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HP's Voodoo and the Luxury Game

Posted by: Reena Jana on June 11, 2008

Last November, I wrote an IN: Inside Innovation cover story largely on the influence of Voodoo PC’s culture on Hewlett-Packard, which had acquired Voodoo in fall 2006. This week HP unveiled its alternative to the super skinny MacBook Air and the latest Lenovo ThinkPad: the Voodoo Envy, suggesting the ongoing influence of Voodoo on HP’s design and marketing strategies.

Besides offering another pricey, sleek, ultra-portable machine to consumers, though, HP’s Voodoo unit had other news: the brand was going to be more about luxury and elegance than anything else. Just read Voodoo co-founder (and former IN cover boy) Rahul Sood’s latest (June 9) posting on

What’s interesting, too, is the new Voodoo site, which opens with the tag line “Blending Art, Innovation, and Performance for Life.” Not “gaming” — what Voodoo was known for primarily in the past — but life with a capital L. Now, I haven’t seen the new Envy in person, but from photos—and reviews I’ve read online—it has a form factor similar to that of the MacBook Air and the slim ThinkPad, and seems to be depicted in early press photos in simple white or black. Has anyone seen the new Envy or tried it yet? I loved the old Voodoos, and especially a sassy lipstick red number I saw in the office of one of HP’s top executives when I was reporting the IN story last fall.

It will be interesting to see how the new Voodoo Envy and the re-made Voodoo brand does. Perhaps the luxury angle makes sense during tough economic times, to appeal to those spenders who have the means for top-of-the line goods whether there is a recession or not. And breaking out of the game-centric pigeon hole might also be savvy. Or not? Would love to hear your opinion, especially from longtime Voodoo fans.

And do you think that a brand like Voodoo, which in the past had a loyal cult following among gamers willing to shell out thousands and thousands for ultra-high-end, tricked-out, and personalized PCs from Voodoo, could actually threaten the cool factor of Macs -- which are going more mainstream these days?

Reader Comments


June 19, 2008 3:35 PM

Voodoo is definately going in a new direction with their new line of high end PCs. Sounds like these machines are going to push the art/tech border.

However, I don't think Voodoo followers who have looked to the brand as a leader in gaming rigs should feel betreayed at all. Voodoo DNA is still running through the Blackbird's liquid cooling tubes.

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