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HP made a laptop slightly thicker to add 3 hours of battery life

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HP Spectre x360 15.6 (2017) HP

When predicting a company's next product, the easy guess is always: it's slightly thinner, and maybe slightly worse off for it, too.

Usually that's right, but it's nice to see HP taking a different approach. For one laptop it's unveiling at CES today, a new version of its 15.6-inch Spectre x360, HP is making the machine slightly thicker, and it's doing so in part to add a claimed three hours of additional battery life.

The difference between the new x360 and the old x360, in terms of thickness, is minimal, from 15.9mm to 17.8mm. (For reference, the 2015 MacBook Pro was 18mm thick.) It's an increase of 1.9mm for the Spectre, but HP says it's now including a battery that's 23 percent larger in exchange. At the same time, the laptop is also getting narrower, with its body shrinking from 14.8 inches wide to 14 inches wide.

HP Spectre x360 15.6 (2017) HP

Unfortunately, the claimed three hours of additional battery life aren’t meant to make this laptop into some long-lasting wonder — they’re really just meant to normalize its battery life. HP will only be selling the 15.6-inch x360 with a 4K display this year, and that requires a lot more power.

By increasing the laptop’s battery capacity, HP is able to push the machine’s battery life from the 9.5 hours it estimated for the 4K version of its 2016 model to about 12 hours and 45 minutes for this model. So it is adding three hours of battery life, but in doing so, it’s merely matching the battery life of last year’s 1080p model.

The x360 is also being updated to include Intel's Kaby Lake processors. It includes options that max out at an i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics. It's supposed to be released February 26th, with pricing starting at $1,278 for an entry-level model.

The 13-inch Spectre x360 isn't getting any major changes, but it is getting a refresh. It'll soon be offered with Kaby Lake processors, and HP's going to start offering a 4K display option as well.

HP EliteBook x360 HP

In addition to those x360s, HP is also introducing an x360 version of the skinny EliteBook that it announced at last year's CES. The new model looks pretty similar, but its display is now able to flip around for use like a tablet — that being the key feature HP's x360 name. It's a nice looking laptop, but it's still targeted at businesses, with options for a security card reader and an anti-spying screen. It'll start shipping later this month.

HP Envy Curved All-in-One HP

HP is also making a few other announcements today. There's a new version of its Sprout Pro computer, which is meant for 3D modeling. It's introducing a gaming monitor called the Omen X 35, which has a 35-inch curved display with a 21:9 aspect ratio and ultra-WQHD resolution and includes a hook on its back to store headphones. And finally, a new version of the 34-inch Envy Curved All-in-One that's in the sleeker style HP started using back in October.