HP's Envy 17 leaps into motion, debuts alongside fanless Haswell ultrabook

Joined by new Pavilion and Spectre models

HP Spectre X2

The company formerly known as the world's biggest PC maker has laid claim to producing the first fanless, Haswell-powered ultrabook.

That would be HP's Spectre 13 x2, which can be used either as a regular laptop or a tablet thanks to featuring a display that can be detached from its battery-equipped dock.

It houses the i5 variation of Intel's fourth-generation Haswell processor, which HP claims lends it up to nine hours' battery life during practical use.

The Spectre 13 x2, which is branded with Beats Audio sound, also packs a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen display, weighs 3.25 pounds and measures 13.4mm wide. It'll be available from November, starting at £999 (around US$1,600 or AU$1,700).

Leap of faith

HP's not stopping there - it's also debuted the Envy 17 Leap Motion Special Edition (SE), the first laptop to integrate Leap Motion's gesture-based controller.

Currently, Leap Motion exists as a box that sits in front of a display. It senses hand and finger movements, meaning you can perform a number of tasks - from pinching to zoom or drawing in image editing programs - by moving limbs in the air.

It's received a fairly lukewarm reception since landing back in July, attracting praise for its concept but proving hit-and-miss in actual use. We'll wait and see whether it makes more sense built into a laptop itself.

Other features of the Envy 17 include Intel's fourth generation CPU, a backlit keyboard, a choice of Nvidia graphics, an aluminium chassis and Beats branding. It'll be available from November, starting at £999 (around US$1,600 or AU$1,700).

More debuts

Last but not least, HP is also outing the HP Spectre 13, an ultrabook that features Intel's fourth generation CPU, a backlit keyboard, a HD touchscreen and up to nine hours' battery life.

HP is showing off the Spectre 13's HP Control Zone trackpad, which the company claims does the best job yet of letting you navigate Windows 8 without using a touchscreen. It'll be available from November, starting at £999 (around US$1,600 or AU$1,700).

It's joined by the HP Pavilion11 x2, another detachable hybrid that packs Beats Audio, dual full HD webcams and an 11.6-inch display. That'll hit the market in November for £499 (around US$801 or AU $846).