August 30, 2012 -- It's not just Samsung and Toshiba with brand new Windows 8 computers to announce this week. HP is also putting out details about its upcoming Windows 8 PCs, which include two ultrabooks with touch screens and a "hybrid PC."
Of the three computers, the HP Envy x2 stands out the most with its detachable screen, which allows it to be used as a standalone tablet or docked with the accompanying keyboard. Like the Samsung Series 7 and the Microsoft Surface, the dock has a full sized keyboard and a touchpad.
HP says it has spent a considerable amount of time on the hinge design: the screen is joined to the keyboard dock with two separate hinges as opposed to one big latch. Like the Samsung, HP's tablet has an 11.6-inch HD touch screen.
The Envy x2 has a brushed aluminum casing, weighs 3.1 pounds (the tablet weighs just 1.5 pounds) and will be available with Intel's third-generation processors and a 64GB solid state drive. Similar to the Android Asus' Transformer, there are two separate batteries: one in the screen and one in the keyboard, which the company says should provide over eight hours of battery life. It also has a front-facing camera and a 8-megapixel camera on the back of the tablet.
For those who prefer that the screen always be attached to the keyboard, there's the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook. As its name implies, the 15.6-inch HD Radiance (1920 x 1080-resolution) display is a touch screen and has been optimized for Windows 8. The 4.8-pound laptop is 17.9 mm thick, making room for HDMI, Ethernet, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt ports. It also has NFC (Near Field Communications) so you will be able to tap another device against it to share a file or photo. The Spectre XT will cost $1,399.99.
For those looking for a cheaper laptop with a touch screen, HP will also have the Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4. With a 14-inch touch screen, the TouchSmart is smaller than the Spectre, but will also be available with the latest Intel processors. Samsung also showed Windows 8 laptops this week with touch screens.
HP isn't releasing pricing on the Ultrabook 4 or the Envy x2, but all products will be available on Oct. 26 when Windows 8 is officially launched.