Understand the Difference Between HP, Agilent, And Keysight

Three major brand names have dominated the electronic test equipment industry for decades: Hewlett-Packard (HP), Agilent Technologies, and Keysight. People see these brands stamped across many major pieces of electronic measurement test equipment and software without knowing the history behind the brands. If you are interested in understanding the difference between HP, Agilent, and Keysight—and learning how they are connected— this can help you make an educated decision on your next equipment purchase from ValueTronics.

Track the Rise of All Three Brands

In 1999, Hewlett-Packard announced a major corporate renaming of its $8 billion-per-year test-and-measurement division. The division got its start way back in 1939, when William Hewlett and David Packard came together in a garage in Palo Alto, California, to start the now-legendary company Hewlett-Packard, or simply, HP. The division took charge of developing scientific and medical testing instruments, a step away from the printer and computer business from which HP gained its fame. HP announced its intent to create a spin-off from the division, naming it Agilent Technologies Inc.

What Is Agilent?

Upon its establishment, Agilent Technologies became the largest initial public offering (IPO) in the history of Silicon Valley. The company started with $2.1 billion in working capital, a vast jump from the $538 Bill and Dave began with in their garage. Today, Agilent is a fully independent measurement company, poised as a leader in their industry in the 21st century. Agilent’s long history of innovation and craftsmanship in electronic test equipment, medical businesses, computing and imaging, and chemical analysis makes it one of the most well-known names in the industry.

After several years of profitability and groundbreaking innovations across a variety of industries, Agilent announced its own spin-off in 2014. Like HP, its test and measurement division became too large and wasn’t what Agilent wanted to focus its attention on any longer. Agilent instead wanted to expend its energies on products for laboratory workflow, necessitating Agilent to give its test equipment and measurement duties to a new enterprise. A brand that could focus entirely on optimizing its test and equipment products. Thus, Keysight was born.

The spin-off, named Keysight Technologies, embodied Agilent’s former electronic measurement business. Agilent created Keysight to concentrate solely on the electronic measurement business, prioritizing electronic test equipment and measurement customers—leaving chemical and bio-analytical products to Agilent. Agilent stated it came up with the name as a testament to the company “seeing what others cannot,” or offering key insights. Agilent’s hope for Keysight was to become a world leader in the tests and measurements industry – a goal achieved today.

Differences Between the Three Brands

Despite stemming from the same company, HP, Agilent, and Keysight have major differences that set them apart as independent corporations. It’s important to understand where each company stands today, and what each brand focuses on producing. Staying informed about the HP line of brands will help you make knowledgeable decisions when purchasing equipment and supplies for electronic test equipment and measurements.

In 2015, HP split into two separate companies: HP Inc., a computer and printer business, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a product and service organization focused on enterprises.

HP Inc. develops and provides personal computers and printers, among other types of hardware. The company concentrates on consumers who want to spend more money on games and frequently make improvements to their computers. HP Inc. has nothing to do with the electronic test equipment and measurements industry.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, or HPE, focuses on servers, networking, support, storage, software, and financial services. HPE is currently undergoing an $8.5 billion merger with one of its competitors, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). Products made by HPE include Proliant, HP Integrity Servers, Aruba Networks, HP StorageWorks, and HPE software. After delegating all its test and measurement capacities to Agilent in 1999, HP no longer serves in this sector.

Agilent test equipment currently provides software, analytical instruments, and services for the laboratory workflow industry. Agilent’s products focus on the food, environmental and forensics, research, chemical and energy, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical markets. After its spin-off (Keysight in 2014), Agilent no longer develops or produces test and measurement equipment. Keysight Technologies is the only brand of the three currently in this industry.

Keysight Technologies focuses on radio and electronics, manufacturing hardware and software for modular, field, and bench top instruments. Keysight caters to the computer, industrial, telecommunications, semiconductor, and aerospace/defense industries. Keysight’s innovations in software, modular, and wireless components have transformed tests and measurements. Keysight produces top-quality equipment and components, placing the bar high for its competitors. Today, Keysight is the worldwide leader in electronic measurement.

The Lasting Value and Relevancy of the HP Legacy

Agilent Keysight’s tagline pays homage to Hewlett Packard’s legacy: “Unlocking measurement insights for 75 years.” This mantra shows the lasting value of what HP started and how three different brands continue through the years. Today, Keysight is a stand-alone company holding the No. 1 position in its wireless data ecosystem, aerospace and defense, computers, industrial, and semiconductors industry sectors. Keysight Technologies produces hardware and software instruments such as oscilloscopes, signal generators, spectrum analyzers, power suppliers, and much more.

It’s clear that William Hewlett and David Packard were on to something when they founded HP. More than three-quarters of a century later, its spin-offs are still at the top of their industries. HP, Agilent, and Keysight are some of the biggest brands in electronic test measurement. With each spin-off came more time, money, and energy invested in electronic testing, specifically. Creating a different brand as each company’s test and measurement division grew bigger helped all three brands retain a competitive edge.

ValueTronics recognizes the lasting relevancy and continuous high quality of Keysight’s products, as well as its sister brands. As a company that buys and sells electronic test equipment around the world, with more than 89,000 global contacts, we know good products. The test equipment from Keysight abides by the core values and dedication to excellence Hewlett Packard originally established in 1939. When it comes to purchasing top-quality new, used, or refurbished Keysight test and measurement products, trust ValueTronics.