So, here we are, launch week for Windows 8 (on 10/26 if you’ve been living under a rock). Regular blog visitors have seen a bunch of stories around HP’s Windows 8 product lineup. Well, considering the big deal this week, we figured it’d be extra handy if you had one go-to story that can point you to all the products and things you need to know about what we’ve got coming up for the rest of 2012. So, without further ado, here’s the breakdown.
Here are the Windows 8 laptops and desktops that I’m the most excited about (and will probably be digging deeper into on the blog….)
The ENVY x2 Hybrid PC – At first blush, it looks like a thin, brushed-metal machine. But when you flip a slick magnetic toggle and lift out the 11.6-inch display, you suddenly get it – this Hybrid PC packs all the important guts you need behind the screen. For a LOT of people – like me – who can’t decide if they need a tablet, laptop (or both) for the day, will find a lot to love in this Clover Trail driven laptop. In fact, Brooke Crothers over at CNET had a few choice words on it. If you want an even more detailed look at the ENVY x2, we went behind to scenes to show you some of the prototype designs in this story. (Available 11/14; Starting at $849.99)
The SpectreONE – This has some pretty impressive lines for an All-in-One PC. It’s sporting new tech (like NFC) and makes room for discrete graphics horsepower lodged in the arm between the screen and the base. In fact, I recently sat down with Peter Lee to go over the design process for this artful-looking machine. (SpectreONE - Available December; Starting at $1,299.99)
The SpectreXT TouchSmart and ENVY TouchSmart 4 – If you wanna add a little more touch to your laptops, I’d recommend looking at these two guys. They offer more processor power than the ENVY x2, but still let you reach out and touch the bigger screens. Things to know: The SpectreXT TouchSmart runs the latest Intel Core processors…and rocks a Thunderbolt port. The ENVY TouchSmart 4’s strong point, in my humble opinion – you can opt for discrete graphics in a reasonably small form factor. Check ‘em out. (Spectre - Available December; Starting at $1,399.99) (ENVY TouchSmart 4 - available for order now; Starting at $799.99)
The ElitePad 900 – Yes, yes, I know. This is more of a business tablet. But it looks cool. It has that jacket attachment system. It has an 8mp camera on the back. It’s got Gorilla Glass 2….and it offers an optional self-service tool. Say, when was the last time you upgraded a tablet by opening the case? And if you got the time, I’d recommend you jump over to this story where I got Stacy Wolff to open up the top-secret design studio’s doors for a look at various ElitePad prototypes.
ENVY 20 / ENVY 23 TouchSmart – The sleek all-in-one desktops that you know and love, now offering touch panels. Pair this up with a good discrete card under the hood and you’ve got an awesome touch experience on your hands. So to speak. Windows 8 supports up to 10 separate points of touch on these ENVY TouchSmart desktops. One more thing I almost feel obligated to metion: HP has been in the “touch” game since 1983, when it created the HP-150. So, there’s that. We’ve pioneer touch on consumer PCs. We know what we’re doing. (Available now; Starting at $799 and $999, respectively)
The ENVY Phoenix h9 – HP’s mainstream gaming-grade desktop got a couple key nips-and-tucks under the hood so that you can do more with fewer hassles. Want to drop in a new graphics card or extra hard drives? Not a problem. The redesigned insides make this easier for you to upgrade after the fact. I’ve been using this machine to do my initial tests….and it is hauling ass in Windows 8. (Available now; Starting at $899)
But those are the high-profile things that we’ve been talking about on the blog – because, well, I like them and they are pretty sweet. But there are plenty of other options out there for you as well.
For example, The HP ENVY m4 notebook balances mobility, performance and entertainment in a thin and light package. It’s going to be available in the United States at Best Buy, starting at $899.99. Then, something like the HP Pavilion dm1 now offers up to 200 MB of free data per month for two years of fast 4G mobile broadband service operating on the T-Mobile network—all with no contracts or commitments. It’s currently available in the United States, starting at $499.99.
And, if you check out this story below, I’ll be updating that with more information (and pricing) for our new machines sporting Windows 8.