Yesterday at the IFA trade show in Berlin, Samsung debuted a plethora of gadgets, including a Windows 8 tablet, Windows 8 hybrid PCs, and a Windows 8 Phone smartphone. Not to be outdone, HP today announced its own lineup of Windows 8 hybrid PCs and ultrabooks.
There had been rumors for most of the year that HP was working Windows 8 devices, including a tablet. Still, between the company's massive layoffs this spring and its $8 billion loss this past quarter, nothing was certain when it came to HP.
The two ultrabooks HP has announced are nothing surprising. The HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook and HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 are similar to other ultrabooks, looking very slim and sporting a 15.6-inch and 14-inch display respectively. What makes them different is that their displays are touch sensitive, allowing users to operate the Windows 8 interface in the way it was obviously designed to.
The more interesting product announcement from HP is the HP ENVY x2, a hybrid tablet/PC that resembles Samsung's ATIV Smart PC. The device is a tablet that can be docked into a keyboard, making it into a laptop. HP's preview of the device can be seen in the video below.
“Consumers want the flexibility to move between creating rich documents and losing themselves in a great movie,” said James Mouton, general manager of the Personal Computer Global Business Unit at 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.”
It seems every Windows 8 OEM is getting in on this hybrid PC form-factor that Microsoft began touting with its Surface device. Blutooth keyboards for the iPad do sell, so there is some logic behind Microsoft's decision to push the hybrid design. Still, it will be interesting to see whether consumers actually want such devices, or whether tablet accessories make such devices obsolete.