New HP lineup offers a range of options

 

 
 
 
 
HP Envy Note 8
 

HP Envy Note 8

Photograph by: Handout, Vancouver Sun

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I had a chance to check out HP’s new holiday lineup that was announced this week, and it runs the gamut from Star Wars to a Stream notebook.

Star Wars Special Edition Notebook and HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook

There are a couple of game machines in the new lineup but the Star Wars is the one that definitely stands out. It’s for Star Wars fans, who will appreciate a machine that looks like it might have accompanied Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon — with a distressed cover and “Galactic Empire” in the Star Wars Aurebesh font on the hinge. The theme extends to the software — when you go to drop something in the recycle bin, you’ll find a Death Star instead and you can even write in Aurebesh. It comes with a choice of processors, memory and storage, along with a couple of options for graphics and audio by Bang & Olufsen. Pricing starts at US$700. No word yet on Canadian pricing.

The new HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook runs Windows 10, in case you want to get some work done while you’re not playing games. It has kind of a green glow on the keyboard that saves it from being mistaken for stodgy office machine, and under the hood there’s a choice of Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, with NVIDIA GeForce GTX950 graphics, and a 15.6-inch display with optional touch. It starts at US$1,000.

HP Envy Curved All-in-One PC

In our home, notebook computers have long since replaced desktops and I figured when the aging Apple iMac on the kitchen counter gave up the ghost, that would be it for a big computer. But I’ve fallen in love with curved screens and HP has brought that to its new All-in-One with a 34-inch curved display with a 2,000 mm radius. It’s a very sharp 3440 by 1440 resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio. The slim display offers two USB ports and a three-in-one media card. You can get it with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and there an option of a NVIDIA GTX 960A graphics card. HP has partnered with Bang & Olufsen for its sound, and the new Curved All-in-One has six front speakers with two tweeters. The display can tilt it up to 25 degrees. It comes with a price tag of US$1,800.

HP Spectre x360

This notebook is in the convertible class, switching among several different modes: regular notebook, flipped over like a tent for viewing presentations, tablet mode, or simply in the stand mode for watching movies. It’s over three pounds or 1.45 kilograms and it’s 15 mm thin. It has an aluminum body for a sleek look and it will last through most plane rides, with a battery that runs more than 13 hours. US$900.

HP Spectre x2

The Spectre x2, at US$800 with the keyboard, weighs in at just over a kilogram with the keyboard and 0.8 kilograms for the tablet alone. The tablet is eight millimetres thin; add the keyboard and that’s just over 13 millimetres. It has some interesting features, including its third camera, an Intel RealSense 3D camera, and a kickstand that’s designed so the notebook can have a larger battery that will keep it running up to 10 hours. The display is a 1920 by 1280 HD and it includes a microSD card reader.

HP Envy Note 8

HP’s tablets haven’t gained much of a following in a highly competitive field but the new Envy Note 8 has a couple of things I like. First, the full size aluminum keyboard is sturdy and gives you the same feeling with its 1.5 mm key travel that you get from your regular keyboard. It has a slot for the tablet so you prop it up either horizontally or vertically. With a US$429 price tag, it comes with a stylus and the keyboard — the stylus is the HP Active Pen. It runs on Windows 10, an operating system upgrade that seems to be winning over folks who were fed-up with Windows 8. Without the keyboard, it’s priced at US$329, but I think the value in this is with the keyboard combo.

HP Stream Notebook and HP Chromebook

HP offers up a couple of options if you’re looking for a low-priced machine for work or school. The Stream, with an 11.6-inch screen model starting at US$200 and a 13.3-inch one at US$230, stands out for its vivid colours that include, among others cobalt blue and violet purple. They’re not lightweights but you have to go up in price for more features and streamlining in a notebook. The smaller one will run close to 11 hours on a single charge, the larger won’t make it to nine hours. These machines are meant for the cloud and they come with 1TB Microsoft OneDrive storage for a year plus a year of Office 365 Personal. The Chromebook, also in some vibrant colours, starts at US$250, with 100GB Google Drive cloud storage for two years. Chromebooks are starting to make inroads at schools, both for their price and their ease of managing in everything from security to online apps.

gshaw@vancouversun.comvancouversun.com/digitallifeGillian Shaw’s airfare and accommodation to attend the HP preview event was paid by HP. The company did not see the copy before publication.

 
 
 
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HP Envy Note 8
 

HP Envy Note 8

Photograph by: Handout, Vancouver Sun

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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