There's a new all-in-one desktop PC from HP harriving this month that comes with some intriguing privacy features built in, including AI-powered noise reduction and a proximity sensor which automatically locks the PC when you walk away.
These features have already appeared in some HP laptops, but now that they're part of the new HP EliteOne 800 (opens in new tab) business all-in-one it's likely we'll see them start appearing in more HP desktops — including those intended purely for personal use. Now that so many of us are spending more time than we ever expected in Zoom calls, often with noisy households in the background, a feature like this seems especially useful.
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While noise reduction algorithms have been available to PC users for some time through downloadable apps like Nvidia's RTX Voice, it's still quite rare to see them built into the hardware itself. HP claims this is its first desktop to include the feature, and it works about like you'd expect: users can enable noise reduction through an onboard app. If it works correctly, the feature should automatically detect when you're speaking and filter out all other background noise.
The HP EliteOne 800 line of business-class all-in-ones also includes a bunch of additional privacy features, including a proximity sensor that can be tuned to automatically lock the PC when you walk away from it.
Since that capability relies on a built-in proximity sensor rather than the PC's webcam, you can still use it when you have your webcam shut off or covered, which is a nice privacy-minded touch. While a feature like this is more useful in an office setting than at home, it would be nice to see it appear in more desktop PCs, especially those aimed primarily at family use.