Many believe that the desktop PC has reached it’s apex, not having seen much innovation in recent years past the miniaturization of massive towers we have grown accustomed to or the touchscreen All-In-One models that have appealed to the casual and home user. Given that HP is one of the largest contributors to the desktop PC market, it comes as no surprise that they have conceived what could be seen as the “next level” of desktop computing, which involves putting an accessible and attractive spin on creativity over production. Welcome to the HP Sprout.
First, lets look at the specs. Though this looks like a mid-range system for home and casual use, it packs quite a lot of power and HP wishes to make sure their new system is prepared to work with any and all applications the user throws at it, along with assured high performance:
- Intel Core i7-4790S 3.0GHz (up to 4 GHz with Turbo Boost)
- 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz Memory
- 1TB 5400 RPM Hybrid Drive
- 802.11/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
- 23” (1920×1080) LED Monitor with 10-finger multi-touch-support
- DLP Projector (1024×786)
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 745A with 2GB dedicated memory
- HP Illuminator (14.6 MP touchmat-facing camera + Intel RealSense 3D camera) with 1MP front-facing camera
As you can see, the PC comes fully equipped, but the innovation is all centered around the new touchpad. HP’s newest innovation in I/O controllers is a seamless experience, projecting your input and screen selections onto the mat which respond to the touch fluidly. While this feature sound rather convenient though a bit trying for inputting keystrokes and performing simple functions (you can still plug in the traditional KB/M combo along with other peripherals), the heart of the touchpad is centered around the PC’s creative focus. If you place an object on the touchpad, either flat or shaped, the camera will scan it and reproduce the image on the Sprout’s screen with each intricate detail scanned properly. From there, the user can manipulate, edit and create something with the scanned image using all ten fingers. Relieving the user of the confines of mouse viewing is a huge leap forward in design, giving people such as architects, designers and CAD program users an easier and more intuitive method of doing their work.
The Sprouts creative studio, properly called Create, is the central app of the entire system and makes full use of all the scanning, imaging and editing functions. You can mix and match graphics and object of all kinds from different sources, which will cause you to experiment. Whether it is a new figurine you are designing for your Etsy page, retouching old photos without the use of a traditional scanner or just tinkering with the shape and size of objects found on your desk, the Sprouts creative suite is beyond inviting and offers a chance for any user of any creative level to explore, making it ideal for both children and adults.
Another innovation the PC touts is the collaboration application, HP My Room. Though it seems like a typical video VoIP application, it makes for an incredible device for artists and designers to collaborate on work over real time. Say one user scans in a small blueprint of a shipping container, but has to design it with others in different part of the country. As long as each user has My Room, they can edit and manipulate the image with you in real time, while you see the changes live on your Sprout which will allow you to work with those changes further.
As it looks at this time, the HP Sprouts possibilities are quite endless.