HP is bringing a pair of nice new 2-in-1 laptops to CES this year. They look familiar, too — they’re finally adding a 360 degree hinge to their terrific enterprise-friendly EliteBook laptop, while their more mainstream 13.3″ Spectre x360 is getting a new 15.6″ model.
Building on the EliteBook Folio 1040 from last year, the EliteBook x360 has the same physical design, making it very thin at 14.9 mm and very tough, with a hard aluminum frame that passes MIL-STD 810G testing for durability (even two years ago, EliteBooks were veritable tanks). HP has now added a sturdy 360-degree hinge and a touch screen, turning the EliteBook into a 2-in-1 that can be used as a tablet.
Big hardware changes are in store, too. Besides the expected upgrade to 7th generation Intel Core i vPro processors, the EliteBook x360 is getting a 4K display option and a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 port, which can be used with new Thunderbolt docks. The EliteBook x360 can also be configured with up to 16 GB of RAM and as big as a 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD (there’s also a 360 GB M.2 option). Powering everything is a 57 WHr battery HP says will last a little over 15 hours on one charge. Not only that, they’re saying the battery will charge up to 50 percent in a half hour — if the device gets anywhere near those numbers, it’ll be very impressive indeed.
Like any good business-friendly laptop, it’s stocked with ports and premium connectivity features. The EliteBook x360 has a microSD card slot, two USB 3.1 ports (one with pass-through charging), one HDMI port, a microSIM slot for LTE connectivity, one AC power port (we’re surprised the Type-C Thunderbolt port doesn’t eliminate the need for this), and a combo headphone/microphone port. There’s also LTE connectivity, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and optional NFC. The fingerprint sensor and the front IR camera can both be used for logging in with Windows Hello. HP has included an Active Pen stylus, as well.
The EliteBook x360 also has two great enterprise features — a privacy filter and self-healing BIOS. The privacy filter, which can be turned on and off, will block your screen from anyone trying to peek at it from an angle, while self-healing BIOS will check for system damage from attacks during every boot by verifying that the machine is running a genuine HP BIOS. There’s also a dual-mic array and Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers, making the laptop good for video chats sans headphones.
It also comes loaded with HP WorkWise, security software that enables some pretty cool tricks. For example, the laptop can be locked down unless it comes within range of your smartphone. It can also be used to monitor system and hardware health, to make sure no components are overheating or getting damaged.
The Spectre x360 is HP’s maisntream 2-in-1, which lacks most of those security and enterprise features. It’s about on par with the EliteBook in terms of specs, and that will hold true for the new 15.6″ model being announced at CES 2017 this week. The major difference is the addition of a discrete GPU (Nvidia GTX 940MX), plus thinner bezels that help keep the device from becoming too unwieldy — there’s a reason we don’t see too many 15.6″ 2-in-1 devices, after all. That’s big for a tablet!
The EliteBook x360 should be available by the end of the month, although the 4K option won’t be available until later this winter. HP doesn’t have pricing information just yet. The 15.6″ Spectre x360 can be preordered today for $1,500, and will be in stores later this month. If you’re patient, it’ll be available starting at $1,280 on HP.com starting February 26.