The aim of the HP Elite Slice is to get the PC back onto your desk. Moving on from tower PCs, the Slice wants to put everything in front of you in a slickly designed package.
That's what HP told us when we encountered the Elite Slice at Showstoppers at IFA 2016. While HP has been all about business recently, the Elite Slice has a huge amount of consumer appeal: this is a PC that's all about innovative design.
The main unit itself bears a striking resemblance to the Mac Mini. It's a flattened squirkle, but one of the interesting things about the design is that copper venting that runs around it. Copper is very much the tech colour of 2016.
Like the Mac Mini, the Elite Slice is designed to be a complete solution and a replacement for a desktop device. Sure, it's not going to find fame with gamers, but in a modern office or home, the Slice will settle in nicely.
Aside from being a compact desktop PC, the Elite Slice's raison d'être is modularity. The main body will offer you Core i3, i5 or i7 processors and a host of physical rear connectivity - HDMI, Display Port, Ethernet, USB-C, USB – but with options for a different top cover.
The flattened top isn't just somewhere to be gathering dust, it can be a wireless charger for your phone, or you can opt for the collaboration cover, bringing your call controls to the top of your PC, in handy reach. It's begging for media controls, but with business being the first consideration, we guess that audio isn't.
The thing to note about these covers is that they must be specified at the time of purchase – they cannot be added afterwards.
So far we've just been talking about a small format PC and the real action comes in those modular accessories. To boost the sound offering there's a speaker module, tuned by Bang & Olufsen. (Again, calls for a media control cover?) Using a USB Type-C based connection, these modules just stack together with one sitting on the next and connecting together.
For those who still need physical media, there's a DVD player option too and it's all just plug and play, so should be really simple to expand your PC to your requirements.
Above all, this is about innovative design. It's a good-looking PC and one that will smarten up any desk and help us move out of the post-tower era.
Prices for the US start at $899, for which you can get a Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and it's available through store.hp.com. Prices for the UK are still to be determined, but you can sign-up to be alerted once it's available.