The October 26th launch of Windows 8 is fast approaching, and one of its biggest features is undoubtedly its touch-friendly user interface. To take advantage of this, HP has announced two Ultrabooks designed with the new operating system in mind. Say hello to the aluminium clad, 14-inch HP Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4, which is essentially the HP Envy 4 fitted with a touchscreen. It is 23mm-thin, weighs about 2.16kg, and comes with all the latest Intel technologies you've come to expect from Intel-based Ultrabooks. The Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4 will also carry Beats Audio as well as a subwoofer, much like the Envy 4. There aren't any further details regarding its CPU, GPU, or HDD it comes with. But if the Envy 4 is of any indication, then the HP Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4 should give you the option for discrete graphics.
The HP Envy x2 is where things get somewhat interesting. As the upcoming Windows 8 OS is designed for touchscreen tablets in mind, many manufacturers have chosen the convertible tablet route for their new notebooks. The x2 is no different. Weighing at 710 grams, it features an 11.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels, and comes with a keyboard dock. It attaches to the tablet via a magnetic latch, which brings the total weight of the Envy x2 to 1.4kg. That's relatively heavy for an 11-inch Ultrabook, but it is acceptable when you consider that it can be taken apart.
Like the Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4, the x2 features Beats Audio as well. Other perks include NFC capabilities, plus a front and rear 8-megapixel camera. The stylus is optional. Other hardware specifications include 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD, which are pretty respectable specs for a Windows RT-based ARM device. As things stand, the x2's CPU type is still unknown, but we'll keep you up to speed once we find out.
Specifications: Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (32bit)
Display Panel: 11.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit IPS Display (1366 x 768 pixels)
Standard Memory: On-board 2GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
Hard Drive: 64GB solid state drive flash module
Networking/Wireless: 1x1 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN + Bluetooth
Media Card: SD Card (Keyboard deck), microSD(Slate)
I/O ports: 2 USB 2.0 HDMI Headphone-out/Microphone in combo jack
Webcam/MIC: Front facing HP TrueVision 1080p HD webcam with integrated digital microphone Rear facing 8.0 MP camera
Audio: Beats Audio
Keyboard/Touchpad: Full-size island-style keyboard HP Imagepad supporting Multi-Touch gestures with On/Off button
Security: Power-on password; Accepts 3rd party security lock devices
Battery: 2-Cell 25WHr Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery + 2-Cell 21WHr Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery (Slate: 25WHr. Base: 21WHr)
Power: 20W AC Adapter
Approximate Weight: Total, 1.41kg, Slate only, 0.71kg
Dimensions: Total : 303 x 206 x 17 - 19 mm Slate only : 303 x 193 x 8.6mm