Gadgets

HP's back-to-school portables include convertible Windows laptop-tablets, Android notebooks, and Chromebooks.

HP Envy x360 with hinge that converts it to a tablet.

Above: HP Envy x360 with hinge that converts it to a tablet.

Hewlett-Packard is announcing a line of consumer laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets today for the consumer market. The new devices feature hybrid designs and operating system choices that fit the way consumers work and play.

The line-up shows that HP is spreading its bets across Windows 8.1, Android, and Google’s Chrome OS. That reflects the diversity of choice and adaptability required to satisfy consumers in the post-PC era.

A couple of the 2-in-1 laptops — which have both laptop and tablet functions — have hinges that allow for 360-degree rotation of a screen so it can be positioned for a laptop user or folded down as a tablet.

The company also showed off Andrdoid-based laptops and Google Chromebooks.

One of the changes is that HP shifted the hard disk drive from the keyboard base to the tablet screen. That way, the customer can access and store a lot more data while using the tablet. It was able to do that thanks to thinner hard drives and other advances that make the overall tablet thinner.

“Customers have made it clear that they need devices that adapt to work and play the way they do,” said Mike Nash, vice president of product management at the consumer personal systems division at HP, in a press briefing. “We’re working really hard to raise the bar on our products, focusing on the customer experience. This is about the reinvention of our PC business.”

Nash said the category for the hybrid of laptops and tablets is growing 1,000 percent a year, and they are now 45 percent of the overall laptop market. He said product design teams are constantly researching new trends, materials, and design styles that appeal to consumers.

HP Pavilion x360 laptop-tablet hybrid.

Above: HP Pavilion x360 laptop-tablet hybrid.

The new machines include the touch-enabled HP Envy x360 and the HP Pavilion x360. These laptops have a swivel hinge that changes them from a laptop clamshell, to a stand, tent-style device, or tablet. Both devices have Blu-ray optical drives because consumers still want them, Nash said.

The HP Envy x360 has a powerful Intel Core processor, a 15.6-inch diagonal touchscreen, and the HP Control Zone trackpad for Windows 8.1. The hinge allows yo to use it for work, watching videos, or playing games. It will start selling in the U.S. on June 11 at $680. The laptops weigh 5.3 pounds and are 23.6 millimeters thick.

The HP Pavilion x360 has a 13.3-inch diagonal touchscreen, with a focus on balancing mobility and productiivty. It uses Intel or Advanced Micro Devices processors. It has a 10-point touchscreen, dual speakers, and BeatsAudio. The latter is still available despite the fact that Apple just bought Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. The HP Pavilion x360 is expected to start selling in the U.S. on July 9 with an AMD A8 processor for $630 and an Intel Core i3 processor on July 20 for $600.

HP also has a HP Split x2 laptop with a different kind of hinge for 2-in-1 laptop-tablet conversion. It has a 10-point, 13.3-inch touchscreen, Windows 8.1, and a dual battery, with one battery in the keyboard base and another in the tablet screen. So users can easily switch from notebook to tablet and back. It will start selling in the U.S. on July 16 starting on $600.

HP Chromebook

Above: HP Chromebook

The new HP Chromebook is a 11.6-inch laptop that gets you on the web quick to view web sites, online music, videos, and Google Chrome apps. It has a high-definition screen in “Snow White” or “Ocean Turquoise” colors. It has six hours of battery life. It will start selling in the U.S. in July, with pricing to be determined.

And the HP SlateBook is an Android-based laptop that gives customers access to the Android ecosystem of apps. It has a 14-inch HD touchscreen and is just 16 millimeters thick. It has up to 9 hours of battery life. The device uses an Nvidia Tegra 4 mobile processor and integrated Nvidia GeForce graphics. It will start selling Aug. 6 in the U.S. for $430.

HP's new hybrid laptops

Above: HP’s new hybrid laptops


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