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HP comes out swinging with Windows 8; unveils ENVY x2 hybrid, Spectre XT and TouchSmart Ultrabook 4

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:34PM EST

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Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) posted a $8.9 billion loss last quarter thanks to a massive charge the company took related to its 2008 acquisition of Electronic Data Systems, but it actually managed to beat Wall Street’s consensus excluding that charge. The struggling PC vendor still has plenty of work to do, however, and it has plans for an arsenal of Windows 8 devices that will be second to none. Starting things off, HP on Thursday unveiled three new Windows 8 machines that will bring unique features, sleek designs and a wide range of price points to the Windows 8 landscape later this year.

Starting off with the HP ENVY x2 pictured above, HP took a great approach to designing this hybrid notebook. The case is made of aluminum and it feels extremely solid when handled, unlike some other convertible notebooks we’ve used in the past. The unit consists of an 11.6-inch Windows 8 Pro tablet connected to a base with a full-sized keyboard, and each component has its own battery. When the two are connected, the battery in the keyboard discharges first so the tablet has as much juice as possible when disconnected.

Additional features include Beats Audio, integrated NFC, stylus input support, a high-definition front-facing webcam for video chats, an 8-megapixel rear camera and an Intel Clover Trail processor. The ENVY x2 will launch ahead of the holidays in the United States and pricing has not been set.

Next up is the HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4, a mouthful of a mid-range notebook with a sleek design and solid specs. It weighs just 4.77 pounds despite the 14-inch multitouch HD display, and it measures 23 millimeters thick when closed. Key features include new Intel Core processor options, a backlit keyboard, Beats Audio and an optional AMD graphics card with 2GB of dedicated graphics memory.

Pricing hasn’t yet been revealed, but an HP executive told BGR that it will be priced slightly above the non-touch version of the Ultrabook 4, which is already on the market and priced starting at $699.

Last but most certainly not least is the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook. Spectre is HP’s high-end line and this is absolutely a high-end notebook PC. It features a gorgeous metal case that is just 17.9 millimeters thick, a 15.6-inch multitouch HD display, USB 3.0 and HDMI-out ports, a Thunderbolt port and solid battery life, all in a package that weighs just 4.77 pounds.

The Spectre XT will launch in December starting at $1,399. HP’s full press release follows below.

HP Unveils Innovative Multitouch Hybrid PC and Ultrabooks

PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 30, 2012 — HP today announced three consumer notebooks featuring multitouch displays, including a uniquely designed hybrid PC that gives people more choice in how they access information.

The HP ENVY x2 is a powerful and ultrathin hybrid PC with the advantages of two devices in one. As a notebook that doubles as a tablet, the HP ENVY x2 has a detachable screen that becomes a full tablet when separated from the keyboard via a seamless magnetic latch. Customers no longer have to choose between a product that lets them create rich content and another that lets them enjoy entertainment on the go—they can have both in one device.

The HP SpectreXT TouchSmart UltrabookTM and HP ENVY TouchSmart UltrabookTM 4 bring the intuitive power of touch to ultramobile PCs.

“Consumers want the flexibility to move between creating rich documents and losing themselves in a great movie,” said James Mouton, senior vice president and general manager, Personal Computer Global Business Unit, HP. “With the HP ENVY x2, customers can have it all, and the touch experience on these three new notebooks brings out the best of Windows 8.”

These notebook PCs are the first HP products announced with Microsoft® Windows® 8; additional notebooks, desktops and tablets will be announced later in 2012.

HP ENVY x2—the right device for the right time, every time

The HP ENVY x2 solves the “Do I bring my notebook or tablet?” dilemma. Consumers get the power of a notebook and the freedom of a tablet in one stylish, lightweight device.

Featuring a sleek aluminum finish and an innovative hinge with magnets that smoothly guide the tablet into place, the HP ENVY x2 weighs 3.1 pounds.(1) When separated, the tablet portion weighs just 1.5 pounds.

Customers can interact directly with the optimized Windows 8 touch interface on the HP ENVY x2’s vivid 11.6-inch diagonal HD(2) touch display. Ultrawide viewing angles and a bright, 400-nit In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel provide a superb visual experience indoors and outdoors, while an HD webcam on the front and an 8-megapixel camera on the back capture high-quality photos and video.

