HP Rolls Out More New Notebooks, Plus a Business Tablet

Overall, the chief characteristics of each of the launches are what one might expect: added power and storage; stronger, lighter bodies (thanks to new aluminum casings); improved, near-high-definition graphics; and some useful new software options.

Hewlett-Packard has been busier than usual rolling out laptops and notebooks the last few months. On March 1, the company introduced its new ProBook S-series, its third such product launch since October 2009.
Overall, the chief characteristics of each of the launches are what one might expect: added power and storage; stronger, lighter bodies (thanks to new aluminum casings); improved, near-high-definition graphics; and some useful new software options.
All the new ProBook S-series (for Standard) portables are powered by Intel Core processors and will be marketed for business of all shapes and sizes.
The new machines-which come in display size choices of 12.1-inch, 13.3-inch, 14-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch-can be preinstalled with Windows 7, Vista or FreeDOS. The 12.1-inch EliteBook 2540p notebook starts at $719 with a basic feature set; depending on which options you pick, the prices can go up as high as about double that cost.
In addition to high-performance innards (4GB to 8GB of RAM, 250GB to 320GB storage, etc.), the laptops feature new matte-brushed aluminum shells with color descriptions that include "Bordeaux," for a faintly garnet-colored model, and "Caviar," which looks an awful lot like charcoal black.
All four new laptops come with standard high-definition, LED-backlit displays. Inside, a choice of Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors is offered with a choice of Intel HD graphics or higher-end ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4350 graphics.
Tablet Has Multitouch Capability
The new convertible EliteBook 2740p Tablet features multitouch capabilities (much like an iTouch or iPhone), can be used with a pen or finger, has zoom and rotate touch functions, comes with an outdoor view (backlit) display, and can turn digitally handwritten notes into text.
The tablet features an HD graphics card; 160GB, 250GB or 320GB HHD storage options; and 80GB or 160GB SSD storage options. It weighs a mere 3.8 pounds.
Softwarewise, the machines offer facial recognition and a fingerprint reader as added security options; new, more granular multimedia controls; multiple wireless connectivity choices; and the ArcSoft TotalMedia Suite. The latter enables playback and editing of audio and video files without requiring any additional software plug-ins.
A new standard feature on all the new HP laptops and notebooks is something called HP DayStarter, an app that runs in the BIOS while the computer is booting up. DayStarter displays the next 12 hours of events on the user's Outlook calendar and displays exactly how much battery power is left via a power meter.
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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...