HP’s new desktop PC banishes memories of styleless beige boxes

The Pavilion Wave is a computer disguised as a Bang & Olufsen speaker

Hm, a new wireless speaker from those stylish Danes, B&O…

Fooled you! It’s actually a new Windows 10 desktop from those dukes of dull PC design HP. It’s been designed in collaboration with B&O Play though – hence the logo and its disguise as a fabric-covered soundbox.

A computer, eh? Well, there’s something of the Mac Pro about it…

Perhaps, but HP has eschewed Apple’s idea of squeezing powerful computer innards into a big handsome cylinder for one even more radical: squeezing them into a big handsome triangular prism.

Did you say “powerful computer innards”?

Yes – and the Pavilion Wave (for that is this PC’s name) can be specced pretty decently, by the sounds of it. HP hasn’t yet revealed all the options, but it runs off the latest generation of Intel Core chips, and can be outfitted with up to 16GB of RAM and an AMD R9 470M graphics card, as well as storage that combines both HDD (for archiving lots and lots of data) and SSD (for storing stuff you need to access at high speeds). HP says it’s powerful enough to support a 4K monitor, or two QHD monitors in tandem.

Seems small for that amount of beef.

Indeed – and HP says that aforementioned triangular prism is to be thanked for that, as it has allowed them to arrange the components efficiently. Motherboard, CPU, GPU and SSD sit on one side, the cooling setup on another, and the hard drive on the third. And there’s still space for a trio of USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C port and HDMI and DisplayPort outputs.

And what about audio?

Here’s where B&O’s design smarts kick in. The Wave features an upward-firing speaker inside that hits the inverted cone at the top, which projects audio out in all directions – much like a 360-degree loudspeaker. HP says is delivers a room-filling sound, but we’d obviously have to let our own ears be the judge of that.

When can I ride the Wave myself?

It’ll be on sale in the US from 16 September, with prices starting at US$550 (around £415). Hopefully a UK launch will follow – so check back for an update soon.

UPDATED 07/09/16: HP has informed us that the Pavilion Wave will arrive in the UK at the end of September, with prices starting at £680.

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