There were some hard hard-fought fights – and a couple upsets – in the first round of HP’s Gadget Madness. But here we are, a week later and eight less competitors. Who went onto the next round? Let’s go over some of the key plays and get geared up for week two!
GEEKY CONFERENCE, WEEK TWO
ENVY dv7 vs. Portable Bluetooth Speakers It was a HUGE upset in the first round to see the spunky Portable Bluetooth Speakers beat out the SpectreXT TouchSmart. Despite the SpectreXT TouchSmart being a touchscreen Ultrabook with all the bells and whistles, people didn’t see that sonic boom coming from the Bluetooth speakers. The ENVY dv7 is ready, though. It squashed the ElitePad 900 because people wanted the multimedia powerhouse that’s essentially a gaming rig-to-go. So, who’s going to take it this time? The portable 17-inch gaming behemoth? Or will it be the pint-sized speakers that's coming in hot after that surprise win? I'm hoping to see the ENVY dv7 pull out the win, myself.
Slate7 vs. SpectreONE The Slate7 has the buzz, here. Riding high off its big debut at Mobile World Congress, the Android-fueled tablet sailed through the first round, beating back the Wireless TV Connect. The ultra-mod SpectreONE had some killer moves in the key last time out. There’s no denying its skills on the court. This Spectre is an all-in-one PC with sleek lines, guts in the support arm…and an NFC reader in the base. It’s going to be a battle down to the wire as these two. If you want my early pick on this one, I think the slate isn't just hungry, it's got something to prove. (Besides the fact that you don't need to blow a lot of money to have a good tablet experience, that is...)
NERDY CONFERENCE, WEEK TWO
ENVY x2 vs. ENVY 27 Display with Beats Audio The Envy x2 just ran away with the ball last time out against the SpectreXT. Nothing against the SpectreXT, but it was going into a tough fight against a fresh opponent that had way more stamina. Really, that’s what counts in the long run. And that keyboard base-assist? There was no stopping the assault once the tablet portion got up in the air. Now, it’s up against a surprising winner from the last round. The ENVY 27 Display with Beats Audio just barely beat back the ENVY 23 TouchSmart with a last-minute buzzer-beater. Where the ENVY 23 has it all (an all-in-one PC with a touch screen, that is), The ENVY 27 Display had the height advantage. A bold 27-incher that also has the audio on backup to deliver a good A/V experience. So what’s it going to be? The at-home A/V dynamo or the cagey ENVY x2 that’s ready to run all over the court? This is a really tough call, but in my personal bracket I have the ENVY x2 pegged to go all the way.
EliteBook Revolve vs. ENVY Phoenix h9 The ENVY Phoenix h9 didn’t exactly have an easy time in the first round. It beat back a veteran team, the Officejet Pro X. Even though the Officejet held (Guinness) records, there was no stopping ENVY’s Nvidia (or AMD depending upon whom you put on the court) power-players at the top of the key. The Phoenix isn’t likely to have an easy go in the second round either as it goes up against the methodical style of the EliteBook Revolve. This guy has some moves on and off the court. There was no way for the Pocket Playlist to stop or even slow down the flow of threes getting drained during last week’s game. So, who’s it going to be? The flexible hybrid laptop with business on its mind? Or the real power player? My personal bias on this one has to go for the home team -- no matter how sweet the swivel on the Revolve, I still gotta pull for the PC made for gaming. GO PHOENIX!
Well, which ones are your favorites? ….And why? Don’t forget to vote here in the comments, on Facebook (HP Play, HP for Students) and Twitter (@HP). We'll be giving you full bracket updates every Thursday throughout March.