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Laptops/Notebooks

HP brings 'couch potato mode' to Pavilion X360 hybrid

Hewlett-Packard's latest Pavilion X360 hybrid will offer the design flexibility to be used as a tablet, laptop or "couch potato" device.

The US$399.99 Pavilion X360 at first glance looks like a laptop, but the screen can be flipped 360 degrees to turn the device into a tablet.

And then there's what HP termed the "couch potato mode," in which the device can be tilted roughly 270 to 300 degrees to sit like a tent, which should make it easier for users to watch movies.

"The idea is go from couch potato mode to classroom mode," said Mike Nash, vice president of product management at HP.

The hybrid is 21.9 millimeters thick, weighs 1.36 kilograms and has an 11.6-inch screen.

The X360 design is similar to that of Lenovo's Yoga, which also has a screen that flips to turn the device into a tablet. But this is HP's first such multimode design.

The hybrid uses Microsoft's Windows 8.1 and has an Intel Pentium or Celeron processor based on the Bay Trail architecture, which is also the basis for the latest Atom tablet chips. Other features include two USB 3.0 ports, a 500GB hard-drive and solid-state drive combination, Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth. Up to 8GB of RAM can be put in the hybrid.

The X360 is being introduced as the hybrid category heats up, Nash said.

"Hybrids are something customers prefer," especially in the 11-inch and 14-inch screen segments, Nash said.

The goal of the product is to solve the "pain points" for customers, Nash said. But one consumer pain point is Windows 8.1, which combines a desktop and tablet OS in one interface, but has been considered a failure.

HP is trying to offer a wide variety of products with multiple operating systems, but Windows supports more form factors and that matches the design of the X360, Nash said.

The X360 will also have 3G connectivity features with HP's DataPass service, which will provide data packages of 250MB. The service is available in the U.K., Sweden and Denmark, and will expand to France, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Poland and the U.S. later this year.

No specific shipping date was provided for the X360, which was announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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