HP intros eight business laptops, including two Ultrabooks; prices at $499
The company just unveiled five corporate-friendly notebooks, two of which qualify as Ultrabooks. Starting with the outfit's higher-end EliteBook line, we've got three models: the 12-inch 820, the 14-inch 840 and the 15-inch 850. Like previous generations of EliteBooks, they meet the military's MIL-SPEC-810G standards for ruggedness, but this time, they're 40 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter. Across the board, you're looking at magnesium lids, which have been painted with four coats of paint to minimize scratches; the keyboard deck, meanwhile, is made of aluminum. Speaking of the keyboard area, all three models sport backlit keys, with a special finish applied to the buttons to help keep them fresh over the three-year warranty period.
Interestingly, battery life is the same on all units (up to 12 hours), though the 14-incher, specifically, can be paired with an optional slice battery for a total of 33 hours of juice. On the inside, all of them run Haswell processors, as you'd imagine, though only the 840 and 850 meet Intel's Ultrabook specification. Once it comes time for your IT guy to configure this, he can get any of the three machines with an LTE radio and either an SSD, HDD or hybrid hard drive. The 840 in particular has a touchscreen option; the other two don't. As for IT support, these are vPro CPUs, as you'd expect, and there's also TPM on board for added security. Additionally, as on previous models, the entire back shell is removable with a single latch, making it easy to swap out components. Finally, HP included an all-important Ethernet jack, complete with a drop-down jaw, along with a SmartCard reader, docking connector and legacy VGA port. All are available today with pricing as follows: the 12-inch 820 starts at $859, the 840 goes from $799 ($949 with a touchscreen), and the 850 costs $939.
In addition, HP added two refreshed models to its ProBook line, which is slightly lower-end, and is also aimed more at small businesses than the enterprise. Available in 14- and 15-inch screen sizes (the ProBook 640 and 650), these have the same aluminum keyboard deck as the EliteBook models, but lack the touch magnesium lid. On the other hand, HP says these guys will be more configurable, with a choice of either Intel or AMD processors. Finally, if you're really on a budget, there's the ProBook 400 series, which has a larger 17-inch model (the 470) in addition to your requisite 14- and 15-inchers. The 400-series laptops are available now, starting at $499. If it's the 600 line you're after, those will arrive a little later (toward the end of November), with a starting price "under"$699.