I ended up with a Sony Vaio that was on sale at Best Buy, and I'm setting up now with Ubuntu (installed perfectly... now I'm copying 95GB worth of crud from my desktop home directory over). But even though I like the Vaio, I kept thinking that it would've been nice to support HP since they're right in my backyard. The problem is the HP selection you see at any of the big box stores is incredibly limited - and pretty much what anyone who shops at Best Buy would see, whether they're here or in Kansas.
It seems like HP should really have a flagship store in Silicon Valley, no? Just like an Apple store, but filled with HP and Compaq computers, handhelds, servers, printers, whatever. One of the commenters on my post about my laptop hunt mentioned the HP MiniNote, which Om just reviewed today by coincidence, but I hadn't heard anything about it. (I actually don't pay much attention to the hot new laptops as I'm rarely in the market for one.) After seeing the comment, I went online searching for it and found you can buy one at Amazon.com in various configurations. That's great, but I want to try it out first before I buy it. I can walk to downtown Palo Alto and try all of Apple's products, why can't I do the same for the biggest computer manufacturer in the world who's *headquarters* are there?
There doesn't even seem to be any shops locally that have an HP focus. Central Computers for example seems to have a direct line to Asus in China. I was in their Sunnyvale store today and it was crammed with laptops, motherboards, mini desktops and the Eee PCs. It seems ridiculous that sort of thing doesn't exist (or at least I can't find it) for HP products.
Just a thought - mostly because the HP miniNote seems very cool and it would've been neat to drive down the street and play with it today. I'm into immediate gratification like that.