These are not exactly the best of times for Hewlett-Packard. Last week, it announced plans to cut as many as 16,000 more jobs in a major ramp-up of CEO Meg Whitman’s years-long effort to turn around the PC maker and relieve pressure on its profit margins. The Silicon Valley company is trying to reduce its reliance on PCs and move toward computing equipment and networking gear for enterprises, part of Whitman’s effort to curtail revenue declines and return the firm to growth. It is also moving aggressively into the fast evolving mobile devices space comprising ultrabooks, tablets and convertibles.
But one thing is for sure, the American tech major is not struggling with innovation. For evidence, it has come up with two new devices—the HP Pavilion x360 laptop and HP Slate VoiceTab—which will appeal to anyone who wants performance and style.
Folding notebooks are all the rage now. HP too has joined the bandwagon with its 11-inch Pavilion x360 whose screen can rotate 360 degrees. Basically, the HP Pavilion 11-N016TU x360 is a convertible hybrid laptop that flips its touch screen around. Thanks to a budget-friendly, quad-core Intel Pentium processor and its use of a hard drive instead of a pricier solid-state drive (SSD), the Pavilion x360 is a lot less expensive than most other convertible hybrid laptops I have seen in recent months. Despite its budget price, the system is more than competent, and is a good starting point for the Windows 8 beginner.
Straight out of the box, the Pavilion x360 will grab your attention with its all-red chassis and shiny, chrome-coloured HP logo on the lid. The laptop flips its screen around its spinal cord (centre hinge's axis), so you can basically use the system in four modes. First, notebook mode is the standard clamshell-laptop orientation. Second, stand mode puts the keyboard face down on the table, therefore you can use the screen to watch videos with the rest of laptop body out of the way. Third, tablet mode lets you use the Pavilion x360 as a slate tablet. Fourth, the tent mode flips the laptop over so the central hinge is facing the sky; this makes the touchscreen more stable for extended touch sessions. Trust me, it will be a treat to play an intensive game on this machine.
As with most HP notebooks, the x360 has an island-style keyboard, and has three USB ports, Ethernet, DisplayPort, and an SD