HP unveils Envy x2 hybrid tablet and two touch-enabled ultrabooksBy Matthew DeCarlo
As with many other system vendors, HP is preparing a handful of new touch products for the launch of Windows 8, including a Surface-like hybrid slate. Branded the Envy x2, the core device is a fairly typical tablet, albeit one with an 11.6-inch display and an x86 processor. However, like Microsoft's upcoming offerings, the Envy x2 will be accompanied by a magnetically attachable dock that provides laptop-like functionality.
The base system packs a 1366x768 IPS display, an Intel CPU (rumored as a Clover Trail Atom chip), up to 64GB of solid-state storage, a 1080p front camera and an 8MP rear camera, HP's Beats Audio tech, and NFC support. Besides wireless connectivity, I/O seems to be housed on the dock, which we assume will be included and not sold separately. It contains a keyboard, an HDMI port, a card reader, two USB ports and a battery.
Sans dock, the tablet weighs 1.5lbs (0.68kg) and measures about 8.5mm thick, while the keyboard add-on pushes that to 3.1lbs and 0.66-0.76 inches. Because both the slate and dock weigh about the same, folks who have received hands-on time claim the Envy x2 feels sturdy and well balanced. Unsurprisingly, like Microsoft, Sony and others making Window 8 hybrids, HP is keeping quiet on pricing until we're closer to October.
Along with its new convertible, HP has unveiled two new touchscreen ultrabooks: the 14-inch Envy TouchSmart and the 15.6" SpectreXT TouchSmart. The company's press release offers few details on the former, saying only that it has a metal chassis, weighs 4.77lbs, measures 23mm thick, offers up to eight hours of battery life, ships with Beats Audio and will offer an optional AMD graphics card with up to 2GB of memory.
Meanwhile, the latter weighs 4.77lbs, measures 17.9mm thick and touts a 1080p IPS panel covered in edge-to-edge glass, a glass multitouch trackpad, Beats Audio, an HD webcam, USB 3.0, HDMI and it will be HP's first notebook with Intel's Thunderbolt technology, which has since only appeared to a major degree in Apple's machines. There's also word of Core processors and an mSATA SSD, but HP offers few specifics.
HP plans to ship the Envy x2 to US customers by the holidays and although pricing hasn't been revealed, Bloomberg has reportedly received word from an HP exec that it'll fetch between $800 and $900, which is a little steep for an Atom chip in our opinion, so we'll wait for more official info. The Envy TouchSmart is also due around Christmas with no pricing shared yet, while the Spectre XT will start shipping in December from $1,400.