income levels normalize to lower levels, their cheap valuations have arguably already priced this in. Furthermore, both stocks' high dividend payouts appear to be quite secure. Investors in these companies, therefore, will likely get paid well to be shareholders.
While there are undoubtedly things that can go wrong for both of these companies, their stocks' attractive valuations and high dividend yields help make up for the risks of owning these high-yield Warren Buffett dividend stocks.
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Ally is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Daniel Sparks has positions in Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). His clients may own shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) went down by -5.44% from its latest closing price compared to the recent 1-year high of $41.47. The company’s stock price has collected 0.48% of gains in the last five trading sessions. Barron’s reported on 08/31/22 that Bed Bath & Beyond, Chewy, HP Inc., ChargePoint, and More Stock Market Movers
HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) scored a price-to-earnings ratio above its average ratio, recording 4.37 x from its present earnings ratio. Plus, the 36-month beta value for HPQ is at 0.99. Opinions of the stock are interesting as 2 analysts out of 18 who provided ratings for HP Inc. declared the stock was a “buy,” while 0 rated the stock as “overweight,” 12 rated it as “hold,” and 3 as “sell.”
The average price from analysts is $30.25, which is $5.61 above the current price. HPQ currently public float of 1.00B and currently shorts hold a 4.43% ratio of that float. Today, the average trading volume of HPQ was 9.01M shares.
HPQ stocks went up by 0.48% for the week, with a monthly drop of -8.95% and a quarterly performance of -20.25%, while its annual performance rate touched -10.73%. The volatility ratio for the week stands at 3.09% while the volatility levels for the past 30 days are set at 2.76% for HP Inc. The simple moving average for the period of the last 20 days is -4.92% for HPQ stocks with a simple moving average of -27.82% for the last 200 days.
Many brokerage firms have already submitted their reports for HPQ stocks, with Loop Capital repeating the rating for HPQ by listing it as a “Hold.” The predicted price for HPQ in the upcoming period, according to Loop Capital is $29 based on the research report published on September 01st of the current year 2022.
Wells Fargo, on the other hand, stated in their research note that they expect to see HPQ reach a price target of $30, previously predicting the price at $35. The rating they have provided for HPQ stocks is “Underweight” according to the report published on August 19th, 2022.
Credit Suisse gave a rating of “Outperform” to HPQ, setting the target price at $39 in the report published on August 17th of the current year.
After a stumble in the market that brought HPQ to its low price for the period of the last 52 weeks, the company was unable to rebound, for now settling with -39.62% of loss for the given period.
Volatility was left at 2.76%, however, over the last 30 days, the volatility rate increased by 3.09%, as shares sank -11.39% for the moving average over the last 20 days. Over the last 50 days, in opposition, the stock is trading -23.87% lower at present.
During the last 5 trading sessions, HPQ rose by +0.48%, which changed the moving average for the period of 200-days by -32.36% in comparison to the 20-day moving average, which settled at $26.17. In addition, HP Inc. saw -33.53% in overturn over a single year, with a tendency to cut further losses.
Reports are indicating that there were more than several insider trading activities at HPQ starting from LORES ENRIQUE, who sale 34,000 shares at the price of $25.23 back on Oct 03. After this action, LORES ENRIQUE now owns 517,204 shares of HP Inc., valued at $857,820 using the latest closing price.
MYERS MARIE, the Chief Financial Officer of HP Inc., sale 4,500 shares at $33.05 during a trade that took place back on Aug 01, which means that MYERS MARIE is holding 13,500 shares at $148,725 based on the most recent closing price.
Current profitability levels for the company are sitting at:
The net margin for HP Inc. stands at +10.21. Equity return is now at value -307.70, with 16.10 for asset returns.
The liquidity ratio also appears to be rather interesting for investors as it stands at 0.76.
HP has put forward a small robot it says can dramatically speed up construction work, by autonomously printing guidelines straight from the blueprints onto the floor. Rugged, roadworthy and extremely accurate, Siteprint is a super-quick layout tool.
The robot replaces the time-consuming manual process of site layout, using a variety of different inks to place precise lines, exact curves and faithful reproductions of complex shapes on all kinds of floors, from porous surfaces like concrete and plywood to terrazzo, vinyl or epoxy.
