HP's Pavilion and Envy x360 are a cheaper path to convertible laptops

Intrigued by HP's luscious new Spectre x360 convertible laptop, but looking for something a bit cheaper? Say hello to the new Pavilion x360 and Envy x360. Starting at $410, the Pavilion x360 is HP's most cost-effective convertible laptop -- meaning its screen can be folded all the way around to its rear to be used like a tablet, or folded tent-like for Netflix binges. The Envy x360, starting at $680, is a step up from the Pavilion with a premium metallic finish and bigger 15.6-inch screen. Both computers are also the first to have Bang & Olufsen's touch; HP's new audio tech partner following Beats' betrothal to Apple. At this point, that just means they've been optimized by B&O's tireless audio engineers, and include some software tweaks to make the best of tiny laptop speakers.

The Envy x360 is certainly the prettier of the pair -- and it's more powerful too, with support for Core i5 and i7 processors and up to 16GB of RAM. The entry-level $680 model gets you a 500GB hard drive and 720p screen, while going up to $770 will net you a terabyte HDD and 1080p display. And of course, you can (and should) opt for a solid-state drive.

But really, the Pavilion x360 is the more interesting convertible. Its 11-inch $410 model is nearly $100 less than Microsoft's Surface 3 (not including the $130 keyboard), and it's powered by a Pentium N3700 processor and 4GB of RAM. For $500, you can upgrade to a Core M processor and 128GB SSD. There's also a 13-inch model for $530 with a Core i3 processor, though you're only getting a 500GB hard drive, not an SSD. Those are decent prices for an ultraportable laptop, but they're even more intriguing considering the flexibility of the Pavilion x360's screen.

If convertibles aren't really your thing, or you just want something very cheap, HP also announced a refresh of its classic Pavilion lineup starting at $550 for the 14-inch model. You won't be twisting its screens about, but there are some significant new upgrades, including options for 1080p displays and discrete graphics cards. HP's also refined its unibody design this year, so even though the Pavilion's cases are made out of plastic, they should apparently feel sturdier than before.

Both the Pavilion x360 and traditional Pavilion lines will be available on HP's site on May 13, and will eventually roll out to stores on June 21. You'll have to wait a bit longer for the Envy x360, which hits HP's site on June 18 and stores the same day as the Pavilions.