HP on Thunderbolt: Meh

Thunderbolt: Not for HPThe Thunderbolt port Apple is including on new Macs may offer high-speed data transfer and video support, but it isn’t enough to woo HP into adding the technology to its PC offerings. Instead, the computer and printer maker plans on sticking with USB 3.0 in part because the standard is more widely deployed, according to Macworld.

Thunderbolt uses the same Mini DisplayPort connector Apple relies on for external displays, but offers 10Gbp/s data transfer speeds, and can handle video and audio along with hard drives and other peripherals.

HP said it did consider Thunderbolt, but hasn’t completely shut the door on the idea of including the technology in its computers. “We’re still looking into it,” commented HP worldwide marketing manager for desktops Xavier Lauwaert. “Haven’t found a value proposition yet.”

Currently, the Thunderbolt port on new iMacs and MacBook Pro models is good for external displays, but not much else because manufacturers haven’t brought their Thunderbolt-compatible hard drives to market yet. That, however, should change in the next few weeks since companies like LaCie and Western Digital are planning on shipping compatible drives by July.

Maybe after more peripherals hit store shelves HP will reconsider getting on board with Thunderbolt. For now, however, the company is content with USB 3.0.

“On the PC side, everybody seems to be content with the expansion of USB 3.0,” Mr. Lauwaert said. “Do we need to go into more fancy solutions? Not convinced yet.”