HP to ship Spectre X360 with OLED screen

HP's Spectre X360 will have a 13.3-inch OLED screen and up to 1TB of SSD storage

It's suddenly raining laptops with OLED screens.

HP on Tuesday said it will release a model of the popular Spectre X360 hybrid with an OLED display in the U.S. spring season, which starts in March. The announcement comes just two days after Lenovo announced the world's first OLED hybrid, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga.

OLED screens typically show sharper images, are thinner and more power-efficient than conventional screens. The 13.3-inch OLED screen will have a 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution, and it will reduce the weight of the device by 50 grams. The OLED screen will display a wider gamut of colors than conventional screens.

OLED screens are already used in smartphones, TVs and some tablets. The slimmer OLED panel design could also lead to thinner computers, or allow PC makers to add larger batteries without increasing overall laptop size, said David Hsieh, senior director for display research at IHS. The Spectre X360 is best used as a laptop; it turns into a tablet after rotating the hardwired keyboard around 360 degrees. The OLED model will come with up to 1TB of solid-state drive storage and integrated Intel Iris graphics, which should improve the visual computing experience.

The price wasn't immediately available, but expect to pay a premium for the OLED screen.

The new product doesn't necessarily mean HP will roll out OLED screens across tablets and laptops. HP will see how the ball rolls, and implement the technology based on demand.

"There are things about OLED that give you a cool visual experience, but there also things that you need to get right to make it interesting," said Mike Nash, vice president of portfolio strategy at HP.

Applications like movie-making or graphics could benefit from OLED screens. Features like 3D cameras could also drive interest in better screens, Nash said.

In other news, HP announced new tablets and hybrids, including a 15.6-inch version of the Spectre X360. That desktop-replacement hybrid has a 4K screen and offers 13 hours of battery life. Users can buy it with Intel's Skylake-based Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 256GB of solid-state drive storage and 16GB of DRAM. Standard features include a USB-C port for charging and external peripheral connectivity, and HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort slots to connect external monitors.

The 15.6-inch Spectre X360 will become available in February starting at US$1,149.

HP also announced a low-cost competitor to Microsoft's Surface tablets -- the 12.1-inch Pavilion X2 12. The tablet starts at $499.99 and will ship next month. It has a full high-definition screen, Intel's Atom chip code-named Cherry Trail, up to 256GB of solid-state drive storage and a USB Type-C port. A hard-shell travel keyboard can be hooked to the tablet. The tablet weighs 725 grams, and is 8.4 millimeters thick.

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