It seems all the major OEMs out there are doing their best to make the most of the expected sales boost Windows 8’s launch is going to drive. Microsoft Corp. has reprogrammed Windows 8 so it looks and works more like the touch-based systems on mobile devices, and this has caused a spring of hybrid devices to pop up, including Microsoft’s own Surface tablets. The latest in the line of hybrid computers that will run on the new OS include four new all-in-one (AiO) PCs by HP, including two additions to the HP ENVY line. Leading the line-up is the 23.6-inch, incredibly slim Spectre One, followed by the touch-friendly Envy 23 and Envy 20 TouchSmart AIOs, and non-touch AIO PC, the Pavilion 20.
The slim HP SpectreOne
The Spectre One is part of the company’s high-end Spectre line-up. Measuring a mere 11.5 mm thick, HP states this is its thinnest all-in-one to date. The company has done away with any sort of touch-based input, in spite of the system running on Windows 8, which banks heavily on touch-based features. Instead, HP has chosen to provide users with a wireless, multitouch trackpad that can be used for navigating the system. Users can scroll, swipe and tap their way through the new Windows 8 environment.
The HP SpectreONE will run on Intel Ivy Bridge processors, an Nvidia 1GB graphics card, optional ExpressCache and optional SSDs. An interesting feature is the inclusion of an NFC chip, which allows you to set up specific apps or programs by pairing with an NFC-enabled phone or NFC tag. It features a full array of ports, including two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-in, Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11n and a Beats Audio headphones jack. It does not have an optical drive.
Windows 8's release has been widely anticipated because it's Microsoft's most dramatic overhaul of the operating system in at least 17 years. It's also coming out at a time when PC sales have been slowing down as more people rely on smartphones and tablets to surf the Web. HP is looking to counter this trend by bringing out hybrid devices like the Envy 23 and Envy 20 TouchSmart AIOs.
The HP touch-friendly Envy 23 and Envy 20 TouchSmart AIOs
The Envy 23 and Envy 20 TouchSmart touch-based PCs offer 23- and 20-inch diagonal high-definition displays, respectively. Both feature touchscreens and Ivy Bridge processors, apart from optional SSDs and up to 3TB of storage space.
The Pavilion 20 is an all-in-one solution and offers no touch-based input facilities. It packs a 20-inch display and will probably offer an Ivy Bridge powered system.
The non-touch HP Pavilion 20
The HP SpectreONE is expected to be available in the United States in November with a starting price of $1,299 (approximately Rs. 71,938). The HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart and HP ENVY 20 TouchSmart AiO PCs are expected to be available in the United States in October at starting prices of $999 (approximately Rs. 55,324) and $799 (approximately Rs. 44,248), respectively. The HP Pavilion 20 is expected to be available in the United States in October with a starting price of $449 (approximately Rs. 24,865).