As spring break season winds down, computer manufacturers are already getting products ready for the next school year. One of the first companies out of the gate is HP, which announced today a slew of new convertible laptops hat target students with varying computing needs and budgets.
Bang & Olufsen collaboration
Not only is HP's 2015 lineup filled with vibrant colors and powerful hardware configurations, it’s the first one to feature Bang & Olufsen sound and B&O Play audio, thanks HP’s recently announced audio partnership with the esteemed Danish audio company. According to HP Vice President of Product Management Michael Nash, every new product will now be tuned by B&O sound engineers in Denmark to ensure the most balanced sound possible. Of course, users can still blast the bass and treble or make other tweaks as preferred using the included software.
We got to briefly listen to the B&O Play audio in action, as the tuning software alternated between on and off modes to demonstrate the feature’s impact. The music sounded relatively muffled and small without the B&O software but clear and amplified with the B&O Play audio — a subtle yet noticeable audio improvement with just a click of a button. For this round, B&O is just tuning the products for optimum sound. For future products, B&O will have more of a hand in the design.
HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptops
The Pavilion x360 makes it possible for budget‐conscious students to enjoy the convenience of a convertible PC without sacrificing performance or portability. It has the same geared-hinged design as the award‐winning HP Spectre x360, which allows the device to be flipped into four modes: clamshell, tent, tablet and entertainment.
For the young student who needs to access the Internet and basic software for homework and entertainment, the $409.99 configuration with an Intel Pentium N3700 processor, 11‐inch touchscreen, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive and full‐sized keyboard should be more than sufficient. While the x360’s not the thinnest or lightest convertible device on the market, its sturdy build quality means it will likely survive a good amount of abuse from users. It doesn't hurt that the 11‐inch model comes in such seasonal colors as minty green (our favorite).
For students who need more computing power to run content creation software like PowerPoint or Photoshop but still want the flexibility of the convertible form factor, the 13‐inch Pavilion x360 may be just what they need. It comes with a full HD touchscreen, the option to upgrade to the latest Intel Core i5 processor, up to 1TB of hard drive space and 16GB RAM. With almost 11 hours of battery life on a single charge and at $529.99 for the Core i3 configuration, this is the ideal device to lug around campus.
HP Envy x360 convertible laptops
Budding architects and film majors who use demanding programs like AutoCAD and Adobe Premiere can still enjoy the flexibility of the x360's design, but they’ll need to invest in the more powerful Envy x360 to handle their school work. The 15.6‐inch Envy x360 has plenty of room for a full‐sized backlit keyboard with a separate numeric pad, discrete graphics, an Intel Core i7 processor and premium Bang & Olufsen audio, as well as hybrid drives. For a near top‐of‐the‐line model with an i7 chip, 8GB RAM and 1TB of hard drive, students should budget $899.99 for the Envy x360.
HP Pavilion laptops
Not every student can afford a fancy convertible PC for school. Most students just need a basic laptop with as much storage and power as their budget allows. The latest Pavilion laptops do just that by offering a range of screen sizes (14 to 17inches, touch or non‐touchscreen), processor options (AMD or Intel) and storage capacities (up to 2TB HDD). Every device comes with an optical drive and has a removable battery good for about six to eight hours of use.
Not only is the new Pavilion laptop budget‐friendly, but it’s also thin and sleek thanks to a unibody design that gives it a solid feel without adding to its heft. Available in a rainbow of colors from silver to pink, the Pavilion laptops range from $479.99 to $629.99, depending on the specifications.
All the newly announced HP Pavilion laptops and Pavilion x360 and Envy x360 convertible PCs will be available for purchase from www.hpshopping.com by May 13, with select models rolling into retail stores by June 21.