HP ProBook 5310m Aims to 'Raise the Bar' for Thin-and-Light Notebooks

Among the devices HP introduced on Sept. 15 is the ProBook 5310m, an addition to the growing thin-and-light category that's said to be the thinnest full-performance, standard voltage notebook on the market. Though it's also available with an Intel ultra-low voltage processor.

On Sept. 15, Hewlett-Packard introduced more than a dozen new devices for both consumers and the enterprise. They're machines ready to compete in a difficult economy and PC market, and among them was the HP ProBook 5310m.
The 5310m is a thin-and-light number that HP calls the world's thinnest full performance, standard-voltage notebook. In the United States, research firm IDC expects the thin-and-light category to grow three times faster than the overall notebook market over the next three years. And in a June 23 report from Australia, IDC analyst Felipe Rego additionally likened the potential effects of this category to those seen by "netbooks," or mini-notebooks.
"The popularity of mini-notebooks helped avoid a further decline in the overall PC market. However, the new light, thin and affordable notebook platforms that are coming into the market have the potential to contribute to another revolution similar to the mini-notebook one, especially with the expectation of the Windows 7 launch, which will make them ideal Christmas gifts," Rego said in a statement.
Coinciding with the launch of Windows 7, the ProBook 5310m will begin shipping Oct. 22 for $899 with an Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 processor (2.26GHz, 6 MB L2 cache and 1,066MHz FSB), or for $699 with ultra-low voltage (ULV) Intel Celeron SU2300 processor (1.20GHz, 1MB L2 cache and 800MHz FSB). The chipset is an Intel GS45 Express chipset ICH9M-enhanced.
Living up to its thin-and-light promise, the ProBook 5310m is 3.8 pounds and measures 12.9 by 8.7 by 0.93 inches. The display is 13.3 inches on the diagonal and is LED-backlit with HD anti-glare. There is an optional HP external USB 2.0 CD/DVD/R/RW drive and an integrated 2-megapixel webcam with a fixed-focus lens, as well as high-definition audio support, integrated stereo speakers, an integrated dual microphone and a combination stereo headphone/microphone jack.
HP, as evidenced by the "digital clutch" it launched on Sept. 10, in collaboration with the fashion designer Vivienne Tam, is well aware that even enterprise users now want a PC that's not only thin and light but attractive, and in this way, too, the 5310m is a relevant new addition to the marketplace.
It's black and sleek with a cover finish that looks like wood grain. It has a durable (per HP) aluminum display enclosure and palm rest, and a magnesium alloy bottom that's been stripped of labels and painted in that popular soft finish that's so nice on the fingertips. The screen has a drop hinge, which makes for easier viewing on an airline tray-table, among other places. And the keyboard is not only sunken - making for a clean line from palm rest to screen - but is "island style," with very separated keys, all covered with HP's DuraKeys finish so that the letters stay put and shiny streaks don't turn up on heavily used keys, such as the space bar.
Also included is QuickLook3, which instantly offers 10 seconds of use for a powered-down notebook; and while this used to mean just a look, with this third version users can type and answer emails. QuickWeb, also included, offers a similar peek at the Internet peek, for 20 seconds.
There are various memory options, upgradeable to 4GB; a 4-cell battery, though an optional 6-cell will be available later in the year; and multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and optional HP Mobile broadband with GPS, which is powered by Qualcomm's Gobi technology. Gobi makes it possible to connect to 3G on both CDMA2000 EV-Do and UMTS HSPA networks worldwide.
Of the ProBook 5310m and its companion, the more consumer-focused Pavilion dm3, a complement to the HP Pavilion dv2, HP's Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager of the Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, asserted in a statement, "These new notebooks further validate our position as an undisputed leader in notebook design and raise the bar for the entire thin and light category."