It doesn't require a perfectly smooth or clean floor – indeed, it can handle a certain degree of surface irregularity and obstacles up to 2 cm (0.8 in) high. It runs built-in obstacle and cliff drop sensors for fully autonomous operation, and will work around barriers even if they're not in the plans.
As well as layout lines, it's capable of printing more or less whatever else you need on the floor too, including text notes. Operators set it up using cloud-based tools for job preparation, fleet management and tracking, and can run it on site with a touch-screen tablet and a tripod-mounted "totalstation."
“The existing manual layout process can be slow and labor intensive,” said Albert Zulps, Director of Emerging Technology at Skanska - a global construction and development company currently using the SitePrint system for two of its US projects. "Despite being done by specialists, there is always the risk of human error, which can result in costly reworks. Layout experts are a scarce resource who add a lot of value in terms of planning and strategy, but often end up dedicating most of their time to manual execution. HP SitePrint lets us do more with less, helping reduce schedules thanks to a much faster layout process, and allowing senior operators to focus on other critical activities like quality control.”
While HP hasn't announced pricing, we assume the printer robot itself will be surprisingly cheap, but the ink's gonna be a killer. Yuk yuk.
Check out Siteprint in the video below.
HP SitePrint Skanska testimonial | HP
HP laptops offer something for you, whether you're a creative looking to edit photos, a gamer in search of aor a student in need of a small, lightweight laptop.
Many of the best HP laptops have features designed for remote or hybrid work such asand microphones, , longer battery life, and the .
Like other PC makers such as Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Asus, HP is in the midst of updating the processors in its laptops and two-in-ones. That means Intel-based models are moving from 11th-gen to 12th-gen CPUs, while AMD Ryzen systems are switching from 5000-series chips to 6000-series. It also means it's generally a good time to look for deals on older models of the best HP laptops. However, we've also seen big performance improvements with the new processors. An updated model might cost a little more but will add to the overall longevity.
Spectre is HP's top consumer laptop line so you're getting the best of the best with this 16-inch two-in-one.
Of course, a premium two-in-one like the Spectre x360 comes at a relatively high price; it starts at around $1,200. The top-end configuration we reviewed was good but not great considering its $2,030 price. This is definitely one we recommend getting with the 12th-gen Intel processors and Intel Arc graphics if you're going to go all-in. Read our HP Spectre x360 16 review.
HP's Victus 16 is a surprisingly robust and powerful gaming laptop that keeps up with the latest games at a more affordable price. Compared to HP's high-end Omen gaming laptop line, the Victus is more of an all-purpose laptop but still configured for gaming with a price starting at less than $1,000. HP offers several configurations with graphics chip options ranging from Nvidia's entry-level GeForce GTX 1650 up to a midrange RTX 3060 or AMD Radeon RX 6500M. We like almost everything about it except for its flimsy display hinge and underwhelming speakers. Read our HP Victus 16 review.
There are plenty of convertible Chromebooks, where the screen flips around to the back of the keyboard so you can use it as a tablet. But Chrome tablets with removable keyboards like the HP Chromebook x2 11 are still a rarity. It offers long battery life and performance that rises (slightly) above the competition. The main downside is that it's expensive; the model we reviewed is $599. However, that price did include both the keyboard cover and USI pen and it's regularly on sale for $200. If you're interested make sure to wait for one of those deals. Read our HP Chromebook x2 11 review.
If you're making a laptop aimed at creatives, it's not enough to just put discrete graphics and a strong processor in a slim body. The extra performance really should be paired with a good screen, and that's what you get with the HP Envy 14. The laptop's 16:10 14-inch 1,920x1,200-pixel display not only gives you more vertical room to work, but is color-calibrated at the factory and covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut. The result: a well-rounded option for creatives looking for on-the-go performance at a reasonable price. This model is due for a refresh, though, so keep an eye out for updated models. Read our HP Envy 14 review.
What exactly is influencer marketing? How does it differ from other forms of advertising? And why should marketers care?
Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses looking to reach new audiences.
Marketers use various strategies to identify influential individuals and gain access to their followers.
In this article, we’ll discuss what influencer marketing is and the variable for incorporating influencer marketing into a brand’s strategy.
Influencer marketing uses celebrities, athletes, bloggers, and other influential figures to market brands.
