Two new desktop PCs launched by HP today aim to fundamentally change the way users interact with their desktop devices. The Elite Slice is aimed squarely at the enterprise market and seems designed to function primarily as a tool for Skype meetings, while the Pavilion Wave appears to target Amazon’s Echo speaker system.
“Today’s desktop customers want sleek, innovative and powerful designs that enable new experiences,” Mike Nash, vice president, customer experience and portfolio strategy, HP Inc., said in a statememt. “The HP Pavilion Wave and Elite Slice are the result of HP engineers and designers reinventing the desktop by rethinking its shape, size and look while adding functionality to enable new use cases.”
The Elite Slice (pictured above, at left) has the most to offer enterprise customers. Built around a modular design, the Slice allows new components to be stacked on top of the core. Expansion options include stackable modules such as an audio module or optical disk drive.
The design could help simplify some of the challenges involved in upgrading or expanding employees’ workstations. Rather than having to crack open the case to install new components, they can be added simply by stacking them on top of each other like a pile of Legos. The system’s cable-less design, meanwhile, allows it to be powered by the display via a single wire.
Customers can also customize the Slice with a variety of optional covers, including a wireless charging cover that lets users charge their devices just by placing them on their desktops, and the so-called “collaboration cover” that HP said helps turn the device into a Skype for Business phone for easy call management.
Built for Cortana
Doubling down on its pitch for the conference room, HP has designed a model specifically with conferences in mind, the Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms model. This version includes the ability to launch a conference call with the touch of a single button. HP is marketing the device alongside the new HP LD5511 55-inch Large Format Display, featuring 178-degree viewing angles with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
The Slice is expected to launch this month starting at $699 for the core model, while the Slice for Meeting Rooms will start at $949.
The Pavilion Wave (pictured above, at right), meanwhile, seems aiming at Amazon’s Echo Bluetooth speaker. Like the Echo, the Wave is a desktop computer wrapped in the form factor of a tower speaker, albeit with a triangular rather than conical shape.
The Wave includes 360-degree surround sound and supports up to two 4K displays, making it attractive to users looking for an entertainment platform. Its two built-in dual microphones seem designed to improve the experience of using Cortana, Microsoft’s digital voice assistant. The Pavilion Wave will go on sale later this month starting at $549.99.
Image Credit: Hewlett-Packard (Note: not to size).