HP's latest desktops come in Slices and Waves

Modular desktop PCs aren't a new concept, but the actual PCs that implement that idea haven't enjoyed widespread success in the market. HP may be looking to change that with its Elite Slice modular desktop PC.

At first sight, the Slice looks like a stylish take on a NUC-style PC, but there's more to it than meets the eye. The Wave can be transformed with optional accessories that stack onto its main body in a hamburger-like fashion. Past efforts from Lenovo, and Acer do much the same thing, although we'd argue with not as much pizzazz.

HP offers several stackable slices as options: a Skype phone with capacitive keys, a wireless charging unit, an audio module with a 360º speaker and a dual-microphone array, and a good ol' optical drive. Oh, there's a VESA mounting plate, too. The Elite Slice's tricks don't end there, though: the unit is powered straight off a single USB 3.1 Type-C connector which plugs into any compatible monitor.

The base unit box measures in at a svelte 6.5" by 1.38" by 6.5" (or 16.5 cm x 3.5 cm x 16.5 cm) and weighs 2.3 lbs (1.1 kg.) It's powered by Intel Skylake CPUs ranging up to Core i7 models, accompanied by up to 32GB of RAM. The port selection comprises one USB 3.1 Type-C and two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs, and an Ethernet connector. There's no exact word on the Wi-Fi unit in the Slice, but it's reasonably safe to assume it's a 802.11ac adapter.

The Elite Slice can be yours for $699 and will be available soon. HP will also be offering a variant called "Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms" for $949, which includes speaker and communication units, as well as support for Intel Unite wireless sharing.

HP has another trick in its bag, too. Say "hi" to the Pavillion Wave, a good-looking triangular monolith that's actually a desktop PC in disguise. The rounded-triangle shape and compact size (6.8" x 6.6" x 10.3", or 17.3 cm x 16.8 cm x 26 cm) belie a built-in 360º speaker and a surprising amount of horsepower.

The Pavilion Wave is available with Skylake CPUs as powerful as Core i7 options, and up to 16GB of RAM. Storage options go up to a 2TB hard drive, or a dual-drive 128GB SSD and mechanical-storage combo. For those looking to do some light gaming, HP offers a Radeon R9 M470 card as an option.

Network connectivity comes by way of a 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter and an Ethernet connector. The peripheral port selection comprises three USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C connector, and HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. HP says the Pavillion Wave will be available soon for $549.

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