HP's Sprout, introduced in October 2014, was a pretty far-out desktop PC that, interesting as it may be, hasn't exactly wowed consumers. But the formula, which ditches a keyboard and mouse in favor of a built-in projector and multi-touch capacitive touch mat, could find larger success in the office — or classroom. Today HP is announcing the Sprout Pro, an updated version of the all-in-one PC coming in February for $2199.
It's still got the same 23-inch display, Intel RealSense 3D camera setup, projector, and other components from the original model, but the Pro model has gotten a processor bump to Intel's latest-gen chip The Sprout Pro also includes new business-oriented software additions like a special Skype app that can scan in documents during a video conference using the Sprout's camera system.
But HP thinks the Sprout Pro's potential extends far outside the office. The company is also positioning it as a great fit for education. It's definitely expensive for that purpose — perhaps prohibitively so — but the blend of visual and tactile interactions here are certainly unique. There are definitely some "wow" moments as you control projected objects and applications using the touch mat. And the Sprout's ability to record 3D scans of objects placed in front of it remains super cool. But the Sprout has also very much felt like a version 1.0 product, and it's unclear whether HP has added enough to the "Pro" version to change that.