New HP Laptops Make Touch Affordable

Wasn’t too long ago that adding TouchSmart technology to our computers meant adding a lot to the price tag. What’s great about today’s announcements is that we’re releasing a wide variety of touch screen-enabled Pavilion and ENVY laptops without making sacrifices under the hood or paying through the nose.

 

FIRST OFF, WHY TOUCH?

Touch is a big deal with Windows 8 since it’s incorporated into the OS kernel – and it makes a huge difference when you want to quickly navigate through your computer. Sometimes you want to tap the screen. Sometimes the touchpad is better for you….either way, you’re covered here.

 

Look, here on the blog, I’ve talked about HP’s role in the history of touch. And I’ve rambled about why our touch screen PCs are great for games. Go on, read those stories when you get a chance.

 

Though, I should warn, that once you go touchscreen on a laptop, you can’t go back. Take me. My job has me playing with all our machines and whenever I go back to a non-touch screen, I still find myself tapping tiles on the Start page, expecting something to happen. I’m weird that way.

 

THE LATEST LAPTOPS

As I said up top, the biggest news is that you’re seeing touch technology in laptops coming down in price. Here’s some of what’s new:

 

pavilion touchsmart 14.jpgOne “touching” offering, for instance, is a 15-inch flavor – The ENVY TouchSmart 15. It offers up a pretty promising A/V package: A flush glass, full HD screen (1920 by 1080 pixels) paired with Beats Audio, four speakers and a dual-drive subwoofer. It makes room for the latest Intel or AMD CPUs as well as 2GB-worth of discrete Nvidia graphics (you can opt for the Nvidia GeForce 750M or 740M). Considering the starting price of $749.99, this is a reasonable way for your recent grad to rock. PC-wise. Just sayin. 

 

Go a little smaller on the screen size and you’ll find the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 14 SleekBook might be right for you. (Rolls off the tongue, I know.) Inside the case, we fit the latest Intel CPUs, Nvidia-fueled discrete graphics (the GeForce 735M, to be precise), up to a 1TB HDD (free advice: always go for AT LEAST 7200rpm drives) and a 24GB hardware acceleration cache to give you and extra boost off the starting line. (Speaking of which, it starts at $479.99.)

 

If you really want to get a portable TouchSmart on a budget, there’s the Pavilion 11 TouchSmart notebook (starting at $399.99). This thin-and-light 11.6-inch model is built to travel anywhere and give you enough juice to handle a basic workload. That one’s available June 26th.

 

I haven’t had any real hands-on time with these guys, but when I do, I’ll break down more details about how they perform in real-world scenarios.

 

 (AND FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT DON’T NEED TOUCH….)

 

That’s not saying touch is the only way to go. For example, there’s a rock-solid 17-incher in HP’s stable.

 

envy 17 2013.jpg

Take the latest ENVY 17, which is really a desktop replacement PC – and then some. Starting at $699.99 (for the non-touch version), this 17.3-inch beast packs next-gen AMD hardware for discrete graphical sweetness, the latest 4th-Gen Intel Core processors, and up to 2TB of storage thanks to a second drive bay (as I always say: GO FOR DRIVE SPEED OVER SIZE!). Now, as far as a pretty picture – besides the one you’re looking at – the ENVY 17 has a 1600 by 900 pixel display by default. And that will do you fine for most needs. BUT, this summer you’re able to beef that up to 1920 by 1080 (as an option) if you think you’ll need it. Then there’s the sonic dynamite provided by Beats Audio, four speakers and a dual-drive subwoofer. In short, this is the machine you wanna get if you as serious about getting games – or any other massive multimedia needs – to go.

 

If you’re looking for something in a more-portable flavor, but don’t need to get hands-on-screen with it, there’s always the Pavilion 15. Trick it out with Intel or AMD CPUs, some of the latest AMD graphics capabilities and up to 1TB of storage. With a starting price of $429.99, it gives you a good base-level laptop that doesn’t have you shedding features or power for the price.

 

 Well, that’s just a quick look for now. Bank on seeing more details – and detailed hands-on reports – about some of these laptops on TheNextBench in the near future when I actually get time with final units. For now, though, I’m here to answer whatever questions you may have....at least the ones I'm *able* to answer.  

Comments
by ICon66 on ‎05-25-2013 05:11 AM

Will the Envy 17 have a touch version?   Also, any word on a launch date for the Envy 17?

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