Influencers are those who have large social media followings and have the ability to influence their audience.
Brands use influencers to promote their product or service through paid advertisements, free giveaways, and endorsements. In addition, they can generate significant brand awareness and loyalty through paid or unpaid posts.
The goal is to get them to share valuable information and create excitement around a particular topic, product, or service. The key benefit for brands is that they reach a larger audience at a lower cost than traditional advertising methods.
However, this opportunity comes with some responsibility on the part of the brand.
Brands must be careful when choosing an influencer because it’s easy for them to fall in love with the idea of working with someone influential.
Unfortunately, without thorough background research, this can lead to a situation where a potentially ideal influencer promotes products that aren’t aligned with a brand’s values. Therefore, it’s important to ensure the influencer you want to work with aligns with your brand’s goals and values.
Influencer marketing also requires brands to pay influencers fairly. If you don’t pay your influencers what they deserve, they won’t promote your brand in the vision you want them to. Additionally, you can risk a potentially fruitful relationship.
When collaborating with an influencer, it’s essential to not just think of the total cost but the project’s goals and establish what you would like accomplished in the front end.
This can include a discovery call to plan out potential posts or how-to videos. Will you provide the content and supporting information, or will they? Of course, all this will affect the cost and time involved in creating the posts.
Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective ways to get people talking about your business online. It’s essential to know how to find the right influencers for your niche to ensure your message gets across.
A study showed that in 2022 influencer marketing is set to reach $16.4 billion and 75% of brand marketers plan to include influencer marketing in this year’s strategy. This type of marketing is growing fast and doing well.
And this isn’t just for B2C brands, since 86% of B2B brands find influencer marketing a valuable strategy. That’s a considerable return on investment if you have the right approach.
If you’re only using traditional digital marketing (SEO, PPC, social media, etc.), you’re clearly missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your ROI.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an agency, brand, or business – everyone can benefit from trying influencer marketing.
Don’t believe me? You should. Influencer marketing is not “out of your league.” Here’s why.
How many clients does your agency have? That’s how many new influencing opportunities your agency has at its fingertips.
Agencies can use their clients, the ones they like and like them, to help promote their agency for them.
Think of it like receiving a referral or customer review.
If someone enjoys working with you and the business next door asks how they got so successful so quickly, they’re going to tell the next-door business all about your agency and how you helped them.
Case Studies & New Content
Capitalize on this process and ask your clients for video testimonials to become a part of your referral program (create one) and if you can use their results for case studies.
If you’ve been able to impact a client positively, they’re highly likely to approve you sharing the story of how you took them from one to 10.
Gather a dozen different case studies from your past and current clients to publish on your website, social pages, email newsletters, and ads. This isn’t only additional content but content your existing and new clients will appreciate.
You can also make the case study an appealing PDF and share it with the case study client for them to share among their peers.
If you help them reach their goals, they’ll love the PDF filled with graphics, charts, and impressive numbers to share with other business owners.
Trial By Error
Another way to utilize your clients for influencer marketing is to ask your clients to test out a new product.
If they’re a big client of yours, it’s appropriate to let them know that your agency is trying to innovate with all of the tech advances, and you want to try a new strategy or product with them as a test.
FREE Of Charge
If things work out with the test, woohoo! You’ve added another section to the contract. And you have a new service or product to charge for in the future.
If things don’t work out, you get insightful and honest feedback from the client and know how to fix the product or plan.
One of the most significant ways I see brands utilize influencer marketing is by partnering up with other brands.
Before I get too deep into this, I want to clarify that there are prominent corporate players like Sprint and Blue Apron. And they’re also individual brands like famous Instagram users and YouTube celebrities.
A brand can be an individual brand, like you trying to grow your role as a digital marketer in the industry. However, it can also represent a larger entity for cosmetics and skincare like Maybelline.
Now, back to the brands and the whole influencer marketing idea. Brands will partner together in campaigns to help widen their audience with influencer marketing.
They can use relevant brands in the same industry or reach out of the spectrum and partner with entirely different brands to increase their exposure to a new audience.
When you work with an influencer in a different industry, you get a level of influencer where you can capitalize on the new audience. Be strategic in who you reach out to and ask to partner up in a new influencing campaign.
Partnering with the wrong brand will profoundly impact your brand’s reputation and possibly ruin it.
