Remember when Dr. Dre got all bent out of shape about the way people listen to music and established Beats Electronics LLC with Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine to do something about it?

"People aren't hearing all the music," he said last year when he launched his first product, Beats by Dre Headphones, created with Monster Cable. "With Beats, people are going to hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way they should: the way I do."

Well, now the Doc and Iovine are taking their electronics game to a new level with the introduction of a music-centric, producer-approved laptop through Hewlett Packard. But Dre didn't do it alone. The HP ENVY Beats 15 also received the golden touch and approval of such super producers as Kanye West, Timbaland, Pharrell, and Polow da Don.

"We started this journey with the headphones to improve the transmission of sound between record makers and consumers," Iovine said yesterday (October 12) at a press conference in Santa Monica, Calif. "What's out there is not representative of what you hear in the recording studio. As we went on this journey, we found that computers were in the way. Artists and producers want their sound repaired in digital audio. Computer companies charge $1,000 for computers, but only spend 50 cents for speakers."

While the accuracy of those cost estimates is questionable -- and poor quality mp3s should likely shoulder more of the blame for computer-based sound issues -- the effort by Dre, Iovine and HP should be applauded for getting people talking about sound quality. The ultra-compression of music that occurs between its creation in the studio to the final digital file has definitely created some horrible sounds; the lack of good computer hardware has deteriorated sound even further.

In reality, HP is really trying to create a reasonable PC-based counterpoint to Apple's audio-focused laptops by letting Dre and his engineers design the machine's internal sound system software, and sleek look (the machine has a high-glosse, piano black finish and a glowing Beats logo). With a list price of $2,299 (about the same the price of a Mac), the HP ENVY 15 Beats will be available October 22 via major retailers and directly from HP.

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