HP brought a slew of new and updated PCs to CES 2017, but there was one unifying them between all of them: HP has gotten really good at creating beautiful computers at great price points. CES marked the arrival of the updated Spectre x360 15-inch convertible, an all-new Envy 34-inch all-on-one, and a slew of spec bumps.
HP Spectre x360 15-inch
HP's 13-inch Spectre x360 is our favorite convertible ultrabook, but if something bigger would happen to tickle your fancy, it's hard to deny the appeal of the updated 15.6-inch edition of the convertible. It's a truly sexy design, seen here in the "ash gray and copper" color combo, and HP's embraced what their customers demanded from the laptop and given it a spec bump update less than a year later.
The previous edition sported a 15.6-inch IPS display in Full HD or 4K resolutions, but for the new version HP's ditched the lower-res panel and is only offering 4K while also shrinking the bezels dramatically o the sides (and a bit up top). That's driven by updated internals, including a new 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, up to 512GB of SSD storage, and an Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU.
HP's also added an IR-equipped Windows Hello-capable webcam and a pair of USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports (through which the laptop charges, including HP Fast Charge to get to 90% in 90 minutes), while still maintaining a single full-size USB-A port, HDMI, and a full-size SD card reader. Also joining the party is Windows Ink-compatible pen support on that 4K display, but alas without a pen silo to store the stylus.
Everything else you know and love about the 15.6-inch Spectre x360 has remained the same, though with one slight change: bucking the trend towards increasing thinness, HP opted to make the Spectre x360 just under 2mm thicker than last year's model, allowing them to cram in an enormous 79.2Whr battery that can last an advertised 12 hours.
HP Spectre 13t
HP's Spectre 13t has been impressing us with its thinness and drop-dead gorgeous design since it first landed, and now with a Kaby Lake processor upgrade it's an even more capable machine. It's never been a computing powerhouse, nor was it ever meant to be, but it's no slouch for how thin and light it is.
While the processor update was nice, there was a problem still facing the Spectre 13t: the color scheme. Personally, I love the dark gray and copper combination — it's gorgeous without being gaudy, flashy without being ostentatious. But it's not for everyone, and that's okay, and HP recognized that. So they're also introducing a "natural silver and chrome" color combination that's still glitzy but not as out-there as the original color. It's super classy.
HP Envy 34 All-in-One
There's only one way to do an ultrawide display at 34 inches, and that's as a curved panel with a 3440x1440 resolution and barely any bezel. I could stop there, but HP decided to take it a step further and built a whole PC into the display's wide, blocky base. There's a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake processor in there, along with 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, and AMD RX 460 GPU.
Because that 34-inch panel is great for movies and this is likely the kind of PC you'll put in a common space in your home, HP built in an impressive audio array into the base: four speakers with dual passive arrays, all tuned by audio partner Bang & Olufsen. There's a touch-sensitive dial embedded on the right side of the base for controlling volume and playback, plus a Qi wireless charging pad on the left side.
If the the HP Envy 34 All-in-One performs anything like its flat-screened 27-inch cousin, then we're looking at an impressively capable machine that's both practical and beautiful enough to set up in the office or the living room.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.