HP Inc. is powering up and slimming down its high-end PC lineup.
Company officials this week unveiled the latest iterations of the company's premium consumer systems, putting the new 7th Generation Core "Kaby Lake" processors from Intel into the second generation of its Spectre x360 convertible notebook (pictured) and putting more battery life and 4K resolution into some of the systems in its Envy lineup.
The new systems—most of which are scheduled to be available this month—come in time for the important holiday buying season. They were announced the same week that analysts from IDC and Gartner noted that HP was closing in on global PC market leader Lenovo. The new systems were designed to get more performance and be even easier to take on the move than their predecessors, according to Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager of consumer personal systems at HP.
"Premium customers have high expectations around device performance and quality for consuming media and productivity, whether at home, work or on the go," Frost said in a statement, adding that HP redesigned its PC lineup "to deliver big power in thin and light designs to be even more portable and revolutionize our all-in-one to bring amazing sound into the home."
The latest Spectre x360 is powered by Intel's latest 14-nanometer Core i5 or i7 processors, which were launched in August. The new chips—which feature performance and power efficiency gains over their Skylake predecessors—helped HP's newest system gain 25 percent better battery life, which means up to 15 hours. In addition, HP was able to fit a larger, 57.8-watt battery into a design that is 13 percent thinner and 11 percent lighter than the first-generation Spectre x360.
In addition, the system features a 13.3-inch display that has almost no borders, offers four speakers rather than two and comes with Thunderbolt 3 support and a USB-Type A 3.0 port. There is a dual-fan design for better thermals and the option of up to 1TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) storage capability. With HP's Fast Charge feature, users can recharge the battery to 90 percent in 90 minutes.
With the latest 13.3-inch Envy laptop, users can get 14 hours of battery life—four more than the previous model. It's actually slightly larger than the previous model—coming in at 14mm and 3.15 pounds—but it also is more powerful, with a larger battery and the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 chips. There are two USB 3.0 ports and a USB Type-C port, the same SSD storage capabilities as the new Spectre x360, up to 16GB of RAM and the Fast Charge feature.
With the Envy All-in-One (AIO) 27, HP engineers moved the systems compute capabilities into the base, which enabled them to reduce the 27-inch display's thickness by 44 percent, to 15mm, HP officials said. It comes with theater-like sound qualities, a 3.6 million-pixel screen and a low-blue light mode for more eye comfort and a better night's sleep. The AIO also includes an optional GTX 950M discrete graphics card from Nvidia with 4GB GDDR5 video, hybrid storage options up to a 256GB SSD and 2TB hard-disk drive (HDD) and HDMI-out and in ports.
The Envy 27 Display include a 4K IPS display with a micro-edge bezel design that customers can use to create dual-display setups, support for Advanced Micro Devices' FreeSync for better game playing and such connectivity capabilities as Display Port, HDMI and USB-C.
The Spectre x360, Envy laptop and AIO are slated to be available this month, with prices starting at $1,049.99, $849.99 and $1,299.99, respectively. The Envy 27 Display is scheduled for availability Dec. 4 starting at $499.99.
HP, which in 2013 was dislodged as the world's top PC vendor by Lenovo, is pushing its way back to the top of contracting market, according to Gartner and IDC analysts. According to Gartner, Lenovo had 20.9 percent of the market, while HP had 20.4 percent. IDC analysts said it was even tighter, with Lenovo having 21.3 percent of the market and HP 21.2. Lenovo was hindered by slow growth in China, which is where the company has its largest share, and saw the number of its PC shipments decline year over year, while both HP and Dell grew shipments.