Desktop PCs aren’t as universal as they once were with the advent of affordable laptops, netbooks and even tablets. Indeed, they’ve been mostly relegated to business use and gaming use. But good old HP is now trying to bring the glamour of the desktop back with it’s new Pavilion Wave and Elite Slice, two very different and appealing desktops that go away from the norm.
You wouldn’t be wrong if, by looking at its form factors, you thought the Pavilion Wave was a speaker from Bang & Olufsen. HP has designed a PC within a 360-degree speaker. It’s triangular and curved on the corners and looks like a swanky piece of furniture that’s also a speaker. Nicely designed on the front you find the Bang & Olufsen logo instead of HP with a headphone jack and a USB port. At the back you’ll see even more USB ports, a USB-C port as well, HDMI port and a SD card slot among others. The design isn’t just a gimmick. HP is promoting it as a great speaker that is also a very good PC. There is one central speaker in the casing that blasts the sound out in all directions by sending it up against the top cover.
You can customize the Pavilion Wave’s PC specs from an i3 to i5 Skylake processor, 1TB hard drive or a 128GB SSD, the RAM can be 8GB or 16GB with an integrated graphic card or the AMD R9 M470. It goes on sale next month in the United States and we can expect it in the UAE soon after.
The Elite Slice is HP’s foray into modular PCs where you can swap in and out components as you wish. Modular PCs are the future and manufacturers like HP and Acer know this. Modular PCs open the market to a whole new kind of consumer who doesn’t want to be tied down to a certain spec and can keep upgrading as and when they wish.
At launch the Elite Slice only comes with 3 add-ons but the future of this prospect is more than promising. For now, you’ll be able to an audio module powered by Bang & Olufsen that gives the PC a microphone and speakers. The second is a disc drive which can play CDs and DVDs, for whatever reason you might require those. The third is a VESA plate that allows you to mount the PC onto a wall.
The Elite Slice comes with a choice of i5 or 17 processors, up to 32GB of RAM and USB Type-C power connections. It’s a small desktop at 6.5 inches on each side and rises up about 1.4 inches. The more modules you stack up, the more it rises in height. Even better, you can also choose to get touch controls on your device that lets you pick up calls, end calls, mute and adjust volume within Skype for Business. Not available at launch but within their near future is a cunning plan for a wireless charging add-on that will use QI and PMA. And oh yeah, it also comes with a fingerprint scanner.
The Pavilion Wave seems a good buy for families or even individuals who like to have a PC at home or the office that looks good and performs well. The Elite Slice in principle could be far mass consumers, but HP is targeting businesses and meeting rooms.