On the opening day of Computex, HP introduced its first laptops and convertible notebooks featuring premium wooden inlays on their palmrests. The new HP Envy PCs will be available later this year in a variety of configurations.

The look and feel of laptops in general and convertible laptops in particular are no less important than their performance and display quality. Makers of PCs tend to experiment with various materials, but when it comes to high-performance premium PCs, it generally all comes down to various alloys of aluminum. Late last year HP introduced a notebook featuring leather inlays for a premium feel. This time, HP decided to do it differently, wedding an aluminum body and a wooden palmrest.

Set to be available in two form-factors — notebook and convertible notebook — HP’s Envy Wood Series collection will include Envy 13, Envy x360 13, Envy x360 15, as well as the range-topping Envy 17 Wood Series (the 17-incher even has an ODD). Depending on exact SKUs, HP will be offering three types of wood, including Nightfall Black with Natural Walnut, Ceramic White with White Birch, or Natural Silver with Pale Birch

The systems will be based on a selection of processors from 2nd Gen AMD (with Radeon Vega GPU) and 10th Gen Intel Core, yet HP does not name the exact models. Meanwhile, since we are talking about 2019 systems, expect the latest CPUa as well as RAM/SSD/I/O configurations.

Without any doubts, wood is a premium material and HP deserves a kudos for using it (not from nature activists though, but still). By using leather or wood on its notebooks, HP clearly differentiates its premium machines from those by competitors. Since customers willing to pay extra for PCs demand quite a lot, it is simply crucial for HP to offer something they can actually feel. Of course, it remains to be seen how durable wood is when it comes to palmrests, but this is something only time will tell.

It is noteworthy that HP is not the first company to experiment with wood on the laptops. One of the first things that comes to mind is the ASUS Bamboo laptop from 2007. While it was demonstrated at CeBIT back then and even released, the company for some reason decided not to refresh this product line later on, even though it looked and felt very well. Perhaps, the consumer was just not ready back then?

Source: HP

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  • Dolda2000 - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - link

    And I didn't even know woodgrain was back in style.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - link

    This looks just as tacky now as it did in the 80s.
  • risa2000 - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - link

    If they want to differentiate, putting 3:2 panel inside those would be far more useful than the woodoo.
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - link

  • Ashinjuka - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - link

    Next year we'll be taking a page out of the premium smartphone design book and will be going with an all-glass laptop.
  • peevee - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    Don't give them any ideas.
    These reminders of the old wagons are bad enough. Leather was fine.
  • colonelclaw - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - link

    That wooden handrest looks like the flooring in my local kebab shop
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - link

    Most likely they are doing it, because wood feels nicer than some plastic-metal composite.

    And of course bamboo *would* make both a sturdy and light chassis, lasting much longer than today's non-removable batteries: If it wasn't for the heat dissipation issues that creates, who knows, it could be really popular.

    But even a bit of wood or leather only reminds me, that these notebooks are among the worst computing products ever, in terms of life durability, life expectancy and recycability.

    So somehow, because I know that my broken or just outdated notebooks and ultrabooks for some reason will find their way from the official recycling point where I'll leave them, to a place in Africa, where they burn them in some smoky hell of a village to smelt what little copper and gold they can sell, I find adding leather or wood to a good honest toxic piece of technology... only makes it worse and serves as a daily reminder that I should have gone with the clunky one with the 10/10 iFixit score.
  • nimi - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - link

    Wow, is that an ODD?
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    Looks vinyl to me as the touchpad woodgrain is continuous with the palm rests

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