HP Vectra

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The HP Vectra was a line of business-oriented personal computers manufactured by Hewlett-Packard. It was introduced in October 1985 as HP's first IBM compatible PC.[1]

Hewlett-Packard, which originally made its name through selling test equipment, made its move into the computing field in 1967 with the HP 1000/2100 minicomputers. Further minicomputer and terminal products followed in the coming years, and in 1983, the company finally released a microcomputer, the HP 150 series. It only lasted two years before HP embraced the IBM PC standard with the Vectra line. Mainly targeted at business, scientific, engineering, and other professional markets, the Vectra was HP's bread-and-butter computer range for over 15 years.

InfoWorld stated that HP was "responding to demands from its customers for full IBM PC compatibility".[2] Vectras were not entirely IBM-compatible and in the early years had a considerable amount of nonstandard hardware features, including the hard disk types, keyboards, and mouse interface, thus requiring their own custom OEM version of MS-DOS. Software that used strictly BIOS calls would work, but anything that performed low-level hardware access often had problems. Vectras notably failed to pass the most popular compatibility test of the day, which involved running Lotus 123 and Microsoft Flight Simulator. By the time 486 PCs became commonplace however, most of the proprietary hardware in HP machines had been dropped.

In 1995, HP added the Pavilion line as a lower-end range designed for the home and educational markets (which the company had ignored up to this point), including both desktop PCs and the company's first laptops, and in 2001 the Vectra was dropped, with the whole lineup consolidated under the Pavilion label.


  1. ^ Bruns, William J.; Kaplan, Robert S. (1 December 1987). Accounting & management: field study perspectives. Harvard Business Press. p. 231. ISBN 978-0-87584-186-1. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Petrosky, Mark (1985-09-30). "HP's Vectra Called PC AT 'Hybrid'". InfoWorld. p. 5. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 

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