Today HP rolled out their new Windows 8 powered all-in-ones, including the new ENVY TouchSmarts, which take advantage of snazzy new Microsoft touch algorithms. One of the major changes to HP’s branding strategy involved their popular TouchSmart line, which has been replaced by a new series of desktops and notebooks. Where before, the TouchSmart was its own line, now it refers to any of HP’s desktops or notebooks that have multitouch capability – so we’ll see ENVY TouchSmarts, etc.
The new ENVY 23 TouchSmart (as well as the smaller ENVY 20 TouchSmart) feature the same designs we’ve seen HP come up with for the recent redesign of the TouchSmart lineup. A slick metallic base connects to a solid frame that tilts the whole unit forward and backward. It’s nice, so why change what isn’t broken?
One big difference between these new touchscreen desktops and the old models is the kind of touch technology involved. The old TouchSmart desktops used an optical touch layer which, in addition to being klunky and a little slow, limited recognition to only two fingers at a time – and even that didn’t work too well.
The new screens, on the other hand, take advantage of a capacitive touchscreen. So these guys have edge-to-edge glass, and can recognize up to ten fingers simultaneously.
Of course, there’s almost no software of note that takes advantage of that functionality just yet, but as they say, “If you build it, they will come….”
Both models feature a dazzling IPS, 1920×1080 resolution widescreen display. They can be configured with optional ExpressCache mSATA flash memory, solid state drives, quad-core Intel Core i7 CPUs, and more. Obviously, they’ll both come with Windows 8 pre-installed, along with some of HP’s custom touch apps, now replaced by custom live tiles on the new Start Screen.
What’s not to love about the Pavilion 20 All-in-one? It’s cheap, it’s light, and it gets the job done. Basic dual-core functionality, but all of the Windows 8 goodness, along with a 20-inch, 1366×768 display.
The real star of HP’s fall lineup, however, is the STUNNING new Spectre ONE all-in-one. Packed full of incredible technology, the world’s thinnest all-in-one desktop will ship with an edge-to-edge glass display that measures just over 11mm thick. This unit offers users every bell and whistle out there – with the singular exception of an optical drive. USB 3.0, HDMI, SD cards, gorgeous keyboard, multitouch trackpad, multitouch mouse (unlike Apple, you get both with this unit), and even the new wireless darling, NFC technology.
HP is including two NFC tags with the computer so that customers can immediately get started writing their own tags. Want to sign in to your computer just by setting your phone down? Now you can!
In addition to the dazzling 1080p display, you’ll also find options for high-end CPUs, lots of RAM, discrete GPUs and gigabytes upon gigabytes of flash storage. So far, this is the computer to beat for 2012.
Of course, HP can’t bring out new Windows 8-powered machines without the go-ahead from Microsoft – which means you won’t see any of these units in stores until late October at the earliest. The eye-opening Spectre ONE will hit the US in November, starting at $1,299. The new ENVY 20 and ENVY 23 TouchSmart All-in-ones will ship in October for $799 and $999, respectively. Finally, the mainstream everyman’s HP Pavilion 20 will ship near the end of October for just $449.