Laptops have a completely new look
WHEN you buy a new laptop or tablet device it should be so attractive that you want to stroke, or even smell it. That's what HP is going for anyway with its new line of portable PCs.
The company showed off its new range of laptop/tablet devices at a lavish event in Sydney on Tuesday. The PC manufacturer spruiked its new leather-clad Spectre Folio range (hence their desire for you to smell it) which it launched recently as well as unveiling its new 4th generation 360 laptop range.
If there's one word HP wants you to think of when it comes to its Folio Spectre computers, it's style.
Speaking at the event, Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page, who oversaw the design process, spoke about how she wanted to see more fashionable and aesthetically appealing computer devices in her retail stores.
"I don't know about you, but when I really like a computer or a phone I stroke them," she joked with the audience. But she wasn't getting that desire from the computers she saw in her stores. They typically looked the same, were almost uniform in their colour schemes and were marketed on a dizzying list of specs.
"We knew they had those specs, we wanted something that looked good," she said. In particular, she wanted a line of laptops that would appeal to a woman's sense of taste and fashion.
That message was reinforced by HP's global head of design, Stacy Wolff who said the design team set out to make a device that "engaged the senses". A computer that felt more like furniture than a chunk of hardware.
The result is the company's Spectre Folio range which comes in a 13-inch (33cm) and 15 inch (38cm) design. Despite being wrapped in leather, it is flexible and can fold into different modes, for using as a tablet, laptop or perching it to watch TV and movies.
News.com.au had a brief hands on with the new computers and they are beautifully designed. They're thin, light weight devices and the "Cognac Brown" leather encasing and stitching is quite gorgeous.
But they don't come cheap. When they hit Australian stores next month, the Spectre Folio computers start at $2999. As you'd expect, for that price there is much more to these computers than a welcoming the design aesthetic.
Inside, there's an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB to 16GB of RAM, and between 256GB and 2TB of SSD storage.
There will be an option to get a 4K ultra high definition screen with a 3840 x 2160 resolution and touch screen functionality.
Interestingly, there's also an option of 4G LTE connectivity so you can always stay connected, even without Wi-Fi access.
The laptops come with a stylus/pen which HP says has all new technology that imbues it with 4000 levels of sensitivity, so you can do things like tilt the pen to change the degree of shading etc.
The PC range has a built in Bang & Olufsen speaker system with four front facing speakers and the company says the computers can get 18 hours of battery life per charge.
HP also unveiled its new 360 laptop range, showing off the 13 inch (33cm) HP Spectre x360 Convertible and a 15 inch (38cm) version, as well as a 14 inch (35cm) EliteBook x360 1040 G5 which HP is calling its first business convertible with gigabit-class 4G LTE connectivity.
The PCs come in two colour schemes: a dark ash silver with copper trimming and an all-new poseidon blue with pale brass trimming.
The convertible laptops boast a gorilla glass touchscreen with 4K support and simultaneous pen and touch response.
They are packed with some of Intel and Nvidia's most powerful chips so performance should be top notch.
The 360 range is designed for business and content creators and promises impressive battery life at more than 22 hours per charge for the Spectre x360 13 and 17 hours for the Spectre x360 15, according to HP.
"The optional gigabit-class 4G LTE on the 13-inch device and ultra-fast Wi-Fi with up to 1 gigabit download speeds on both devices ensure connectivity from almost anywhere," the company says.
HP likes to put a strong focus on cyber safety and security which manifests itself in features such as a fingerprint reader and webcam kill switch that disables your camera for added privacy and protection against hackers.
"Traditional boundaries between personal and professional lives are blurring. People want technology that seamlessly adapts to the way they live and work, as well as devices that allow them to express who they are as individuals," Chris Price, Director Personal Systems, HP South Pacific said in a statement coinciding with the Australian launch.
"Our latest Spectre and Elite innovations deliver an unmistakeable sense of style, while also setting new standards for performance, connectivity, and security."
As with the Folio range, the Spectre 360x laptops will appear in stores from November. The HP Spectre x360 13 is expected to be available in November at Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and HP's online store for a starting price of $2199, while the Spectre x360 15 will start from $3599 when it hits stores in the coming months.
The HP EliteBook x360 is available now for a starting price of $2930.