Notwithstanding the fact that millions of schoolchildren are staring out their windows waiting for the start of summer vacation, computer manufacturers are already gearing up for the "back to school" sales that help boost their bottom lines.
On Wednesday, HP rolled out a series of new models designed to appeal to both students (features and colors) and their parents (price). The new models include two convertible computers -- the HP Pavilion x360 (pictured in red) and the HP Envy x360 (shown at right) and HP Pavilion notebooks -- that will also appeal to cost-conscious business users on the go.
The computers are the first HP machines to feature Bang & Olufson and B&O Play audio components, following a partnership between HP and B&O announced last month,.
Colors and Customization
It used to be -- to paraphrase Henry Ford -- that computers were available in any color you'd like, as long as it was beige. But Steve Jobs livened things up with the iMac, and over time computer manufacturers have slowly added more color options.
HP has fully embraced this trend. The Pavilion x360, for instance, can be purchased in a wide variety of colors depending on the size of the device: the 11-inch model comes in natural silver, sunset red, violet purple and minty green, while the 13-inch HP Pavilion x360 comes in natural silver and sunset red.
The Pavilion notebooks offer even more color options: natural silver, blizzard white, sunset red, cobalt blue, violet purple, peachy pink and twinkle black.
We reached out to HP Worldwide PR Manager Kaitlyn Dierkes, who told us that the increased color options were in response to consumer demand. "Because customers want their personal devices to look great and they loved what we’ve done with color, we added more color options for 2015," Dierkes said.
While the color options are undoubtedly attractive to fashion-conscious teens, the technical capabilities of the machines will also be appealing to business users.
The two x360 models (the Pavilion and the Envy) start off as traditional notebooks, but make use of an innovative hinge design that allows them to be used in stand mode (keyboard down, screen up) for watching movies; in tent mode (upside-down V) for playing games; and as tablets for taking notes, reading, etc.
All of the models are offered with HD or full HD screen options, and a wide range of configurations for processors, memory, and storage. Battery life, depending on the model, ranges from six to nine hours of operation.
Dierkes told us that the new devices would range in weight from a low of 3.02 pounds (the 11-inch HP Pavilion x360) to a high of 6.84 pounds (the 17-inch HP Pavilion).
The devices will be available from HP beginning on June 18, and at national retailers three days later. The new models will range in price from $479.99 for a 17-inch HP Pavilion to $899 for an HP Envy x360 with a full HD screen, 8 GB Ram, and 1 TB hard drive.