Laptops are changing, and HP is betting that the world of the tablet-laptop hybrid will be the place it wants to be, as the company showcases a few new computers that push this area in two directions.
Two computers have been showcased overseas that extend the progress we saw in HP’s Envy x2, with similar form factors across each.
Both the Slatebook x2 and the Split x2 will act as tablet and notebook by using a similar build as to what HP first made in the Envy x2, creating computers inside the tablet and screen section that can lock in place with the keyboard section underneath.
But while the Envy x2 was all about Windows, the Slatebook and Split will offer the choice of either Android or Windows respectively.
Launching later this year, the Slatebook will feature Android 4.2 “Jelly Bean,” and will run on one of NVidia’s Tegra 4 processors, providing up to 64GB of storage under a 10.1 inch Full HD multitouch screen. The keyboard will act as both a keyboard and battery, while offering a touchpad mouse, in case touch screens just don’t cut it for you.
Then there’s the Split, which like the other x2 models, comes in two parts: tablet with screen and computer, and keyboard dock with battery and extra mouse.
But unlike the Envy which ran on a lightweight Atom processor, the Split will feature a proper Intel Core chip (either i3 or i5), with Beats Audio, two speakers, up to 500GB of storage, Windows 8, and a 13.3 inch HD-capable screen.
While pricing and availability has yet to be announced for this model, we can already highlight one potential flaw, and that’s the running for a third generation Core processor (“Ivy Bridge”) instead of the recently released fourth-gen models that have come out.
HP’s massive 20 inch Windows 8 tablet – the Rove – also had a showing, which we went hands-on with at the launch of Intel’s new Haswell processor, but it appears HP isn’t betting on just a big Windows tablet, with a showing of a big Android tablet too.
Launching later this year, the HP Slate 21 All-in-One will offer a 21.5 inch Full HD IPS touchscreen with the same sort of reclining stand seen on the Rove, but a change from Intel processors to a Tegra 4, and a switching of Windows 8 over to Android 4.2.
It’s certainly an interesting computer, though we’re not sure we see Android as a dedicated desktop experience. Not yet, anyway.
In any case, time will tell, and HP should have more information for us on release dates and pricing soon enough.