HP unveils slick, iMac-like all-in-one PC

Drawing inspiration from Apple's designs is a time-honored tradition throughout the industry—Apple v. Samsung tomfoolery notwithstanding. HP offered an excellent reminder of that this morning when it announced the SpectreOne, a premium all-in-one PC that looks straight out of Jony Ive's design studio.

HP calls the SpectreOne the thinnest all-in-one PC in its portfolio, and it's no wonder why. The system is just 11.5 mm thick, despite featuring a 23.6" HD panel, the "latest Intel processors" (of the Ivy Bridge variety, I suspect), and discrete Nvidia graphics with 1GB of dedicated memory. Customers can deck out the machine with optional solid-state storage and SSD caching (via Condusiv's ExpressCache software).

Unlike Apple's iMacs, the SpectreOne houses connectivity in its metallic stand. There are USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports—two of each—plus HDMI in, an SD card reader, and a Beats Audio-branded headphone jack. The HDMI input should come in handy for hooking up the built-in display to other hardware, like a laptop or a game console. HP has even added near-field communication support, so users can "simply tap a smartphone or NFC tags on the base of the HP SpectreONE to instantly transfer content or login to the PC." Interesting stuff.

HP expects to have the SpectreOne in stores in the United States this November. You'll be asked to cough up $1,299 for the machine, which is actually not a bad deal by iMac standards. (Remember, the cheapest iMac costs $1,199 and only has a 21.5" display.)

As you can see in the picture above, HP will throw in a matching wireless keyboard and multi-touch touchpad. The touchpad will let users "scroll, swipe and tap their way through the new Windows 8 environment." Oddly for a Windows 8 machine, though, the SpectreOne will lack touch-screen functionality. HP reportedly told the guys at The Verge that adding a touch screen "would add four to five millimeters to the overall thickness, a drawback they weren't willing to accept." I guess you can't ape Apple without putting form over function.

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