Splitting HP has birthed a good-looking 2016 notebook range

Inside its Melbourne Design Centre

The Atrium above HP's Melbourne Design Centre

The Atrium above HP's Melbourne Design Centre

An exciting identity is being forged by Hewlett Packard as it finalises a strategic plan to split its company into two.

A mandate to separate its enterprise division from its PC and printing business has been underway since July of 2015. The split will be finalised on 1 November.

The company’s launch of its 2016 range was a springboard for the new HP, a company dedicated to creating personal computers, notebooks and printers. HP hosted the event at its Melbourne Experience Centre, an 1100 square metre facility that consumes the entire top floor of a shopping complex.

The store pays homage to the company’s heritage, with antique computers and calculators lining its halls, while showcasing its modern prowess in the business and computing space.

More than 5000 people have walked into the centre and 400 independent meetings have been held in its boardrooms since its opening in February of 2015.

On display is the company’s 2016 range of notebooks, PCs and printers. Dramatic changes in design and improvements in mobility distinguish the range. Insights were gained from surveying more than 7000 people, said Paul Gracey, the South Pacific director of HP's personal systems group.

“The commercial market is really starting to ask for aesthetic devices. We can improve the aesthetics, but we absolutely have to keep the security of our devices.”

HP Spectre x360 in Ash Silver and Copper accents is now available in Australia starting at $2,299
HP Spectre x360 in Ash Silver and Copper accents is now available in Australia starting at $2,299

Headlining is the revised Spectre x360. The notebook, which packs a 6th generation processor from Intel and a quad HD display, has been ‘double dipped’ for metal that is black and shaved sides that are coloured rose gold.

It will compete against the first notebook from HP's partner-turned-competitor, Microsoft, when the Surface Book goes on sale early next month. Microsoft's entrance into the market will spur innovation, said Gracey.

"Our partnership with Microsoft is a strong one," said Gracey.

"We've seen what they've done with the Surface. Anything that innovates and progresses the category is a good thing."

HP Spectre x2 is now available in Australia starting at $1,499
HP Spectre x2 is now available in Australia starting at $1,499

The company has responded to Microsoft's hybrid with the Spectre x2, a core M notebook that will rival the Surface Pro 4 with its full-sized attachable keyboard. The hybrid has an aluminium body measuring 8mm, a stand milled from stainless steel and Intel's real sense camera, which will render people and objects in 3D.

“We’re really trying to get into that premium 2-in-1 market with this device," said Gracey. "The fabric back keyboard still magnetically adheres to the tablet itself. On top of that fabric, we've put a layer of aluminium so you still have a rigid layer to type on.”

The keyboard has a 1.5mm of travel and is joined by a capacitive trackpad. The x2 is also among the first wave of electronics to support the upcoming USB-C standard.

13 inch HP ENVY notebook is now available in Australia starting at $1,299
13 inch HP ENVY notebook is now available in Australia starting at $1,299

Fleshing out the range is the Envy 13. It is the company’s thinnest and lightest notebook to date at 13mm and 1.27 kilograms. Improvements to its hinge, which tucks under the body of the notebook when opened, facilitated the inclusion of a more powerful processor from Intel.

“We’ve optimised that cooling arrangement. It also means we can put core I processor into a device this thin,” added Gracey.

Stock of the 2016 range is shipping to retailers now. Pricing is set at $2299 for the Spectre x360, $1499 for the Spectre x2 and $1299 for the Envy 13.

Tony Ibrahim travelled to Melbourne for the day as a guest of HP

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