The main benefit of a 2-in-1 convertible laptop is the ability to use it as both a tablet and a conventional laptop, but models like the 15-inch Dell XPS 15 prove that the form factor can also be a cutting-edge albeit slightly unwieldy platform to show off the latest CPU innovations.
The latest large, cutting-edge 2-in-1 is the HP Envy x360 15, unveiled this week with a choice of Intel or AMD processors and AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics. It’s one of nearly a dozen new or updated laptops and desktops that HP announced, including a 34-inch curved all-in-one desktop designed for businesses to conventional 13-inch and 17-inch Envy laptops.
Like the Dell XPS 15, the $749 Envy x360 15 will be rather unwieldy in tablet mode, since it weighs nearly 5 pounds. Compare that with 13-inch convertibles or conventional laptops like the LG Gram 13, which weigh as little as 2 pounds. Still, for that added heft, the Envy x360 15 promises to be a very powerful machine for content creators, assuming you order an all-AMD configuration. With a Vega GPU and Ryzen CPU, you can approximate the power of a laptop powered by a Nvidia GTX 10-series graphics card at a fraction of the price and weight.
HP also updated the 13-inch version of its $759 Envy x360, adding the option for Ryzen processors and Vega GPUs. New this year on both models is an improved Sure View built-in privacy filter, which originally debuted on HP Elite business-oriented laptops last year. It drastically reduces the screen’s viewing angle at the push of a button, though it decreases battery life and washes out colors slightly, even when it’s off.
The new 34-inch all-in-one, the $1,279 EliteOne 1000 AiO G2, boasts a curved display and an optional AMD Radeon RX 540 graphics card. It joins a gaggle of Elite business laptops, including a new EliteBook 1050 G1, which includes an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card in an ultra-slim form factor.
For home users, HP also teased updates to its Envy desktop line, including a new 34-inch curved Envy all-in-one with built in support for Amazon’s Alexa. Many PC manufacturers have been racing to include Alexa in their laptops and desktops, but they’ve so far been stymied by Amazon and Microsoft dragging their heels on bringing the voice assistant to Windows 10. HP said only that the Alexa-equipped Envy AIO will be available later this year, so the pace clearly hasn’t quickened.
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