Following the launch of the HP Dragonfly Pro, HP is now launching even more laptops geared at freelancers. Today, it announced a series of Envy-branded laptops, including the Envy x360 14-inch 2-in-1, the Envy x360 15.6-inch 2-in-1, and the Envy 17.3-inch Laptop, which it is pitching as a mix between work and personal machines.
Computer manufacturers have been making claims about how people mix personal and work machines for years. (Whether that's a smart idea on an enterprise machine is another story. For freelancers, it makes more sense). But what's perhaps more interesting here is that one of those machines is the first ever to be IMAX.
What do the IMAX Enhanced certification and freelancing have in common? Not a lot! But it's an interesting certification that's available on certain configurations to the HP Envy x360 15.6-inch 2-in-1. The certification includes using a variant of DTS:X technology to get an IMAX-style theatrical mix. It also allows for IMAX's expanded aspect ratio, though services like Disney Plus have been offering that on all kinds of devices for a while now. Notably, material supplied to the press about the certification says a Disney Plus subscription is required. Regardless, it’s hard to believe any laptop is going to offer an experience akin to IMAX, unless HP has somehow found a way to shrink its customers down to the size of an insect.
The new devices are all using 5 megapixel webcams, and all but the 14-inch 2-in-1 will also get IR cameras. (Oddly enough, the old 13.3-inch 2-in-1 had an IR camera. It's been replaced here with a fingerprint reader.)
The HP Envy x360 14 will go up to an Intel Core i7-1355U, 16GB of DDR5-3200 RAM, and 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD with a 1080p display. The 15.6-incher will have both Intel Core and AMD Ryzen options, but only the Intel version will have an optional NVidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU. Those also have 1080p displaysand also claim IMAX certification. (I'm pretty surprised IMAX doesn't require higher resolution than that, but here we are).
Lastly, the HP Envy 17.3-inch laptop will use either a Core i7-1355U, Core i5-13500H or Core i7-13700H. Graphics go up to an RTX 3050, with up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM and 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. The 17-inch display comes in 1080 or 4K resolutions.
The 14-inch Envy x360 is available today on HP's website starting at $849.99. The 15-inch 2-in-1 is expected to launch later this month, beginning at $949.99 for AMD Ryzen R5 and Intel Core i5 ($1,199.99 for i7 and R7), while the 17-inch laptop will start at $1,149 and ship in May.
My guess is that they were looking for something to set it apart, and Dolby Vision certification was too expensive. Maybe IMax has a certification aimed at TVs, but are willing to certify just about anything to get some revenue in the current market.