Hewlett-Packard says business users want more flexibility—more options—and so June 4 it introduced the HP Pro x2 612, a two-in-one built from "the ground up" for business users.
"It's a notebook first," says HP media director Mike Hockey, making clear that not a corner has been cut in the quality or feel of the computing experience. But the slick, black 12.5-inch display that separates from the keyboard base to offer workers tablet functionality is also so uncompromised that it can be purchased as a stand-alone tablet.
"There's a tremendous amount of interest around two-in-ones. They're absolutely reinventing workflows," Hockey told eWEEK. Plus, he added, "IT is excited to manage a single device instead of two. And of course, it costs less than two devices."
The Pro x2 612 runs Intel Core i3 or i5 processors (there's also a vPro option), has 3G and 4G LTE connectivity, VGA, RJ-45 and Ethernet ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and a docking connector. The keyboard is spill-resistant and backlit, and, with its own battery, it contributes an extra six hours of battery life for a total of just over 14 hours when the two parts are used in a notebook configuration.
While the keyboard component on some two-in-ones can feel overly light or flimsy, the new HP, with Hockey brought into the eWEEK office, looks and feels like a well-constructed notebook. The display—which does nice work of concealing an integrated, battery-free Wacom pen—seems no more likely to detach than the display of an Apple MacBook Pro. Though, how nice would that be? Instant iPad!
Which is exactly Hockey's point: The X2 612 is two form factors that each absolutely stand confidently on their own.
He described scenarios such as a worker in a bank, who absolutely needs a notebook for various tasks but appreciates being able to quickly detach the display to walk out front, engage with a customer, capture a signature and then snap back in and get back to work. Or a retail manager who needs a notebook day-to-day but can pull off the tablet to document a shipment when it arrives, or to photograph a damaged item.
The tablet also offers HP Sure Start technology—introduced last year in HP EliteBooks and ProBooks—and security features including a Smart Card Reader, an optional fingerprint reader and HP trusted platform module (TPM) technology, a hardware-based security feature that can store information such as encryption keys and passwords.
Hockey likened the inclusion of Sure Start—a sophisticated technology that can detect and repair malware with no threat to the machine's BIOS information, and often before a user has even realized there's an issue—to how an automaker might include a feature on its most high-end vehicles "but eventually roll it out to its full fleet."
Expanding the Elite Series
HP has also expanded its Elite series to include a 700 line of notebooks and desktops for small and medium-sized business users—which means durable and reliable, at a price point manageable for cost-sensitive buyers.
Here, too, value is in options. The 700 series will be available with Intel Core i3 or i5 processors, or with AMD A-Series Pro APUs with HSA technology.
The EliteBook 700 series is 21mm thin and can ship with either type of processor. An EliteBook 725 features a 12.5-inch HD or FHD optional touch screen and an optional 4G LTE module and starts at 3 pounds; an EliteBook 745 features a 14-inch HD, HD+ or FHD display and the option of a touch display; and an EliteBook 755 features a 15.6-inch HD or FHD display with the option of a touch screen and
AMD Radeon Graphics.
The HP Pro x2 612 (and the Tablet 612, available on its own) will arrive in September.
The EliteBook 725, 745 and 755 will arrive in June starting at $799, $739 and $749, respectively.
Also in the 700 series, an Intel-running EliteOne, Desktop Mini and EliteDesk products will arrive in September, and an EliteDesk Microtower and Small Form Factor PC with AMD processors will arrive in July. A 700 Series Microtower PC with Intel processor will follow in November.