While traditional desktop and notebook PCs are likely to dominate sales for the foreseeable future, the heavy emphasis on touch that Microsoft has baked into the Windows 8 operating system means that the big name OEMs are toying with new designs.
Take HP as an example. The PC-building giant has just unveiled four new 'All-in-one' Windows 8-powered systems in a range of prices that should suit all budgets.
|Gallery: HP's new Windows 8-powered 'All-in-one' PCs|
At the high end is the HP Spectre One. This is a 23.6-inch full-HD system. While it is not a touchscreen system, HP has instead chosen to equip it with a wireless trackpad similar to Apple's Magic Trackpad. Powered by Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs, which are themselves backed up by a 1GB Nvidia GPU and up to 8GB of RAM, this is a system that can handle pretty much anything.
The system also features USB 3.0, 802.11n, and gigabit Ethernet connectivity, and you get a choice of whether you want a hard disk drive or a faster -- and quieter -- solid-state drive. The system will offer a maximum storage capacity of 3TB and an optional solid-state drive for fast boot up.
HP has also decided to throw near-field communication (NFC) -- technology into the Spectre One, allowing you to transfer stuff to and from your NFC-equipped smartphone. HP will also ship a few NFC tags with each system to allow users to log into the system.
The Spectre One will ship in November in time for the holiday rush, and prices start at $1,299.
Then there are the HP Envy 23 and Envy 20 Touchsmart systems. These come with 23-inch and 20-inch HD touchscreens, respectively, and are more petite than the high-end Spectre One. Both systems feature a 'flush glass' display, which means that there's no bezel for the finger to catch on.
Both systems will be powered by Intel Ivy Bridge processors and can be kitted out with up to 3TB of storage.
Note how in order to cut the prices of these systems that HP has substituted plastic for the brushed aluminum of the Spectre One. If you want style, you'll have to pay extra for it.
Prices of these systems are a lot kinder on the eye, with the Envy 23 TouchSmart starting at $999, and $799 for the Envy 20 TouchSmart. Both are expected to be released in October.
Then finally, for the budget-conscious, there's the HP Pavilion 20, which sports a 20-inch HD non-touch display. It seems that HP has not been able to combine touch support into the budget system, and users will have to make do with a keyboard and mouse.
The Pavilion 20 will come in Intel and AMD flavors -- the only one in the range to offer this choice -- and come with up to 2TB of storage.
Prices start at $499, and systems are expected to be available in October.
Image source: HP.