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HP gets inventive with the launch of its new Pavilion Wave and Elite Slice PCs

With ultra-light laptops and smartphones becoming our primary source for computing, the desktop seems like the benched kid who’s no longer chosen to play on the field. OEMs are struggling to push desktop sales by reimagining their overall form factor, such as HP and it’s crazy (but awesome) cube-shaped Omen gaming PCs. Now the company is trying to reinvent the mainstream desktop market as well with the introduction of its new Pavilion Wave and Elite Slice PCs.

Take a ride with HP’s unique twist on the desktop

For starters, the HP Pavilion Wave definitely doesn’t look like your average desktop. As shown below, it’s triangular, compact, and easily stored in small places — but it packs the power of a full-size desktop. It even resembles a stand-alone digital assistant speaker thanks to the parabolic reflector and integrated speaker mounted on top, providing 360-degree sound.

Related: HP is unleashing two new cube-shaped Omen X desktops and an Omen laptop packed with Nvidia’s GTX 1070 GPU

That said, the Pavilion Wave is fine-tuned for music, with a high-definition audio system at its core that’s enclosed in acoustic fabric. It’s also fine-tuned for Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant in Windows 10 thanks to the unit’s two built-in dual microphones. Due to this combo, customers don’t need to purchase a competing digital assistant speaker after all.

HP Pavilion Wave Shot 2

HP Pavilion Wave

Like HP’s cube-shaped Omen desktop, the company splits the Pavilion Wave into three main zones: the motherboard, the hard drive, and the cooling system. This latter system relies on heat pipes that pull heat away from the motherboard and graphics card, and pushes all that huff and puff out through the top of the PC. The Pavilion Wave’s overall form factor measures just 6.81 x 6.62 x 10.29 inches.

Slated to arrive late next month, the Pavilion Wave will have a number of options to configure including up to a sixth-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, up to 1TB on an SSD or up to 2TB on a HDD, up to 16GB of DDR4 memory, and an optional secondary 128GB SSD. Customers can even option to include the AMD Radeon R9 M470 graphics card for some extra graphics spunk.

As an example of a configuration, here are the specs of the Pavilion Wave 600-a010 desktop:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6400T quad-core @2.2GHz
  • Memory: 8GB of DDR4 @ 2,133MHz (1x8GB, 2x8GB max)
  • Storage 1: 1TB 7,200RPM SATA hard drive
  • Storage 2: 128GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 530
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (1×1), Bluetooth 4.2 M.2
  • Ports: three USB 3.0, one USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI out, one DisplayPort jack, gigabit Ethernet, and more

Here’s another model, the Pavilion Wave 600-a014 desktop:

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-6100T dual-core @ 3.2GHz
  • Memory: 8GB of DDR4 @ 2,133MHz (1x8GB, 2x8GB max)
  • Storage: 1TB 7,200RPM SATA hard drive
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 530
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (1×1), Bluetooth 4.2 M.2
  • Ports: three USB 3.0, one USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI out, one DisplayPort jack, gigabit Ethernet, and more

HP wants to change the business desktop, too

HP Elite Slice

The HP Elite Slice and Audio Module

In addition to announcing the Pavilion Wave desktops, HP also introduced the Elite Slice desktops for the workplace. They sport a modular design, meaning customers can stack on additional components without having to rip the PC apart. Users can attach the Wireless Charging Cover, the Audio Module, or the Optical Disc Drive module. The Elite Slice desktops are rather small too, measuring just 6.5 x 1.38 x 6.5 inches, and weighing around 2.31 pounds.

“Its modular design features stunning curves in matte black with polished copper accents to streamline workplaces,” the company says. “The cable-less design allows for a clean work environment because customers do not separate cables plugged into the wall to power each component.”

Keeping the Elite Slice cool is a “unique” 360-degree dual fan pipe ring, pulling the heat away from the processor. Other general features include the industry’s first “self-healing” BIOS-level protection via HP Sure Start with Dynamic Protection, an optional fingerprint scanner for secure logins, and a USB 3.1 Type-C port that can receive a charge directly from HP’s optional EliteDisplay S240uj monitor, which also includes a USB 3.1 Type-C port.

A data sheet provided by HP reveals that the Elite Slice has five Intel Core processor options ranging from the dual-core Core i3-6100T (3.2GHz) to the quad-core Core i7-6700T (2.8GHz, 3.6GHz). Due to the PC’s limited form factor, customers must solely rely on the integrated Intel graphics components, which is Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU.

On the memory and storage front, this PC provides two memory slots supporting up to 32GB of DDR4 memory clocked at 2,133MHz. Storage is provided by a choice of M.2 SSDs, SATA SSDs, a hybrid SSD, or a 7,200RPM hard drive. Other general, non-memory/storage features include gigabit Ethernet networking, Wireless AC and Bluetooth connectivity, and a choice of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Windows 10 Home 64-bit, or FreeDOS 2.0 operating systems.

This PC actually provides two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, one for charging, and one that supports DisplayPort connectivity. Other provided ports consist of two normal USB 3.1 ports, one DisplayPort connector, one HDMI port, and a headphone/microphone combo jack.

HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms

The HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms and the Elite LD5511 55-inch display

HP is reshaping the way you conduct meetings

The Elite Slice desktop portfolio actually spans two units: the base model and a version tailored for meeting rooms. At first glance, this latter model excludes the FreeDOS 2.0 operating system option as well as the two Intel Core i3 processor options. However, this version does bundle the base Elite Slice PC with the HP Collaboration Cover, the HP Audio Module, and Intel Unite software. HP is shooting for a one-touch meeting startup for businesses right out of the box.

Although HP doesn’t provide a data sheet on the Collaboration Cover, the company says that it turns the desktop into a Microsoft Skype for Business phone. The Audio Module, however, seems to plug in at the bottom, providing the Elite Slice with a base packed with 360-degree immersive stereo sound. This module includes bi-directional HP Noise Cancellation, three speakers, a dual-microphone array, and HP Audio Boost.

HP suggests that customers who purchase the HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms bundle should also invest in the company’s upcoming HP LD5511 55-inch Large Format Display (shown above). This monitor is ideal for a meeting seating up to 12 people thanks to the display’s 178-degree viewing angles, a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution at 60Hz, a high 1,200:1 contrast ratio, and a high brightness level (350 nits). This panel includes one VGA port, one DVI-D port, one HDMI port, one USB 2.0 port, and an audio output jack.

The HP Elite LD5511 display with a connected HP Elite Slice

The HP Elite LD5511 display with a connected HP Elite Slice

As for the HP EliteDisplay S240uj panel mentioned earlier, it packs a 21.7-inch screen with 2,560 x 1,440 resolution at 60Hz. Other technical details include a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 178-degree viewing angles, a decent brightness of 300 nits, and a 5ms response time. This monitor provides one HDMI port, one MHL port, one DisplayPort 1.2 connector, three USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, and an audio output jack.

As for pricing and availability for everything announced today, here’s what we have.

HP Pavilion Wave – $440 starting price – September 23
HP Elite Slice – $700 starting price – September 2016
HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms – $950 starting price – September 2016
HP EliteDisplay S2430uj Monitor – $430 starting price – October 2016
HP LD5511 55-inch Large Format Display – $1,000 starting price – September 2016