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Like many PC manufacturers, HP has been a company more known for its reliability as an office hardware supplier than anything else. This makes sense given that enterprise-grade printers and IT-friendly desktops have long been its stock and trade. But this line of thinking does HP some level of injustice.
HP has a wide range of consumer gadgets, accessories, and, yes, computers and printers, that are some of the best on the market. Its Omen line even features some of the more well-regarded gaming laptops and pre-built PCs out there. (I add the caveat of “pre-built” because so many gatekeepers still think building a gaming PC is the best way to go. Really, pre-built PCs are fine and you can’t save a lot of money by building your own anymore.)
But even going beyond the computers, there’s a lot you didn’t know you could get from a brand that probably resents a bunch of children’s books about wizards for stealing its initials. So here are 10 things you didn’t know HP sold and why you should consider picking them up sooner rather than later.
1. HP Sprocket Studio Bag
I have so many bags. It’s weird that I use so many of them given that there’s not really a need to have as many backpacks, messenger bags, and duffels as I do but somehow they all have integral roles in helping me tote my stuff around.
The bag was designed primarily for a specific type of printer and for carrying photos, but there’s still plenty of space and padding for anything you need to carry around. Besides the curiosity of how to wear it, the other thing to appreciate is the minimalist design. Most bags are clunkily designed and can be embarrassing to wear. The Sprocket Studio Bag is nice and simple, making it easy to coordinate with most of your outfits.
2. HP Tilt Pen
A good stylus goes a long way if you have a tablet, 2-in-1, or a PC with a capacitive screen. Using a mouse for any type of precision movement is an exercise in frustration and futility, and advances in stylus technology have made them much more than just a pen for your device.
Ironic then that HP includes “pen” in the name of the HP Tilt Pen. While its main purpose is to allow for easy writing and drawing on a screen, the Tilt Pen also includes a built-in clicker that can control slideshows to allow for more seamless presentations. Reviewers say the pen works incredibly well, but warn that you’ll need to buy a charger, as it doesn’t come with one.
3. HP Sprocket 2nd Edition Photo Printer
Every smartphone has an obscenely good camera nowadays, but pictures either sit in apps or get shared on social media. Sure people could upload their photos to finicky websites to get them printed, but that adds the inconvenience of having to pick them up at a store or wait for them to be mailed
The HP Sprocket 2nd Edition Photo Printer can bring a darkroom to you, letting you print out any pictures you want from your phone or tablet via a Bluetooth connection. But the real benefit and convenience come from the printer’s size: it’s only about the size of the average smartphone. So whether you’re at home or on vacation, you can have a physical picture right away and won’t ever have to hand your phone over to someone to share your memories.
4. Beoplay A1 Bluetooth Speaker
A bluetooth speaker is an extravagance that many people could benefit from. Your phone’s speakers can only get so loud and the audio quality isn’t great, and adding a smart listening device to your life just so you can listen to louder music doesn’t seem like a worthwhile trade.
The BEOplay A1 Bluetooth Speaker is a solid speaker that won’t invade your privacy and will give you a better listening experience when you want to listen to something without headphones. It’s dust and splash resistant too, so if you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space in the quarantine era, you can bring your music with you.
5. HP 17.3 Business Slim Top Load
The HP 17.3 Business Slim Top Load is a messenger bag, even if HP’s copy refers to this as a “carryall” and its name implies that it’s a briefcase. Yes, it’s a little more staid than other options in the category and its primary function is to carry a laptop, but one look at the shape and crossbody strap indicates this is a messenger bag.
This is great—that’s what I would carry most days when I needed to commute because they’re more comfortable on my shoulders than a backpack. HP’s strap has a nice pad so that it shouldn’t hurt even when the bag is full. What’s more, it has a 4.9-star rating after 21 reviews and many buyers called out the lightweight build as one of the Slim Top Load’s best features.
6. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II
This might be cheating because HP doesn’t manufacture this product. That said, HP sells the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II and Bose has built its reputation on making great headphones. We tested and loved this pair of headphones, finding that they were high-quality and effective for calls, meetings, and music.
These are true wireless headphones, meaning you don’t have to fumble around with a headphone jack or an adapter. The over-the-ear build is already great for blocking out sound, and the noise cancellation technology will help you further block out the world. Please keep in mind that using that feature will lower the battery life, so set your expectations accordingly and don’t blame Bose when you need to recharge.
7. OMEN Transceptor 17 Duffel Bag
Duffel bags are incredibly versatile. You can use them for travel or take them to the gym, but this duffel bag from OMEN was made specifically with your tech needs in mind. It comes with special compartments for your headphones and tech accessories, so you don’t have to worry about damaging them in transit.
Naturally, it also features a padded compartment for your laptop, so you can stuff the duffel with clothing and not worry about smashing your laptop as you go. Reviewers give this one 4.8 stars, saying it’s good-looking and perfect for gamers.
8. Gunnar Optiks Blue Light Blocking Gaming and Computer Eyewear
Not to sound like your doctor or a concerned parent, but you need to start taking better care of your eyes. You only get two of them after all. And, because you’re likely staring at a screen for too long every day, that starts by getting some blue-light blocking glasses like the Gunnar Optiks.
No frills can be found here. The frames look like the same generic style that’s made Warby Parker popular; the tint in the lenses being the only real difference. If you’re going to be on a computer and what not, please use the Gunnar Optiks to protect your eye health. And plus, blocking out the blue light from your screens can even help you sleep better.
9. HP Tango X with Charcoal Linen Cover
The HP Tango X printer averages a 4.3-star rating—and after testing it for ourselves, we know exactly why.
First, it has an easy setup. Requiring only a Wi-fi connection and a device with the HP smart app, this printer is much easier to install and configure than the vast majority of its competitors out there. It can print documents and photos, bringing greater functionality than the standard at-home printer. And because it’s a smart device, it’s even voice-activated so you don’t even have to fumble with your computer or an app to print something.
10. OMEN by HP Gaming Backpack
Where the OMEN by HP Gaming Backpack succeeds is in giving many different pockets and thick layers of padding to protect everything within the bag, and making it comfortable to carry. Also I have a deeply held personal belief that all backpacks should have an outer carrier for water bottles, so this bag won my affection with that alone.
This bag holds a 4.8-star rating on the HP Store website, with reviewers saying it’s spacious, durable, and made from comfortable materials.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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