Earlier this week at CES 2017, HP announced the second-generation Sprout Pro, its innovative all-in-one that's really not designed to be used with a keyboard. Instead, it used a projector to show a second screen where the keyboard would be, and it serves as a second touchscreen.
At the Pepcom event, the company did a couple demos for us, and the device is truly unique. It has a 3D scanner, which allows the user to hold an object under it, slowly rotate it, and it will be captured. It even automatically crops your fingers.
But that's not all. The projected display also has pen support. You can see that from the following video when I started experimenting with it, but the guy demoing it actually ended up having trouble getting it to work with the machine that it was paired with.
The pen itself is Wacom (as noted in the video), but it still requires a battery so it can pair with the PC via Bluetooth. This is so it can use other features, such as double-clicking it to open an app.
Like when HP announced the original Sprout, I can't say if this has any mass-market appeal (I suppose that if it didn't, the company wouldn't do a second generation). However, this is mainly because I'm not the type of person that this is made for.
It's really exciting though to see PCs being announced that are just different from the norm. Microsoft announced the Surface Studio back in October, and then Dell announced a similar all-in-one, the XPS 27, at CES. But the company also unveiled the Canvas, a touchscreen that lays flat or almost flat where the keyboard would normally be, so you now get two interfaces.
Indeed, with Microsoft's Surface Studio, Dell's XPS 27 and Canvas, and HP's Sprout Pro, there are certainly a number of new PC form factors out there, and something tells me that there's more to come.
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