It looks like the Amazon Echo but is a full-featured PC. Or, it looks like a Mac Pro but it’s only a tiny fraction of the price. Yep, it’s the Pavilion Wave, HP’s rethinking of what a small form factor tower PC can be.
Launched alongside the stunning HP Elite Slice, the HP Pavilion Wave is to tower PCs what that device is to small form factor, All-In-One, and modular PCs: A fresh, new design that throws out long-held traditions. And you may want to trust your visceral reaction to this one. If your first thought is that such a device is pretty but too limited, it may not be the right PC for you. But if you view the PC as a tool that never really fit into your home, something that you hide rather than display, well then. You might want to keep reading.
The Pavilion Wave is compact, space efficient and pretty. It’s actually triangular, and not cylindrical like an Amazon Echo, Mac Pro, or Google OnHub router, so it’s not reminiscent of a trashcan like those devices.
And that triangular design is intentional: each of its three zones houses different components, with the the motherboard in one zone, storage in the second, and heat pipe-based thermals in the third.
It’s also attractive thanks to a unique woven fabric design sitting on top of what HP says is onyx black finish.
Better still, this isn’t some stripper PC with low-end Atom or Core-m parts: It ships with a quad-core 6th generation Intel Core i5-6400T processor, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM (which can be expanded), and dual storage (a 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and a 7200 RPM 1 TB SATA HDD). It can support two 4K displays, HP says, and includes a built-in speaker and dual microphones for Cortana.
Connectivity is exactly what you’d expect, with Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. And expansion is excellent, with a 3-in-1 card reader, 3 USB 3.0 ports (one in front), 1 USB-C port, and HDMI and DisplayPort for video.
And best of all, it’s not expensive: The HP Pavilion Wave will start at $529.99 and will become available on September 16, 2016.