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Hp Labs: Breaking Pcs to Build Better Systems

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A laptop being drop-tested.

HP technicians and engineers put the company's computing products through grueling tests to make sure they hold up under most common scenarios.

Credit: Panasonic

Hewlett-Packard recently opened the doors of its Science Labs facilities in Houston to more than 36 journalists and analysts for a day-long tour. The labs are spread throughout several buildings in HP's massive, sprawling campus, which was once the headquarters for Compaq.

Although more than 10,000 employees work at the campus, only about 5 percent are dedicated to the various labs, from the Multimedia and Software Testing labs to the Environmental, Reliability, Materials, and Electromagnetic labs.

HP technicians and engineers put the company's PCs, tablets, and servers through intricate measurements and grueling tests to make sure they work under any conditions, hold up under most common scenarios, and comply with required certifications and regulations. "You really want to develop the best products," says HP technologist Hunt Hodge. "Anytime anything goes wrong in the field, it costs us."

Some original equipment manufacturers today are outsourcing more of the work, but HP is keeping in-house some testing and is now making a push to let enterprises see what steps it is taking to ensure quality systems, notes analyst Patrick Moorhead.

From eWeek
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