HP Rove: From Desktop to Tabletop

envy rove.jpg

 

It may look like a larger-than-life-sized tablet, but don’t go thinking that you can play a pinball game on the bus with HP’s new ENVY Rove20. (I was tempted to try.) This is an awesomely designed All-in-One PC that you can take with you around the house. And it’s more than enough to make a statement about being a family-ready PC.

 

In fact, this sweet techno-obelisk has kinda opened up my eyes to a lot of potential uses. I’m going to use this story to give you some real feedback from my initial tests.

 

First, though, I’d like to talk a little bit about what's under the hood. Unfortunately, HP hasn’t disclosed the specs and pricing quite yet. Here’s what I CAN tell you: It rocks Intel’s next generation CPU. Beyond that, we’ll get down to the specifics closer to the product availability date later in July.  What I can say: Sure, I would love a Core i7 and a discrete GPU in this thing!  But then you wouldn’t be able to get this sweet slab for the sub-$1,000 asking price. Still, the specs will be more than enough to run all the basic apps (and a couple games) you can throw at it.

 

Picking this thing up off a table, it’s meaty at 12 pounds, no doubt. I mean, I’m not going to sit and try to hold this thing up to read the morning news…

 

OR WILL I?

 

 

 

rove 20 in the morning.jpg

 

(But it’s certainly more convenient to tote around than a desktop.)

 

Sitting on a table, Rove stands out with good looks – and it stands up with the aid of a smooth hydraulic hinge. I can’t really underscore how the design of this one simple thing makes all the difference. Folded into the back of the unit, this awesome metal prop supports the Rove without getting in the way. I can simply push my finger and the Rove changes elevation so you can go from 90-degrees up to lying flat on a table and it works great – easy to shift position, and when you start tapping on the screen, it won’t shift positions. Now this is going to seem a little odd, but as much as I love the hinge mechanism in the back, I wish that there was a way to prop up the AIO into portrait mode. If only so that I can get a full-on pinball experience.

 

 

 

envy rove 20 pinball.JPG

 

 

Now, how’s about a couple quick DOs and DONTs for the Rove…

 

DO take a look around the sides. Everything you need to move around is built into the Rove. No docking stations or other nonsense required either (it’s got a couple USB ports, a flash memory card slot, volume buttons, a rotation-lock button and the power). Parked at the bottom of the display is a solid-sounding, front-firing Beats audio speaker kit. That’s it – nice and clean, otherwise.

DON’T look for a Kensington lock port. There is none. Though, technically, you can loop the cable around the hinge behind the back of the Rove.

 

DO test out and try using Win 8 Apps in new ways. There are a couple interesting apps that come with the Rove – like Electronic Arts’ Monopoly and Fingertapps  Musical Instruments – but think of the possibilities when you drop this down on a flat surface. For example, I have fond not-so-distant memories of going to bars and playing Ms. Pac-Man on a table-top arcade cabinet. I can do that here with the Rove. Or playing strategy games on Rove. Or play a pinball game across the kitchen table thanks to the Rove. There are some very cool possibilities that I plan to explore in future blog posts as I get more time with a unit.

DON’T think that you can set this up at your local watering hole and expect the locals to not give you the stinkeye. Like I mentioned up top, I wanted to take Rove out to share with the world, but didn’t. Mostly because it was an unannounced product until today, but it’s also meant for around-the-house use.

 

DO pick it up and “Rove” around the house. You want booming audio wherever you need to relocate at home? This thing has considerable bump.

DON’T grab this thing willy-nilly. First, it’s about 12 pounds – this ain’t no tablet. Sure, maybe it’s a tablet for The Hulk, but me? I’m good with smaller form factors. Like the SlateBook x2.  Second, please mind the buttons. All the control buttons (besides the power) sit on the lower left and right sides of the Rove. To avoid mashing any of those buttons, grab it in the middle. And, really, since this isn’t some lightweight tablet, you really should practice common sense and get a good grip in the middle, anyhow. And that hinge in the back, it’s not rated to be a handle. Just trust me on that one.

 

DO expect bigger-than-life experiences. Giving you this kind of size on a giant touchscreen that you can take with you around the house, it’s kinda awesome. One on level, you can think of it as a portable streaming entertainment center – wherever you need to prop it up in the house.

DON’T forget the power cable. There is a good battery in this and it will last you about three and a half  hours, but as you get spoiled by how much you can do with Rove, don’t forget that you’ll need to charge this guy back up at some point. Fortunately, the tiny plug is not obtrusive.

 

DO  get extra off-site backup. Did you know that just for buying an HP ENVY or Spectre-class PC, you get 50GB of free cloud storage at Box.net? Manage and access your files from the bedroom or boardroom…and what would normally cost other people $19.99 a month is yours, free. Yep, that’s a newly signed deal, only available in the Americas. So make sure to activate the Box.net app on your new machine.

DON’T write off included software as “bloatware.” As cited above, you’re going to find a couple apps worth checking out for yourself. And if you search for “HP” in the Windows Store, you’ll find a couple other good options. And, really, considering this stuff is free to try – why not try em?

 

DO look for the ENVY Rove20 to hit shelves this July.

DON’T expect me to tell you the price. Yet.

 

 

Oh....and DO watch this video featuring my bud, XL!

 

 

Comments
by hpmcky83 on ‎05-24-2013 12:08 AM

Well detailed..can i get the spec sheet of envy rove 20?

by GizmoGladstone on ‎05-24-2013 07:37 AM

unfortunately, *I* can't get a spec sheet yet! ;p (we aren't sharing that until closer to product launch)

by jh11746 on ‎05-26-2013 09:01 PM

Please advise if the unit will be running the new Intel Haswell chipset?

by GizmoGladstone on ‎05-28-2013 08:02 AM

hey jh11746: I can't say any more than I did in the story right now: "It rocks Intel’s next generation CPU" - which prettty much answers your question. ;p

 

Cheers!

 

Darren

TheNextBench.com

by GizmoGladstone on ‎07-11-2013 09:43 AM

BTW, we've officially revealed all the specs, pricing and availability of Rove today. You can find that story right here: http://h20435.www2.hp.com/t5/The-Next-Bench-Blog/HP-ENVY-Rove20-Specs-Pricing-and-Available-Soon/ba-...

 

Darren

TheNextBench.com

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