HPI Puts Intel's Optane Chipset to Work in New Retail POS Devices

These new machines will be able to handle natively all sorts of mobile payment apps, such as Apple Wallet, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, a number of separate banking apps, and others.


HP Inc. is already well known for its business and consumer desktop, laptop and convertible (laptops that also serve as tablets) PCs. In fact, the company is No. 2 in the world in sales in those categories behind Lenovo and ahead of Dell. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the company also provides specialized point-of-sale PCs for brick-and-mortar retail and hospitality establishments.

These machines compete with centralized thin client or virtual desktop-type POS systems made by Dell, NCR, ShopKeep, Square, Nobly, Revel, Clover and--you’ve guessed it--HPI itself.

On Aug. 1, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based IT giant added to the many options available by introducing a new group of devices and service offerings designed to improve the typical conventional retail shopping experience. It should be noted that some of these new devices are using Intel's Optane memory as part of its power package; Optane is the latest and fastest Intel chipset. They will become available later this month and in September, HPI said.

New Cloud Service is Part of the Picture

HP’s Engage lineup is the headliner; a list of new retail software packages also will be made available through a cloud service called Device-as-a-Service (DaaS). These machines will be able to handle natively all sorts of mobile payment apps, such as Apple Wallet, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, a number of separate banking apps, and others.

The shift to digital POS management is changing the way consumers interact with businesses, and mobile devices will be involved with more than $1.4 trillion in U.S. sales by 2021, according to Forrester Research (“Mobile Phone and Tablet Commerce Forecast, 2016 To 2021”). Retail and hospitality customers are increasingly looking for IT that allows for a more engaging and interactive experience throughout their stores, which requires sales associates to be equipped with versatile devices built for both stationary and mobile interaction.

Key Features in a List of New Products

The HP Engage Go Convertible (pictured; for a larger view, right-click on the image and select "View Image") features a new docking design for transitions between fixed and mobile operations. It features:

  • New design with mobility that is designed to bring optimized customer experiences to retailers and hospitality associates, because they can check inventory on the fly, complete registrations, and close sales--at the counter or out on the floor.
  • Customer and business data protection that safeguards customer and business information with: 1) a self-healing PC BIOS; 2) a new HP Smart Dock tablet-locking feature to help prevent theft from the dock; and 3) two-factor authentication with the optional integrated fingerprint reader or NFC reader.
  • Fast performance and durability: Powered by Windows 10 and the performance of 7th-gen Intel Core processors, the Engage Go Convertible system is built to stand up to demanding retail or hospitality environments and is designed to pass MIL-STD 810G testing, HPI said.

The HP Engage Go Mobile System is the companion device to HP Engage Go Convertible and is available without the dock for mobile operations only. HP Engage Go Mobile delivers the same design, security and durability features of the convertible system. The company claims up to 13 hours of battery life; it also claims that HP Fast Charge can charge 50 percent of the battery in just 30 minutes. Individual performance may vary.

The HP Engage Flex Pro and HP Engage Flex Pro-C are modular systems with enhanced security that provide retailers and hospitality operators flexibility to manage their business from the store floor to the back office, with performance capabilities to handle most of the spikes in business. The all-new HP Engage Flex Pro-C delivers all the same capabilities as the HP Engage Flex Pro and is 30 percent smaller than the previous generation, the company said.

The HP Engage Flex Pro and HP Engage Flex Pro-C feature:

  • high flexibility to allow retailers to configure the solution for point of sale, video surveillance, processing/controlling, or digital signage with flexible connectivity, graphics, networking, and accessory options;
  • long-life performance to tackle every retail and hospitality challenge with Windows 10 and an 8th-gen Intel Core processor paired with Intel Optane memory. Capacity can be manaaged with storage options like an Intel Optane SSD, SATA or M.2--up to five on HP Engage Flex Pro and up to four on HP Engage Flex Pro-C; and
  • security and manageability with hardware-enforced self-healing protection from HP Sure Start Gen4. The system can be managed across the OS with HP Manageability Integration Kit, can maintain critical OS processes with HP Sure Run and restore an image over a network with HP Sure Recover.

Available as HP Device-as-a-Service

HP said it has extended its Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering to HP Engage products to make it “easier for retailers and hospitality customers to acquire, support and manage” the technology they need to increase their business. Using this cloud service, users can obtain the right devices and lifecycle services for their use cases, HPI said.

Businesses stand to benefit from the analytics and proactive management capabilities of HP DaaS, which provide actionable device health analytics and predictive insights to uncover potential device issues and security risks, so they can be addressed before they impact customer experiences or employee productivity.

Availability for All New Products, Services

HP Engage Go Convertible and Engage Go Mobile are expected to be available in September. Engage Flex Pro and Engage Flex Pro-C are expected to be available in August. HP DaaS for select HP Engage products are expected to be available in the U.S. only in September, the company said.

For more information about HP Device as a Service plans and capabilities, go here.

For more information about HP Retail Solutions, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...