HP is calling “world’s first” with the upcoming launch of its refreshed Envy curved all-in-one desktops with out-of-the-box support for Amazon Alexa. They have nothing to do with Amazon and Microsoft’s partnership to combine Alexa and Cortana in a future Windows 10 update. Instead, it’s part of a 2018 rollout originally announced by Acer, Asus, HP, and Lenovo in January to release PCs with a special Amazon Alexa app developed for Windows 10 launching “this spring.”
At this time, HP doesn’t have a launch date or set configurations for the 34-inch model, but states that it will be released later this year. Meanwhile, the 27-inch model will hit the streets this month with a starting price of $1,399. But given that the Amazon Alexa app relies on Intel’s Smart Sound technology, we’re not exactly sure the 27-inch model actually supports the app.
What we do know about the 27-inch version is that the two models presented on Monday, May 15 rely on Intel’s eighth-generation Core i7-8700T six-core processor with a base speed of 2.4GHz and a maximum speed of 4.0GHz. It’s joined by Nvidia’s discrete GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip with 4GB of dedicated graphics memory. That doesn’t mean HP’s AIO is a smoking-hot gaming machine, but the GTX 1050 is definitely better than relying on integrated graphics.
Both machines also rely on the same amount of DDR4 memory: 16GB clocked at 2,400MHz. They have dual-storage configurations, too, relying on a PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD as the operating system drive and a mechanical hard drive spinning at 5,200RPM for storing data. That said, both have a 256GB SSD while the B210 sports a 1TB drive and the B214 provides a2TB hard drive.
On the connectivity front, both ship with five USB-A ports (5Gbps), one Thunderbolt 3 port (~40Gbps), one HDMI input port, one HDMI output port, a headphone / microphone combo jack, an SD card reader, and an Ethernet port. Other shared features between the two consist of Bluetooth 4.2 and Wireless AC at 867Mbps (2×2) connectivity, an HP TrueVision FHD IR camera, and a sound bar packed with front-facing speakers.
Outside the storage aspect, the only difference between the B210 and the B214 are their display resolutions. Both rely on an IPS panel for rich colors and wide viewing angles, but the B210 sports a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution with 10-point touch and the B214 packs a lower 2,560 x 1,440, also with 10-point touch. You’re seemingly halving the hard drive storage in the B210 to get the higher resolution tradeoff.
“It now will offer a custom LED to indicate Alexa is listening,” the company said in January. “Working with Intel and Amazon engineers to optimize Intel Smart Sound Technology to help deliver a hands-free experience, the 360-degree multi-directional reflective audio can hear voice commands from any angle.”
HP introduced a huge lineup of devices on Monday, May 14 including the Elite 1000 Series laptops and desktops, as well as an updated Envy portfolio.
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