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The HP Pavilion Wave is a Desktop Computer That Thinks It’s a Speaker

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See that speaker in the picture? That’s one of HP’s newest desktop computers. We’re seeing a movement back toward tower desktop PCs this year, but up until now, that’s mostly been for the sake of the release of this year’s home VR headsets, which require that kind of processing power. With the Pavilion Wave, HP is approaching the tower PC in another way by taking aim at the biggest problem with towers — that they’re ugly and take up too much space.

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HP once again worked with audio company Bang & Olufsen to create the Wave. On the outside, it has a triangular shape almost completely covered by a lovely acoustic fabric speaker grille. The vent on top both helps project sound and works as thermal exhaust, but the biggest benefit is a desktop that you actually wouldn’t mind showing off on your desk (as opposed to hiding it somewhere underneath). It’s more interior design-friendly, we’ll put it that way. It also helps that it’s much smaller than the usual desktop PC, measuring 6.81″ x 6.62″ x 10.29″.

HP isn’t detailing the sound system itself, other than that it was tuned by Bang & Olufsen, but we know all about what you can find inside the Wave. It’ll have your choice of 6th generation Intel Core i processors (not the 7th generation processor being rolled out this year), up to 16 GB of RAM, up to a 2 TB HDD or 1 TB SSD, and an optional 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD for booting. It doesn’t come standard with a discrete graphics card, but an AMD Radeon R9 M470 is optional. It’s worth noting that’s a mobile GPU that would usually be seen in laptops and that the Intel CPU is a T-series processor, which favors efficiency over power — unlike most other desktops we’ve seen this year, the Pavilion Wave isn’t going to be a VR powerhouse.

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The ports, which run down one of the edges, include three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C port, HDMI out, a DisplayPort, an ethernet port, and an SD card reader. With both HDMI out and a DisplayPort, the Wave can output to dual 4k monitors, but given that the computer itself doesn’t seem powerful enough to max out the potential of 4k, it’s unlikely you ever would.

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The HP Pavilion Wave isn’t the most powerful desktop out there, but it’s definitely the best-looking, and it’s priced reasonably according to its specs and design. It’ll start at $550 when it ships out on September 23.