On 8th-9th December I packed too many pairs of socks and not enough gloves and headed to Switzerland for the HP Winter Summit. HP collated 60 very cool writers, bloggers and general creatives from all over Europe and took us on the press trip of all motherfreakin’ press trips in the Swiss Alps.
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My trip got off to a tumultuous start when visiting the toilet before passing through security nearly lead to me missing my transfer coach from Zurich airport. Dramas over, I got to the beautiful location in Flims safely. Grand, stunning and ethereal – our hotel was made up of 7 different buildings, featuring multiple restaurants, a huge spa, a heated swimming pool, a games room and even a petting zoo (or so myth has it, I didn’t actually see it). All the buildings were linked together by a series of underground passages which had me singing Kanye’s “Lost In The World” every time I took a wrong turning.
After we’d settled, had lunch and had some time to meet each other, we all convened to watch HP show off their new products. Apt for our snowy surroundings, we were first introduced to HP’s collaboration with winter sports/lifestyle brand Rossignol. The collaboration sees the Attraxion VIII Echo skis for women, and the Freeride S7 skis for men paired with the HP Pavilion dv6 Rossignol edition laptops. So male and female ski enthusiasts can match their skis with their laptop.
Following this, we checked out HP’s collaboration with Beats By Dre. Of course, for a music enthusiastic like me and while Detox is still a myth, this is the only new release we’ll see for Dr. Dre this year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new laptop. Based on aesthetic and the perception of the Beats By Dre brand alone, it’s clear that the HP ENVY14 Beats is trying to threaten the Macbook’s position as the hip hop producer/DJ/blogger’s go-to laptop. As if to verify my thoughts, we got to make beats. My group’s production won me a pair of Monster Diddy Beats headphones, and has me considering quitting writing to produce:
My group’s dupstep refix of Oasis – “Wonderwall”
However, because of the room’s acoustics and the group sizes, we never really got to hear the product’s unique selling point – it’s Beats audio equipment. According to HP, “The HP ENVY14 Beats includes Beats Audio, a unique, high-performance technology developed by HP and Beats by Dr. Dre to provide the optimal sound experience – the way the artist intended it.” I can’t truthfully concur on that point, but I guess I’d take their word for it. The laptop, which comes with a pair of Beats, starts at £1399.
We followed up our production making with wine tasting, and some hands on time with one of my favourite HP innovations we were shown over the course of the day; the web-connected HP Photosmart Printers. With most people saving their documents in the cloud (on email/online etc), the ease and convenience of being able to print straight from the internet has never been more poignant. The new Photosmart series connects straight to your wifi and features a 7.8 cm full-colour detachable touchscreen web browser (reminiscent of a little iPad or tablet) that you can access all of your emails, google, your social networks (etc) and print straight from the pages.
HP also tried their hands at some apps for us too. From the ski app just for our trip, to the hilarious HP Video Star (upload your face, I dare you!) and a facebook song sharing app.
Beyond playing with and creating Beats, checking out skis and printers, the trip was general dopeness. Check out a couple of flicks which capture our Swiss activities below:
All images via the HP Winter Summit pool.