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Hewlett-Packard, often known simply as HP, is currently the largest producer of personal computers in the world. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Hewlett-Packard develops and manufactures computing hardware, software, and services. They sell to both households and businesses of all sizes. Additionally, Hewlett-Packard is the leader in the inkjet, laser, large format, and multifunction printers market.
Brands owned by Hewlett-Packard include Compaq and VoodooPC. Agilent Technologies, a company that makes electronic test equipment and systems, medical electronic equipment, solid state components and instrumentation for chemical analysis, is a spin-off of Hewlett-Packard activities as well.
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Founded by Michael Dell in 1984 while he was still a student at the University of Texas at Austin, Dell is among the most admired corporations in the United States. In the 1980s and 1990s, Dell was briefly the largest producer of personal computers in the world. Today, however, the company occupies the second place spot.
Dell is based in Round Rock, Texas and employs more than 76,000 people throughout the world. Dell's products include personal computers, software, computer peripherals, servers, network switches, and data storage devices. Dell also sells digital cameras, printers, and HDTVs, but these items are built by other manufactures.
Alienware, a line of high-end gaming laptops and PCs, was acquired by Dell in 2006.
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Based in Taiwan, Acer is the third largest producer of personal computers in the world. In the United States, Acer is best known as a manufacturer of netbooks. This is only a small part of the company's product line, however.
Acer was founded in 1976, but its rise to the top hasn't been without controversy. Acer has been involved in many lawsuits, including several charges of patent infringement from Hewlett-Packard. In addition, Acer America Corporation has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Gateway was acquired by Acer in 2007. Gateway purchased eMachines in 2004, making this company also a brand name of Acer. In 2008, Acer purchased 75% of PB Holdings, the parent company of Packard Bell.
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Is Bigger Always Better?
While knowing which company is the largest producer of personal computers can be helpful when you're shopping for a new desktop, laptop, or netbook, you're not obligated to purchase a machine manufactured by one of the biggest companies. Buying from a large company may ensure better tech support, but this is not the only factor to consider when making your purchase.
In some cases, smaller manufacturers may actually have products that are better suited to your needs. For example, Velocity Micro, Vigor Gaming, and WidowPC are small companies that specialize in building computers equipped for high performance gaming. If you're on a real tight budget, Asus is known for barebones systems offered at very affordable prices.
If you're searching for tips on what to look for when buying your next computer, check out the following Bright Hub articles:
- Shopping for Energy Efficient Computers
- How to Build a Budget Computer
- Buying a High Performance Computer
You may also be interested in So, Who Sells the Most Computers in the World (and the US)?