HP pushing Windows 8.1 hybrids for holidays, says CEO

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman believes tablet-laptop hybrids will drive consumer holiday sales.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
HP Spectre x2 Windows 8.1 hybrid tablet-laptop.
HP Spectre x2 Windows 8.1 hybrid tablet-laptop. Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard is banking on "convertible" tablets to power its consumer holiday sales, CEO Meg Whitman said Tuesday.

"We've got a lot of convertibles in the market, so do our competitors, and we're advertising behind those because we think that's a really innovative form factor that's the best of the tablet and the best of the PC," she said in response to an analyst's question during the company's earnings conference call.

HP reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday.

Whitman said demand won't be known until after the holidays.

"I think it's too early to tell how the demand for convertibles is going whether it's in the commercial space or the consumer space this Christmas season...I think we will know more after we get to the Christmas season on the consumer side," she said.

Though Whitman used the term convertible to generally describe its hybrid devices, the Spectre x2 and Pavilion x2 are technically detachables. That is, the display portion can be detached from the keyboard base and be used as a standalone Windows 8.1 tablet.

Convertibles, like HP's EliteBook Revolve, generally have touch displays that remain attached but can swivel.

Specs are pretty impressive for the Spectre x2. It sports a 13.3-inch 1,920x1,080 display, a 128GB solid-state drive, Intel HD 4200 graphics, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports, and an extra battery in the keyboard base for up to 9 hours of combined battery life, HP says.

And it's one of the first fanless products to use a mainstream Intel Core processor. In this case, a Core i5 4202Y processor, Intel's most power efficient mainstream Core chip. Typically, all laptops powered by Core i3, i5, or i7 processors require a fan to keep the chip cool.

At the Microsoft Store, it's priced at $999.