I grew up watching Star Trek. The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine – everything with absolutely fantastic futuristic touchscreens, Padds, and other technology that seemed so far beyond the realm of what we could make that I had no doubt I was watching something set hundreds of years in the future.
Now, I sit here on my desk with a touch screen tablet in front of me that’s holding more than a hundred books (my NookColor), a phone that, despite my annoyances with it, can do a myriad of things I never would’ve dreamed as I was growing up, and two giant monitors allowing me to work on about five different projects at the same time. Yet still, I don’t quite believe that we’ve arrived at the future. Where are the starships? The hoverboards? The flying cars? And then there’s an announcement like the one HP gave recently, and I realize we’re much closer than I think.
HP is partnering with Microsoft to release the first All-In-One PCs. For Macs, it’s normal — when I was taking a digital art class in college, I got used to working on an all-in-one Mac system. But to have that kind of clean form in a PC is (mostly) new territory. This fall, the HP Spectre One, HP Pavillion 20 All-In-One, and the HP Envy 23 TouchSmart are coming out – all with multitouch screens or multitouch trackpads and NFC technology, just to name a couple of the neat things they’re outfitted with.
If you’re in the market for a new, high-end PC, then the Spectre One is your new best friend. With it’s 23.6 inch HD display (not a touchscreen, unfortunately) and wireless touch-sensitive trackpad (which isn’t as awesome as a touchscreen in my opinion, but still cool), it makes navigating Windows 8 a breeze. Microsoft has given assurances that Windows 8 will work fine on non-touch screen devices, even though it was designed to work with that particular bit of future tech. With an HDMI connector, two USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 ports, NFC technology for connecting with your NFC-enabled smartphone by tapping the phone to the base of the computer, Intel’s latest processors, and up to two terabytes of storage with a solid-state drive, the Spectre One is always ready to go almost instantly after the moment you turn it on. And for the starting price of $1299, this November release (November 14) definitely delivers what it’s price promises. Or, at least it does on paper — only time will tell how well it performs.
If you’re in a more moderate price range, the October releasing (October 23) of HP Envy 23 Touchsmart starts at $999, and the Envy 20 begins at $799. Besides offering touch screens (20-inch and 23-inch 1080p HDs, respectively), they come equipped with third-generation Intel processors and have the option to upgrade to up to 3 terabytes of storage and solid-state drives.
The final and most frugal option, starting at $499, is the Pavilion 20 which offers up to 2 terabytes of storage, and either an Intel or AMD processor.
All in all, HP is clearly trying to become the leader in providing Windows 8-oriented PCs for just about every price range, while proving to us that we’re actually living in the future, now.
Huh. I guess I was confused by the lack of hoverboards.