HP revamps PCs: Is it really year of the desktop?

HP adds color to its Pavilion desktops and gives a little design love to a form factor that has seen its best days in terms of popularity.

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Hewlett-Packard on Monday rolled out a series of systems in what one exec calls "the year of the desktop."

Desktop?!?

Mike Nash, vice president of portfolio strategy and customer experience at HP, acknowledged that the desktop has been given short-shrift amid other priorities such as laptops, convertibles and tablets, but now it's time for an overhaul.

And it's hard to argue against the idea that the desktop should get some design love.

HP's update to its desktop lineup is similar to the refresh last month that revolved around laptops.

Not surprisingly, HP's first wave revolved around the Pavilion all-in-ones, a popular form factor. The latest Pavilions come with a glass HD display from edge to edge, access to ports along the bottom edge of the screen and less frequently accessed cables in the back, a selection of Intel or AMD processors and screens varying from 21 inches to 27 inches.

The all-in-ones also can carry up to 16GB of memory and 3TB hard drives.

But the real desktop focus comes with what HP calls a "vertical design language" and color options ranging from white to silver to blue and red with Pavilion desktops. Like the all-in-ones, there's a selection of Intel or AMD chips as well as integrated optical drives and up to 3TB of storage.

HP also rolled out the Envy desktop, which is brushed aluminum, has a selection of AMD and Intel chips with a 3TB drive or 512GB solid state drive. The desktop will also support high-end video and photo editing.

And finally, HP highlighted the Envy Phoenix desktop, which is a dark brushed aluminum system that allows gamers to over clock processors from Intel. The system also includes a thermal system with closed loop liquid cooling and a 4TB drive or 128GB or 512GB solid state drive. Graphics chips are available from both Nvidia and AMD.

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HP Envy Phoenix

The availability and pricing details break down like this:

  • The 21.5- and 23-inch HP Pavilion all-in-one PCs will be available on June 28 on HP's site starting at $649.99 and $699.99, respectively.
  • The HP Pavilion, ENVY and ENVY Phoenix towers will be available on June 10 on HP's site. The HP ENVY tower starts at $699.99 with the HP ENVY tower starting at $899.99. The Pavilion desktop will start at $499.99 at retailers.

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