Convertibles are hot. Or at least the kind that change your computer from a laptop to a tablet. Hewlett-Packard has one of these this holiday selling season in the form of a swivel computer.
Meg Whitman, the chief executive of HP, singled out convertibles in her earnings conference call with analysts earlier this week. She isn’t sure how well they will sell, but Whitman said that HP would put them front-and-center in its advertising this fall because they reflect innovation in the PC business.
HP EliteBook Resolve 810 bends over backward to get more work done. It’s an ultrathin, full-performance Windows 8 laptop. I tried one out and liked the design because it got me through my whole work day without forcing me the recharge all of the time. It handled some challenging situations, like making a Skype call over a MiFi connection to Malaysia. And I never really ran out of power unless I worked on it all day without a power cord.
But just twist it on a swivel and flip the screen down and it becomes a touchscreen tablet. You can work your way. The swivel screen has a single point of contact between the two sides of the laptop, but it feels sturdy.
The HP EliteBook Revolve adjusts the screen brightness based on the way you are working. It has a full-sized, backlit keyboard and an optional pen for the touchscreen. You can connect it to a dock so that you can use an external display, keyboard, mouse, printer and other accessories at the office.
It has an 11.6-inch diagonal HD7 display in a 3.08-pound body. It is just 22.4 millimeters thick at its thinnest point. That means you can carry it in a large purse or just hang on to it with your thumb and forefinger. With Intel Rapid Start Technology, it can wake up in 5 milliseconds. It has a bunch of ports, including two USB 3.0 ports, DisplayPort, MicroSD Slot, and Micro-SIM. It has a solid-state drive with options up to 256 GB. And it comes with near-field communications (NFC).
The screen uses scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 2. It also has an all-magnesium chassis. Enterprise managers can keep tabs on it through the LANDesk Management Suite and protect the data through Find My PC. You can encrypt the hard drive with HP Client Security software. It comes with Windows 8 or Windows 7 Professional version.
It has a third-generation Intel Core i7 or i5 processor, with a Mobile Intel QM77 Express chipset with Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated graphics. It has DTS Studio Sound and integrated stereo speakers, a dual-microphone array, and an HD webcam. It has a variety of Wi-Fi and mobile broadband options. It has a six-cell polymer battery. Sensors include a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and NFC.
The EliteBook Revolve starts at $1,249. The prices for these types of hybrids are going to come down, but this one has all of the requirements to be a good enterprise machine. Don’t expect to see a $300 version of this tomorrow. But when computer makers can deliver these kinds of hybrid machines for the same rock-bottom prices as most laptops, it then will be a no-brainer for consumers to buy them.
In the meantime, these hybrids will appeal to people who are willing to pay extra for them.