Red Bull partnering with Coca-Cola for a new content campaign also wouldn’t be the best of ideas. On the one hand, Red Bull is heavily involved in extreme sports. But, they’ve chosen that angle due to their genuine product, an energy drink named Red Bull that essentially “gives you wings,” to be extreme.
Sure, the Red Bull athletes could do an incredible stunt riding a mountain bike down the ledge of the mountain holding both a Coca-Cola and a Red Bull can, but what would be the point?
It wouldn’t make sense because, technically, the two can be seen as competitors. They both are on-the-go drink manufacturers.
Instead, Red Bull could partner with Nike and do a content campaign featuring Nike’s new apparel line, Red Bull’s energy drink, and summer sports.
Just because your brand is in the same industry as another doesn’t mean a collab will work. It’s important to research how your consumers will react to the ad.
We can most commonly recognize influencer marketing when businesses do it.
If your business makes pipes for the plumbing industry, head to that list of the most famous plumbers and start reaching out.
Doing outreach is a huge part of influencer marketing. It almost feels like putting on a public relations or journalist hat for a second as you try and narrow down your influencers.
Once you’ve found an influencer who has agreed to help promote your product, don’t just stop there. The more influencers you have, the more brand exposure you get, as well as trust.
The word will get around if one of the most famous plumbers uses your pipes for repairs. Other plumbers will trust the renowned plumber and follow in their footsteps to purchase and use only your pipes.
Sometimes, you don’t need to pay an influencer. Instead, samples of the product you’re asking them to promote, discounts, or free services usually suffice.
It changes and becomes a more costly strategy when you pick who the influencer is and depends on the type of content you want.
The bigger the influencer, the more they’ll want.
If you’re aiming for that Kardashian type of exposure, you will need to break out the wallet. And the credit card. And possibly your mortgage.
If you’re a brand, business, or agency with goals like a Kardashian type of exposure and the budget to match. Then, by all means, reach out to your lawyers and start preparing contracts for when you lock in those influencers.
Make sure your contracts clearly state the expectations of the influencer. For example, if you want them to run the content by you before they publish it, specify that in the contract.
If you want the influencer to only be able to promote your plumbing pipes and not work with any other pipe companies, state it in the contract.
For the rest of us, focus on the more affordable influencers. These people may already invest much of their time promoting your brand because they love your product or what you do.
Death Wish Coffee is an excellent example of this.
People love their product, the ridiculously strong coffee that comes with a side of sarcasm. The brand speaks its customer’s language, making it fun for customers to engage and promote the product themselves.
This coffee company can monitor its hashtag mentions and unlock hundreds of potential influencers that would love to receive a free month of coffee for posting more about their brand.
Look at what kind of mentions your brand, business, or agency is attracting online and follow the conversation. You’ll quickly discover who’s talking about you the most.
Then, look at their followers if they have a healthy following reach out and see if they’d be interested in partnering up with you on an influencer campaign.
Don’t stop reading. I know those of you who are rolling your eyes yelling, “NO ONE MENTIONS MY BRAND!”
Don’t worry. I’ve got a solution for you, too. Look at your big competitors. Think of the Red Bulls and Coca-Colas of your industry.
See what kind of mentions they’re getting and from who. Then, reach out to those influencers and pitch away.
You never know who will say yes unless you ask.
Plus, they may not want as much as you think or even be willing to promote for free after getting to know more about you and your business.
Nowadays, there are numerous influencer marketing tools out there that can help connect you with the right people and brands. So, if you’re having trouble finding people you want to work with, it can be beneficial to supply one of the tools a try.
Influencer marketing has become much more than just a buzzword.
Marketers have been using influencers to promote their products for years, but brands are now using influencers to build customer relationships and create new revenue streams.
By leveraging the power of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, marketers can connect directly with consumers through influencers.
This can help to increase brand awareness and drive sales. It can also open your brand, business, or agency to new audiences.
As we get closer to the end of this year, try strategizing the influencer marketing opportunities you have out there.
Featured Image: Anton Vierietin/Shutterstock
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When it comes to VR headsets, HP might not be spoken of in the same breath as HTC or Valve. But it'd be a mistake to overlook the HP G2 Reverb, particularly if your PC's got plenty of power behind it.
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