New HP Windows 8 Tablets Bridge Notebook Divide

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HP Windows 8 tablets aim to bring multitouch capabilities to notebooks

HP will release three Windows 8 notebooks with multi-touch capabilities before the end of the year, its first products running the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system.

The Silicon Valley giant said the PC-tablet hybrid HP Envy X2, the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook and the HP Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4 will satisfy consumer demand for productivity and touchscreen capabilities.

HP had promised to release a business-oriented tablet this year and added that it expects to announce more notebooks, desktops and tablets before 2012 has concluded.

Notebook hybrid

The HP Envy X2 is billed as the solution to the “Do I bring my notebook or tablet?” conundrum and claims to offer the best of both worlds. It has a detachable screen that is connected to a keyboard with a magnetic hinge.

It boasts an 11.6-inch HD display, an HD webcam, Beats Audio, NFC file sharing technology and an optional stylus. The notebook uses solid state memory to improve reliability and startup times. No release date has been given other than that it will hit shelves before Christmas.

Sony unveiled a similar ultrabook-tablet hybrid at IFA earlier this week, which also runs Windows 8.

The Spectre XT Touchscreen Ultrabook takes a more traditional form, complete with a touch interface. It has a large 15.6-inch HD screen and is HP’s first notebook to use Intel ThunderBolt technology for fast data transfer to external devices. Powered by an Intel Core processor, it can even charge devices through its USB ports if it’s switched off.

HP Windows 8 Tablets

It is the only one of the new HP machines to have a release date or price tag and will cost $1,399.99 (£884) when it debuts in the US this December.

Finally, the HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 has a 14-inch multitouch HD display, Intel processor and can muster up eight hours of battery life. There’s an optional AMD graphics card, which affords up to 2GB of graphics memory, while HP Coolsense technology means it operates at cooler temperatures.

“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.”

HP will hope that the devices fare better than its previous foray into the tablet market, the HP TouchPad, which was abandoned just over a year ago, along with the WebOS platform.

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