HP is blasting out products for CES 2019, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week. On offer are various gadgets for work and play, including a 23.8-inch display with an integrated privacy screen. The consumer PC lineup covers a wide range of audiences, from gamers to executives to people who just want more privacy.
Privacy screens have been popular with executives traveling on airplanes, as flipping a switch makes it so the screen can only be viewed from head-on, said Alex Cho, president of personal systems at HP, in an interview with VentureBeat. The spread of this technology is an example of HP designing PCs that can be very useful to specific types of users, from hospital staff to mobile executives. It also suggests that companies are responding to users’ privacy concerns, in light of frequent privacy scandals and cyberthreats.
“There’s been a lot of innovation in the PC space, even as other categories grow,” Cho said. “We have different use cases, like the growth of gaming, which is propelling a lot of PC-based innovation. PC-based conferencing systems are growing in conference rooms. There’s a lot more innovation happening in PCs now than ever.”
I saw demos of the devices. I flipped the F2 key on the keyboard for the HP EliteDisplay E243p Sure View Monitor, the big monitor with the Sure View screen. I could see the screen’s details from the side. I flipped the switch again and could only see a gray haze on the screen from the side. HP said this helps improve productivity, as workers in places like hospitals don’t have to worry as much about someone peeking at their screen. The display will be out in February for $380.
HP also has an all-in-one computer, the HP EliteOne 800 AiO G5, with an integrated privacy screen. It will be out in June, with pricing disclosed later. HP is also spreading the integrated privacy screens — now in a third generation of products — across a bunch of its laptops.
“We are finding security and privacy is a key part of what the older demographic and the mobile workers are looking for,” Cho said. “Privacy is one of the things people are looking for more in an open environment.”
HP also has the first 15-inch laptop with an AMOLED display, the HPSpectre x360 15. It will be available in March, along with the HP EliteBook x360 830 G5 laptop (with Sure View). Pricing for both will be disclosed later.
The HP Pavilion 27 Quantum Dot is the world’s first Quantum Dot on glass display, with more than a billion viewable colors. It will be available in March for $400. The HP Pavilion 27 FHD is a 27-inch display with a pop-up privacy camera, available for $330 in March. You push it down if you want privacy, giving you some assurance that no one is taking over your webcam remotely.
The Spectre Folio convertible now comes in a Bordeaux Burgundy version, with options for a 4K display. This is in a space of premium computers, where HP has gained three points of market share in the last few years, Cho said. The Spectre Folio is available now for $1,310.
“We see a huge transition in what gaming is,” Cho said. “The data says almost 11 billion hours are spent watching esports. By 2020, the viewership for esports should overtake the NBA. In the past few years, we have gained 12 points of market share in gaming.”
HP is adding an Omen X Emperium Soundbar to its existing Omen X Emperium 65 display, a gaming display with a 65-inch screen. The Soundbar fits nicely under the display so that it looks like it’s actually part of the display. Using Nvidia G-Sync HD, the big format gaming (BFD) debuted last year with a 144Hz refresh rate. The Soundbar has 120 watts of power and Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) technology, vibration reduction, and a three-way stereo crossover system that negates the need for a separate subwoofer. The combined display and Soundbar are available for $5,000 in February.
“This gives you a very immersive experience,” Cho said. “We’re putting a lot into immersion, and in the future we see a lot more room for more gaming services.”
I played some Destiny 2 on the Emperium with the Soundbar, and it was quite loud. Even in a crowded room, I could discern spatial sounds that helped me figure out where to go after enemies, and the HDR display was awesome. The lag and latency were quite low, based on my perception.
HP is also launching the world’s first gaming laptop with a 240Hz laptop display: the Omen 15 Laptop, with options for Nvidia mobile graphics cards and 802.11ax Wi-Fi. The laptop will be out in July. A version without the 240Hz display will be out in February for $1,370. Cho said HP’s first Omen 15 Laptop sold 9,000 units in the first 20 minutes on JD.com.
HP is also launching a new version of the Omen Obelisk Desktop, with 64GB of HyperX memory, options for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti graphics, a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K CPU, and liquid cooling. The desktop will be out in March for $2,250.
The HP Pavilion 32QHD is a dynamic display with immersive QHD resolution that is viewable from almost any angle. It will be out in June for $380.
In addition to its PC and display innovations, HP announced a few complementary accessories. A new, ultra-slim HP Envy USB-C Hub enables pass-through charging to your notebook with two USB-A charging ports, as well as an HDMI 2.0 port with 4K resolution support. The HP Envy USB-C Hub accessory will be out in March for $80.
And HP introduced the HP 15.6 Odyssey Backpack, designed for carrying HP laptops in style and available in three geometric color patterns. The pack will be out in March for $70.
First AMD-based Chromebook
HP is also launching new Chromebooks. The HP Chromebook x360 14 G1 brings IT-focused security and manageability to the party, with more serious security — from verified boot to application sandboxing. The company is adding a Chrome Enterprise license, with more granular control of 200-plus policies across users, devices, and applications.
The Chromebook can use up to an Intel Core i7 processor, delivers smooth video calls, and handles more tabs, apps, and media. It has Bang & Olufsen audio, a narrow-bezel touchscreen display, USB-C docking, and dual speakers. The HP Chromebook X360 14 G1 will be available in January, through pricing is not available at this time.
HP is also launching its first AMD-based Chromebook, the HP Chromebook 14. This device takes advantage of AMD A4 and A6 CPUs with integrated Radeon R4/R5 graphics for enhanced productivity. Available in white, blue, and gray, it has access to up to 100GB of Google Cloud Storage and more than a million Android apps through the Google Play Store. It is available in January for a starting price of $269.