HP is pushing the envelope on design with several new computer products it showed off at the Computer Electronics Show n Las Vegas.
The new HP EliteBook x360 is touted as the world’s thinnest business convertible, folding easily for use as a tablet or more conventional notebook. There are two versions, one with a 13.3-inch display and a bigger 15.6-inch display version.
For executives and others looking for a sleek home office computer the EliteBook x360 running Windows 10 is a premium portable with an aluminum unibody frame and sturdy design the company says passes twelve MIL-STD 810G tests (a military standard that signifies approval for use by all departments and agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense).
“We were obsessed with details of the design,” Mike Nash, HP’s chief technologist and vice president of customer experience, told eWEEK.
Those details include a 13.3-inch Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen, Bang & Olufsen speakers that HP says are designed to deliver superior audio for web-conferencing along with digital dual array microphones for voice clarity.
For extended mobile use, the EliteBook x360 comes with up to 16 hours of battery life and HP says you can charge fifty percent of the battery in only 30 minutes. The bigger 15.6-inch display Spectre x360 includes 4K resolution and the Intel i7 Core processor standard.
With the 13.3-inch model you have a choice of Intel’s Core i5 or i7 vPro processors for high end performance and up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM. A choice of solid state drives (SSDs) is also available.
In a crowded pack of notebook competitors, HP is also using software as a differentiator. The free HP WorkWise app offers additional layers of security such as the ability to lock and unlock the system with your smartphone and “tamper detection” where when you’re away you can receive a ping on your smartphone if the notebook is moved or opened. WorkWise also includes a dashboard that displays the PC’s temperature, battery charge, memory use and remaining storage for an at-a-glance look at the system’s status.
The Elitebook x360 is set to go on sale by at the end of January.
HP is also looking to differentiate in displays with the soon-to-be-released HP Envy Curved AiO (All-in-One) 34 desktop PC. There are a range of options depending such as choice of processor the Intel Core i5 or i7, optional Nvidia GFX discreet graphics chip and storage up to 256G for an SSD drive or up to 2 terabytes of conventional hard disk storage.
The footprint of the “micro-edge Ultra WQHD” 34-inch display is somewhat minimized by its curve and features near edge-to-edge viewing. Four front speakers in the sound bar are designed to optimally direct sound to the user.
HP says it’s addressing privacy concerns with the unit’s "HP Privacy Camera" by enabling it to be stored inside the unit and hidden away when not in use foiling any attempt access it remotely. The microphone can also be hidden away when not in use. The HP Envy Curved AiO 34 is available at HP.com with a starting price of $1,729.99.
HP also previewed the Sprout Pro G2, a new version of the company’s immersive computing system based on Windows 10 Pro that combines a PC, hi-res cameras, projector, Touch Mat for the capture and manipulation of 2D and 3D images and wireless keyboard and mouse. There’s also an HP Active Pen to edit and annotate images onscreen.
This latest Sprout Pro, due out in March, is more powerful since it is equipped with a top of the line Intel Core i7 processor and offers more features, such as the Active Pen and 20-point Touch Mat, than the current Sprout Pro that debuted a year ago.
Brad Short, who created the Sprout, said during a demo that the system functions well as a workstation for teachers. “Education is going to be a key market for Sprout across all grades,” said Short, chief technologist & product experience architect in the Immersive Computing Group at HP.
He also noted the system’s ability to display and manipulate physical objects can be appealing to manufacturers working on new products and certain vertical markets including retail where consumers could, in theory design something that could then be output to a 3D printer.