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HP adds a flood of new premium Spectre and Envy PCs

Hybrids, laptops and a curved-screen all-in-one build out HP's premium computer lines.

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While the low-cost Stream laptops and Mini desktops have been recent highlights from HP, the company also offers the high-end Envy and Spectre lines for those looking for a premium experience. HP has a series of new updates to those upscale products, and they run the gamut from clamshell laptops to hybrids to desktops.

HP Spectre x2 Sarah Tew/CNET

HP Spectre x2

This hybrid is Surface-like, in that it clearly takes some design cues from Microsoft's premium tablet line (as Microsoft intended when it created the Surface in the first place). It's a standalone slate-style tablet that pairs with a keyboard cover, and converts to something close to a laptop, thanks to a built-in kickstand.

The big differences, designwise, are that the keyboard cover is made of aluminum, and the kickstand is a thin U-shaped one, rather than the flat kickstand panel on a Surface.

Weighing 1.8 pounds (or 2.7 pounds with the keyboard attached), the Spectre x2 runs Intel Core M processors, and the 12-inch display has a 1,920x1,080 native resolution. To keep it thin, the main connections are USB-C ports, and HP says the U-shaped kickstand allows for more battery to fit inside for longer life.

The HP Spectre x2 will start at $799 in the US and will be available at Best Buy stores on November 8.

HP Spectre x360

HP Spectre x360

While the Spectre x2 is a hybrid that's best described as a full-time laptop and part-time tablet, the Spectre x360 is the opposite. Like the Lenovo Yoga line (and other similar designs), it's a clamshell laptop that folds its screen back 360 degrees to become a thick tablet. It can also stop along the way to form a kiosk or table tent.

This is an updated "special-edition" version of an existing HP system, one which we reviewed earlier in 2015 . The new version keeps the all-aluminium chassis and high-end 13-inch screen, with a 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution, but adds new Intel sixth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors.

The HP Spectre x360 special edition will start at $1,299 in the US and be available November 8.

HP Envy Sarah Tew/CNET

HP Envy

With all this hybrid talk, it's easy to forget about good old traditional clamshell laptops. And to be fair, the standard HP Envy seems like the least exciting of these new premium systems. HP has made Envy laptops for years, but this new version has an updated design with a minimalist look.

At 2.8 pounds and 13mm thick, it's right in the sweet spot for a powerful, premium 13-inch laptop, and the big internal update is the same move to current-gen Intel Core i-series processors found in so many new laptops this fall.

The new HP Envy will start at $849 in the US and be available October 18.

Now playing: Watch this: HP's all-in-one Envy desktop goes curved
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HP Envy Curved All-In-One

Curved TVs are hot, even if we're generally dubious of the technology. A curved screen on a small scale, however, such as on an all-in-one laptop or computer monitor, makes a lot more sense. HP clearly agrees, and the largest of its new all-in-one PCs has a large 34-inch curved screen.

The screen has a resolution of 2,880x1,620 pixels, and offers the new sixth-generation Intel Core i-series processors, plus optional Nvidia 960 graphics, while noncurved 24-inch and 27-inch all-in-one Envy models have optional AMD Radeon R9 discrete graphics.

The HP Envy Curved all-in-one. Sarah Tew/CNET

The 34-inch HP Envy Curved will start at $1,799 in the US and will be available on November 8.

All these new HP systems, plus an 8-inch Windows 10 tablet called the Envy 8 Note, should be available before the holiday shopping season starts, but as of right now only US prices and dates have been announced.

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