Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

HP joins AI PCs with laptops for work and play

New laptops are on the way from a variety of companies, and HP is throwing its hand in with quite a few as it unveils its AI PC range.

Ever since Intel announced its AI-ready chips last year and AMD just before it, we’ve been waiting to see what exactly would come out of it. New computers were a given, but actual genuine uses for AI in a computer were what we wanted to see, showing what the technology can do.

At CES, we got our first feeling of what that would look like with a bit of a gimmick: the Copilot key replacing one of the Windows keys, as all AI PCs with Windows look set to sport a button to bring up the Windows version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

In a recent review of Acer Swift Go 14 AI PC, we used it once. You might use it more, but yep, it’s a bit of a gimmick.

That was only our first Windows AI PC to try, though, so we’re hoping there’s more AI under the hood for others. We might find out quickly, though, with HP revealing quite a range of AI PCs on the way to Australia.

2024 HP Envy x360
2024 HP Envy x360

The newly launched range covers a variety of laptops made for productivity, play, and workstation needs, as the company shows off new Elitebook offerings for workers, ZBook laptops for workstation folks and creatives, plus a few different choices whether you need all-rounders, a gaming laptop, or something sleek and powerful.

That range includes models in the all-rounder Pavilion 16, combination between tablet and laptop that is the 2024 Envy x360, plus a sleeker and more powerful version of the latter in the Spectre models, which will come in both the 14 inch Spectre 14 x360 and a larger 16 inch Spectre 16 x360 (though we’re not sure how a 16 inch tablet will feel).

HP is talking up some of the AI features under the hood in the Spectre models, and they’ll include video conferencing improvements as HP engages audio tuning by Poly, while Windows Studio Effects will uses AI to improve video in chats, even using a 9 megapixel camera for the web cam up top.

HP Spectre x360 14
HP Spectre x360 14

AI will also be used as a form of privacy system, using a dedicated chip to warn you when someone might be looking at the screen who isn’t you and switching the screen off when you walk away.

HP’s Spectre models look to properly impress, too, with options for a 2.8K OLED screen running at 120Hz, complete with an IMAX certification for films and shows.

Intel’s latest are inside these, answers they’re not alone.

A gaming model, the 14 inch HP Omen Transcend 14, features similar hardware, sporting a 2.8K 120Hz OLED screen with Intel Core Ultra under the hood all the way up to an Ultra 9, as well as Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4070 discrete graphics chips under the hood.

HP's gaming focused Omen 14 Transcend
HP’s gaming focused Omen Transcend 14

AI can be used for streaming in games, improving things while using streaming tools such as Open Broadcaster (OBS), while Intel has also brought in HyperX audio tuning and built-in Otter AI transcription to the laptop. That last one is definitely interesting, given transcription tools are almost entirely web-based.

For folks sticking it entirely to work, HP’s Elitebook offerings are largely about work and battery life, with as much as 21 hours of battery life reportedly in the Elitebook 1040, and some technology HP calls “SmartSense” using AI to adjust PC performance by anticipating your usage.

It’s a feature you can probably expect throughout the range, and may also be on the workstation models if you need one of those.

HP ZBook Firefly
HP ZBook Firefly

In 2024, HP’s workstation grade laptops are the ZBook Power, Firefly, and Fury, laptops with dedicated workstation graphics under the hood for 3D and data, as well as something HP calls “AI-powered content creation”.

“AI creates a level playing field, ensuring we’re all creators, innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Brad Pulford, Vice President and Managing Director of HP Australia and New Zealand.

“The sheer variety of applications and services in Australia is testament to the need for local solutions that fit local needs. AI ensures that ideas can be executed,” he said.

“Beyond that, AI has the opportunity to boost productivity for everyone, taking care of time-consuming tasks, allowing people to focus on higher-level creativity and innovation. The latest suite of AI PCs from HP are designed to unlock the next productivity frontier, helping individuals and businesses reach their full potential.”

HP’s range is heading to stores and online now and throughout the next few months, coming to a variety of price points depending on the model in question. For the Spectre x360, expect those to start from $2999 in Australia, the new Pavilion models from just under $2000, while other models are likely to be a little bit more.

One thing HP hasn’t added is an updated take on its clever but very expensive foldable laptop. We’ll keep hoping a new model arrive this year bringing better speed and hopefully a less expensive price. For now, these other models should begin to hit retail now.

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