HP shows off new Windows 8 'All-in-one' PCs

HP shows off new Windows 8 'All-in-one' PCs

Summary: At the core of Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system is touch, and HP is the latest OEM to unveil a range of 'All-in-one' systems that take advantage of this new and exciting feature.


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.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Hardware, Microsoft, PCs, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • HP Should Stick To Windows 7

    With all the money HP has been losing lately, it can ill-afford to waste more on bringing out Windows 8 systems that the punters won't want to buy. It should stick to trying to wring out a little more profit from the Windows 7 models it has already developed. These have a proven market, with none of the huge amount of negativity that Windows 8 has managed to attract.
    • Ehm

      So in what way are any of these machines different from ones that run Win 7? The only thing that some of them have in addition is a touch-screen, which works with Win 7 too. Some people may even opt to use downgrade rights and run Windows 7. (which would be silly IMHO, but it happens.)
      Han CNX
    • ho says we dont want it?

      I'm all for touch now that I'm so used to it on my ipad and Transformer. Let's not assume nobody wants win 8 and touch. Lets wait and see what develops overall, and lets face it; it might well suit a more advanced tablet in which case these particular units might not be a great interest to me. Certainly keen to see what an MS Tablet can do for me.
  • Touch on something other than a tablet

    Not convinced that this is comfortable to use for any length of time. You basically have to lift up your whole arm and stab at the screen. I can see some niche uses, like having a screen (or very big 'tablet') on the kitchen wall so you can browse through recipes and so on, but these things look really desktop. We'll see.
    Han CNX
    • "Lift up your whole arm"

      That is probably a good thing for must people that use a computer all day! However, the further away you can have your screen, the better it is on your eyes. Having a touch screen at my desk would require the screen to be a few inches closer. Not a big deal, but it is another adjustment, but one that I would make.
    • there uses for a touch screen pc's

      we have them on a shop floor where there is no space for a keyboard. The screen is mounted and operators poke the screen for user input. As long as the buttons on the apps are huge, the apps are usable, but maintaining the machines is a pain in the rear. Try installing / uninstalling / closing app - it is so hard to poke the exact little spot on the screen.
    • You're jumping to conclusions.....

      Unlike an ipad you can still have your mouse an keyboard. Nobody is saying you HAVE to touch the screen. It's an option. A bit like using citrix on your ipad; you can choose keyboard, touch or pointer. I prefer to think of it as the best of both worlds; to suit the task in hand.

      You'll find some things much easier than scrolling around with a mouse. You might even find excel cells better to touch that select with a mouse. I'm sure most of us will be surprised how useful this is. Reminds me of colour tellys; everyone said you didn't need one; then bought one.
  • Why would I want touch?

    To me lifting my arm up to a screen is not as practical on a virtical screen as a horizontal screen such as a tablet. I am still skeptical as to why Microsoft and its partners think so? Apple's Steve Jobs once said something with regaurds to touch screens on Mac's as being difficult and not efficient because many monitors are placed away from a person too much to be useful with touch inputs. Even laptops which are closer to the user are still face with a virtical screen which I would find difficult to use as a touchscreen. It appears that Microsoft is creating a function without a need?
    • Yeah

      Steve Jobs referred to classic problem "Gorilla Arm" what is that touch screen in laptop/desktop causes quickly a pains to arms and it comes tiring one to use such computer.

      Tablets are other thing, they are like notebooks. But still the GUI needs to be designed for touch in mind with totally different way than desktop/laptop way.
    • Ok brainbox...

      Lie it flat and pretend. If it works for you just go with it. Think positive!
  • It looks like someone from HP visited an Apple store

    This must be embarrassing, or the engineers are delusional, or they just don't care. Why don't you guys design your own stuff? Why just copy Apple? Surely you can come up with your own work rather than produce a cheap knock off of An iMac and load Microsoft's OS.

    What value does HP add here? Go do something that makes a difference.
    • Actually, I thought they didn't look that good.

      Now you say they copied Apple. I guess Apple isn't all the stylish then.
      • You can batantly copy and still suck at it...

        ..which apparently is what HP did with that top model there.
        ..I'd be pretty embarrassed to be on HP's design team right now.
    • Nope

      Go and look what Braun has done, and how Apple has copied Braun to its own products.


      Apple even copied Braun products look to some of OS X and iOS applications nearly in 1:1.

      But still, it is so stupid that others go and make same kind devices as well. It just shows either A) others don't have skills to make own looking B) Apple just happened to copy first the best for that time. I would quess B
    • Another brainbox.....

      I'd like to see those touchscreen Apples you're talking about. Primarily because the salesman told me I didn't need one and they had no plans in making one. That was the same time he explained why I didn't need a mouse on my ipad. That was at the same time as I pointed out I used an Asus Transformer for Enterprise connectivity for precisely that limitation.

      The macs do look good but you need a reason to buy one. Given that all my stuff is windows based (and I cant be bothered running VM) I just dont have the urge to buy a mac. There is a user curve as I do potter witha mac in work and it certainly isn't as intuitive as some of you make out by the way.
  • Completely devoid of imagination

    And people wonder why there was a need for Microsoft to roll their own hardware.

    If I wanted to pay $1300 for a computer that looked like an iMac, I'd buy a freakin' iMac. As for the others, I don't really see anything that can't be had from the likes of Acer or Asus right now, except for Windows 8 (which will be on those other models when Win 8 comes out as well).

    We really need someone to step up here with a bit of imagination. This is just depressing.
  • I think the key is...

    "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."

    And I think that's the most important part of the article. I don't know if HP's designs will get traction or not but that isn't as important as the fact they are trying something new. We all know the PC market has been stale for a long time and OEM's haven't spent much on new products. With Windows 8 the market is being re-energized and OEM's have found their drawing board and using it again.
    • toying with new designs?

      If I'm not mistaken, HP Touchsmart's have been around for years...
  • Choice is good

    Not employing touch on the high-end system is just a stupid marketing decision. While we technoids debate how debilitating lifting an arm will be (really??), Josephine and Joe User will naturally reach for the screen in many instances - and so will you! Even if you don't, it is expected. Mistake. It will be interesting to see how the relative sales figures develop between their own offerings, and why. I'll put a dollar on the next one or two versions having it. With Win8 and gestures making their way into (mostly) homes, there's no going back. And that's a good thing.

    Regarding HP's design acumen, it's clear their ability to set a course is predicated on the acceptance of other company's designs. Even though they'll pop out a nicely detailed design once in a while, Safe is the word for their overall approach. They need to find a design chief with informed vision and cajones.

    I worked with them on a big design project a few years ago and they were mostly great to collaborate with. But, I found them, in general, to be seriously lacking in leadership, imagination and good-old confidence. It's a top-down problem with an engineering mindset driving design, not working in lockstep with them. They are a walking, ironic self-fulfilling prophecy: the environment valued job security over innovation, and because there is little innovation they are now forced to make big cuts. Not so surprising.

    Serious lack of vision and understanding the critical importance of the customer experience.

    If these pathetic companies couldn't copy Apple, they would have no purpose in life.

    All they do by this behavior is plant the idea in the heads of consumers that the orginal (Apple product) must be better. Otherwise, why would all these companies waste so much time, effort and expense copying Apple products?

    HP and Dell will soon come to grips with the fact that the PC is dying.

    The really sad part about all of this is...I don't believe that Intel and Microsoft EVER will.