Oh Please Let the Pop Up Camera Become a Trend

By Patrick Lucas Austin on at

HP announced a refreshed line of both consumer and professional devices, including some appealing all-in-one computers that add some pretty novel features and make an attempt to counter the permanence that plagues all-in-one devices (and the lack of competing voice assistants in PCs). The coolest part? A slick hidden camera that, frankly, needs to be in everything.

GIF: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

The two new all-in-one devices, the EliteOne 1000 and the ENVY Curved AiO, share a similar aesthetic up top, and both include the 1080p pop-up webcam integrated into the display. The feature takes advantage of a desktop monitor’s larger chassis versus a laptop, where razor thinness requires other tricks to hide the webcam—Huawei’s webcam in a keyboard. Instead of sticking the camera in a terrible location or or keeping the bezel super thick, HP’s just gone and shoved it onto a popup mechanism—on a curved display!

The Envy actually looks nice, and now has built in wireless charging. (All photos: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo)

HP’s been doing the pop up camera thing since at least 2016, and it’s heartening to see it stay the course. This is a trend HP is pioneering and one that other desktop makers should embrace too. As is HP’s general approach to disguising the desktop so it isn’t quite an eyesore in a living room or den.

The big addition is a potentially polarising wood texture on its base. It’s got that 80s wood veneer feel, but the wood is dark enough that it doesn’t look too retro. The base also has a built in wireless charger, four speakers, and a fun volume slider you control by stroking a circle. All this plus a gigantic 34-inch display. The display is pretty, but it can only be tilted up and down, and not rotated or raised or lowered, which is decidedly less pretty.

The HP ENVY Curved AiO features Bang & Olufsen speakers, and gets pretty damn loud.

The slider.

Camera!

It looks quite nice.

It also features Alexa integration, meaning you can just yell at your computer to get your voice assistant to help you out. When it’s on, you’ll see a blue light from the centre of the base indicating when the voice assistant is listening. The neat part? While you can still use Cortana as your assistant of choice, HP says that cool blue light is an Alexa feature only. Whether it’s smart to better integrate Alexa over Cortana in a Windows 10 PC is one question, but that built-in Alexa support makes controlling your home from your PC much easier when you don’t have to get out of your office and shout at your Echo in the living room.

For its more business-oriented users, HP also announced the EliteOne 1000—another all-in-one that brings features I hope translate to the rest of HP’s all-in-one computers. While there’s no Alexa integration, there is a swappable PC base and display. When you’re ready to upgrade you can actually mix and match base and display, going more powerful or with a larger screen (up to 34 inches). The EliteOne 1000 is aimed at businesses and professional environments, but that modularity would definitely do a lot to alleviate buyer’s remorse when your fancy computer needs a few upgrades later in life. It also makes the upgrading process easier for both HP and your average consumer who knows they just need a newer version when the time comes.

The EliteOne 1000.

HP’s 27-inch ENVY AiO is available now starting at £1,499, while the 34-inch ENVY AiO starts at £1,999. The EliteOne 1000 AiO is also available now at £1,628.40.


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