New and upcoming products
On Tuesday, HP hosted an event in their Liffey Valley offices, showcasing some of their new and upcoming products for their Irish consumers. Everything from their OMEN series to their new industrial Z books. There are some old familiars returning, new and revamped. There are also some new interesting concepts, such as their HP VR Backpack PC. We managed to get an invite to the event, and got to play with some brand new tech.
Perhaps one of HP’s most popular products, their laptops and 2 in 1’s, have returned with all new models. Features such as improved security, more up-to-date components, and a few added bonuses here and there will keep HP as one of the laptop tech giants.
Introducing the HP Dragonfly: HP’s latest little jewel. This model is new, packing some punch for such a light and compact device. It comes in a variety of specs, ranging from i3’s to i7’s, and 128GB to 512GB SSDs. The device will soon feature a brand new, unreleased SSD from Intel – the fastest SSD in the world. And that thing is SMALL. And blue. A very nice shade of blue.
A recurring theme in HP’s laptops this year is their addressing of the webcam issue. For years, people have just covered their webcams with tape and completely ruined the aesthetic of their sleek devices. Well, in 2019, HP has changed this. The new laptops nearly all feature a hardware lock switch on the camera, and in the case of the Dragonfly, a super-hidden slider. It’s so hidden, you can’t even tell it’s there unless you know where it is.
HP’s 2 in 1 laptops are more popular than ever, with the Spectre being their flagship model. The new Spectres are officially confirmed to be backing 10th gen Intel Cores, with new Intel Iris graphics processors, and either 8 or 16GB of RAM (depending on the model). As with most HP laptops now, they come with built-in Bang and Olufsen speakers. They also support “50% battery in 30 minutes” fast charge, an essential for an on-the-go laptop.
HP’s slim, sleek and sexy computers are back again. This year, they’re significantly upgraded, especially for being the slightly cheaper option. They come in 2 in 1, or just laptop, depending on the model. They come with 8th gen Intel processors, and this year, they also come with the option of AMD Ryzen processors too. The ENVY models have a dedicated graphics processing unit, the Intel ones with Nvidia graphics and the Ryzen model with Radeon.
In previous models, AMD was a bit weird when it came to security and fingerprint scanners. This is no longer an issue this year, as the AMD Envy models now support fingerprint scanners too. Another key feature of this years Envy lineup is the improved privacy viewing angles, and yes, it is toggleable. You can flick a switch and suddenly, unless you’re dead straight in front of the laptop, you cannot read anything from either side of the screen. The decreased viewing angle is a popular feature when it comes to privacy, and this year it’s over 3x more effective.
Packed with 8th gen i3’s to i7’s, the Pavillion remains as consistent as expected. The cheaper design still comes with Bang and Olufsen speakers, of course. And this year it comes with a stylish new functional case – which allows several different positions for comfort and for whatever you wish to use it for at that time. The stylus, too, is very functional and is very responsive when used with the device.
HP’s entrance to gaming came with the purchasing of VoodooPC in 2006. They rebranded it as OMEN and made it one of the leading manufacturers of gaming products in the world. And with good reason, these products are worth the hype.
The OMEN laptops have returned, and this year, the Omen X 2S will feature a revolutionary 2nd display – right above the keyboard and underneath the standard 240hz screen. This 6-inch 1080p 60hz display comes with so many practical features that gamers could previously only dream of. These include but are not limited to displaying:
- Stream chat while gaming and streaming
- Zoomed-in portions of the primary display, such as a minimap or some important aspect of the HUD
- performance statistics, such as component temperatures and usage
- a standard 2nd monitor output – useful for working and extra window space
- Watching streams while in a fullscreen application WITHOUT affecting the primary displays refresh rate
The 2nd display comes with loads of built-in keyboard binds for moving and resizing windows, as well as very advanced yet easy to navigate software to manage it.
The laptops all come with various specs – ranging from RTX 2080s and i9s to lower end more affordable models. And of course, 32 GB of memory for those extra-hungry RAM users.
Through the OMEN Command Centre, all of OMEN’s peripherals are customizable in colour, sensitivity, and even speed. They have released a new range of keyboards (OMEN Sequencer), new mice (the OMEN Reactor and Photon), and a super-high-tech mousepad (the OMEN Outpost). The mousepad is of particular interest – you can wirelessly charge your wireless mouse, OR YOUR PHONE, through Qi charging. This means you never have to worry about keeping your wireless mouse charged, just drop it onto the top of the pad when you’re finished and it’ll charge, lasting up to 50 hours.
The Z Book is not for the casual laptop user. This is a full-blown workstation – in the shape of a laptop. It’s from their Z lineup, but an all-new laptop format for the popular device. This device packs a XEON processor, and Nvidia Quadro RTX Graphics. It comes with a wide variety of options, including lower-end ones that are still worthy of being labelled as a professional workstation. Z Books are designed for extremely heavy graphics processing, animation, 3D modelling and the likes.
HP’s Omen X Emperium 65
This is not just a TV. It’s not just a monitor. This is a G-Sync, 4k, 144hz, 65-inch, HDR, Display hybrid – designed and built for gaming. It can be wall-mounted, but this display is heavy. It comes packed with handy features that annihilate some standard “Gaming on a TV” problems, such as input delay, hard-to-reach USB slots and low visibility when trying to reach behind. The 1ms response time, the side USB slots, and the motion detector light at the back makes it incredibly functional to operate. There is also a styled light on the back, which you can set to just cycle RGB or to mimic the colour scheme of what the display is currently showing.
The HP VR Backpack is a real gem. From their Z lineup, this VR gaming experience is packed with the latest and greatest of VR technology. It has a completely silky smooth experience when wearing, and the controls just feel more accurate and responsive than previous VR configurations that I have used. The movements did exactly what I wanted them to do. Oh yeah, and it’s wireless. That’s right, the VR is wireless, comes with special batteries (spares included), and a dock to hold the actual desktop PC and charge it.
HP printers are just something everyone has, or everyone knows someone who has one. But my oh my, has HP been improving the technology over the last number of years. From wirelessly printing onto a wireless printer, to having what I can only describe as a utopian means of getting printing paper and printer ink, they’ve thought of it all. Check out HP Instant Ink for… quite literally… free paper and ink whenever you need it. Or they have very reasonable deals for the heavier paper and ink users. The HP Sprocket and the HP Tango are but 2 of these incredible pieces of printing technology.
Notes and additional comments
A key element that HP has kept quiet is that a significant percentage of its devices are made from recycled plastics and plastics that were previously littered in the sea or landfills. Nearly 50% of the weight of the HP Dragonfly is from recycled plastics. They also recycle their ink cartridges and reuse them for various purposes.
HP was kind enough to supply us with the HP OMEN Mindframe for review. You can expect a review to come in the next 2 or so weeks, as well as an unboxing video and first impressions.