The HP ENVY x2 also features Beats AudioTM for the best-sounding, richest audio experience available on a PC. An optional stylus offers added creativity, giving customers the freedom to write, draw and navigate with added accuracy.

The HP ENVY x2 also makes sharing and staying connected with friends and family a breeze. A new HP Connected Photo(3) application seamlessly syncs photos across multiple devices and offers basic editing options and instant-sharing capabilities for social networks. HP Connected Music powered by Meridian(4) allows consumers to experience music downloads, streaming services and internet radio all in one convenient place.

The HP ENVY x2 uses solid-state memory designed for improved reliability and faster startup times. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology lets users share content, including photos, contacts and URLs, with a simple tap.

HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook—a premium touch experience

With Windows 8, the HP TouchSmart experience expands beyond the desktop to deliver multitouch technology to notebooks.

Featuring a 15.6-inch diagonal multitouch Radiance Full HD(2) display with IPS technology, the HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook delivers strong performance and the ability to go beyond keyboard and mouse with an optimized touch experience.

Measuring 17.9 millimeters (mm) thin and weighing 4.77 pounds,(1) this premium Ultrabook stands out from the crowd with a sophisticated all-metal design featuring edge-to-edge glass, a soft-touch base for comfort and grip, a glass touchpad and tilted speakers with Beats Audio for optimal sound.

The HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook is HP’s first notebook with Intel® ThunderboltTM technology(5) for blazing-fast transfer of music, movies and data to external devices. HP USB Boost technology charges devices via USB ports while the Ultrabook is on or off.

The Ultrabook delivers great performance with the latest Intel CoreTM processors, an mSATA solid-state drive with Intel Rapid Start,(6) Intel Identity Protection Technology,(7) Intel Anti-Theft Technology,(8) Intel Smart Response(9) and Intel Smart Connect(10) technologies, and a full array of ports, including Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and HDMI.

The notebook also features exclusive HP innovations, including HP CoolSense for a noticeably cooler PC; an HP Imagepad for precise multifinger and gesture navigation; HP ProtectSmart for added hard-drive protection; an HP TrueVision HD Webcam; and applications such as HP Connected Photo(3) and HP Connected Music(4) for easy access to photos, music and more.

The HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook offers a clean software image with fully loaded versions of entertainment and security software and a concierge phone line for technical support dedicated exclusively for HP Spectre customers.

For entertainment, full versions of Adobe Photoshop® Elements 10 and Adobe® Premiere Elements 10 bring powerful photo- and video-editing capabilities, and sMedio 360 and HP Connected Music deliver easy media access between PCs and mobile devices.

To safeguard confidential data and thwart cyberthreats, the notebook is preloaded with one year of Absolute Data Protect, two years of Norton Internet Security,(11) and Intel Anti- Theft for remote data protection.(8)

The Ultrabook also includes 90 days of complimentary HP SmartFriend Setup Service,(12) which offers expedited, one-on-one assistance to help customers get their new PCs up and running fast. HP SmartFriend Complete Service gives customers answers to how-to questions for setting up Wi-Fi, removing a virus, using new software or backing up files.

HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4—the power of touch

Featuring an eye-catching metal design, the HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 offers a 14-inch multitouch HD(2) display, measures 23mm thin and weighs 4.77 pounds.(1)

A backlit keyboard, up to 8 hours of battery life,(13) a booming subwoofer with Beats Audio and an optional AMD graphics card with 2 GB of graphics memory allow customers to power through their day.

The HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 delivers powerful performance with the latest Intel processors, solid-state drive options, and the same Intel technologies available on the HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook. HP innovations such as HP CoolSense, HP Imagepad, HP ProtectSmart, HP TrueVision HD Webcam, HP Connected Photo,(3) HP Connected Music(4) and HP Connected Backup(10) also are included.

Pricing and availability

  • The HP ENVY x2 is expected to be available in the United States for the holidays. Pricing will be available at a later date.
  • The HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook is expected to be available in the United States in December with a starting price of $1,399.99.
  • The HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 is expected to be available in the United States for the holidays. Pricing will be available at a later date.
Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.