HP Puts Leap Gesture Control Feature in Envy 17 Notebook

During a launch of several new consumer systems, HP also rolled out the Slate 7 Extreme, a tablet based on Nvidia’s Tegra Note design.

Hewlett-Packard is hitting the market with a spate of consumer notebooks and tablets that come with everything from gesture control technology from Leap Motion to Intel's new Haswell Core and Atom Z3000 Bay Trail chips and two-in-one designs to Nvidia's Tegra Note tablet platform.

The giant tech vendor's offerings, announced Sept. 19, also support a range of operating systems—including Microsoft's Windows 8 and Google's Android and Chrome—and include software designed to make it easier for users to manage their content, from photos and music to documents.

The device rollout—in time for the crucial upcoming holiday shopping season—comes against the backdrop of a worldwide PC market that continues to see sales decline as the popularity of tablets and smartphones grows. Like such other vendors as Dell, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and Microsoft, HP—the world's second-largest PC vendor—has been hit hard by the downturn, and is pushing back not only by offering its own line of tablets and, eventually, smartphones, but also by creating new PCs that come in form factors and with features that officials hope will make them more attractive to consumers.

The latest product offerings illustrate "how HP is innovating and defining the next-generation computing experience, delivering the productivity customers need and the entertainment they want," Ron Coughlin, senior vice president of HP's Consumer PC and Solutions Group, said in a statement.

The Envy 17 Leap Motion Special Edition (SE) is the first notebook integrated with Leap Motion's gesture control technology in the palm rest, according to HP officials. The 17.3-inch system is designed to respond to natural hand and finger movements in the air, even though it also has a traditional keyboard and touchpad. Users make their gestures above the palm rest to interact with a variety of apps. Leap Motion's Airspace Store offers apps designed to work with its technology.

The notebook is powered by Intel chips and graphics from Nvidia, and will be available for preorder in the United States Oct. 16 starting at $1,049.99.

HP also is offering some two-in-one systems that can be used as a tablet or notebook. The Spectre 13 x2 is a fanless detachable Ultrabook running on Intel's fourth-generation Core processors, and includes the Beats Audio technology and a high-definition display. During the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) last week, Intel executives touted such new form factors as two-in-ones as key systems that offer the features of both notebooks and tablets that users are looking for.

The 11.6-inch Pavilion 11 x2 also can be easily switched from a laptop into a tablet. It comes in a variety of colors, including Pearl White, Flyer Red and Sparkling Black. During an event in New York City Sept. 18, HP also showed off the Pavilion 13 x2, which is powered by an A6 chip from AMD or new Core chips from Intel, and the Chromebook 14, which was announced last week during IDF. It is powered by Intel's Haswell-based Core chips.

The Pavilion 11 x2 and Pavilion 13 x2 are scheduled for release Nov. 17—both starting at $599.99—while the Spectre 13 x2 will be available Oct. 16 starting at $1,099.99.

HP officials also rolled out five tablets, including the Slate 7 Extreme, which is based on the Tegra Note reference design unveiled Sept. 18 by Nvidia. The 7-inch device is powered by Nvidia's Tegra 4 system-on-a-chip (SoC) and includes a range of other Nvidia features, including PureAudio for sound. Nvidia officials said the Tegra Note design includes both hardware and software from the company, and is being embraced by almost a dozen system makers, including HP and Toshiba.

Other tablets include the Slate 8 Pro, also powered by the Tegra 4 SoC, and the Android-running Slate 7 HD and Slate 10 HD, the latter of which offers optional 4G connectivity. The Omni 10 tablet, which runs Windows 8, is powered by the Atom Z3000, which Intel executives launched at IDF.

The tablets are expected to be available in the United States in November.