HP Trick or Treat

Two young children pretending to be scared by an app on a laptop.

I’ve never really been fussed about Halloween but, as Dylan and Xander are getting older and have been told all about it at school and pre school respectively, I’ve taken more of an interest this year. Especially as HP have given me a brand spanking new Pavilion x360 laptop and ENVY 5640 wireless printer to prepare!

The laptop is very versatile indeed. You can use it as you would any other make and model, or fold it partly back on itself to view the screen in presentation or tent mode. And, even better, fold it completely and take full advantage of the touchscreen to use as a tablet. HP set us a few tasks to both get ready for a memorable 31 October and show off the capabilities of their impressive kit.

The first task we tried was to create a pumpkin lantern. We folded the laptop into tablet mode and loaded up Fresh Paint – a drawing app – and drew some faces. Once we had one that we were happy with, we printed out our design, taped it to the pumpkin and used it as a stencil. I was quite pleased with the final effort. Not too bad for my first ever attempt.

This meant, of course, that we had a load of pumpkin to do something with. So we thought we’d try making some cake with the stuff in as a stealthy means of getting Dylan to eat vegetables. We flipped the laptop into tent mode, found a recipe and placed it on the kitchen surface. Alas, we didn’t have all the ingredients. Not to worry, we found another Halloween cake recipe that we did have everything for and got cracking. I’d never considered taking a laptop into the kitchen before so this made things much easier.

With the pumpkin and cakes sorted, we next needed to make some decorations. The laptop and printer again came to the fore. HP’s Snapfish service has several printables including window and hanging decorations as well as some cases for our cupcakes.

We went for a skeleton, a bat, some lanterns, pumpkins and a witch for good measure. Again, printing out the designs – which come in PDF format – was a doddle. The fact that the printer is wireless has been particularly useful as we’ve been able to set it up in a permanent home rather than getting it out and hooked up every time we need it.

Dylan and Xander have really enjoyed playing with our new toy, so it gets two thumbs up from me. They’re going to have a memorable first Halloween – especially as HP sent a bucketload of sweets as well! – and we’ve got some fantastic new kit.

Not to be left out, I’ll be using the Pavilion x360 to watch some classic George A Romero zombie carnage while picking off any of the survivors – cakes and sweets, that is – when everyone else has gone to sleep.

Now we just need to work out what to do with the leftover pumpkin…


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