HP unveils snappy laptop PCs with eye toward Windows 7

Windows 7-ready lineup combines striking good looks with mobility.

Hewlett-Packard today announced a new lineup of notebook PCs that is primed for Windows 7 when the operating system comes out next month.


More on Windows 7 from GCN:

For some users, Windows 7 upgrade could take 20 hours
Microsoft says Windows 7 is deployable now
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 released


HP’s new Envy line of lightweight notebooks was designed with user needs in mind, company representatives said. Most users have a primary desktop PC, but they want a smaller notebook that can access the Web and video without the grainy quality smaller machines sometimes provide, HP representatives said.

The new notebooks lack built-in optical drives, although you can buy an external optical drive. Company representatives said optical drives are going the way of the floppy disk; most users need an optical drive rarely, for one-time software installations only. The Envy machines all feature the HP QuickWeb feature, which allows users to access the Internet, music, photos and videos without having to boot up Windows, HP said.

The HP Envy 13 is 0.8-inch thick and weighs 3.74 pounds. It comes with a battery slice that fits sleekly along the bottom of the machines and extends battery life for up to 18 hours, the company said. It sells for $1,699.

Starting at $1,799, the slightly beefier Envy 15 measures a full inch thick and weighs 5.8 pounds. It packs a laser-etched aluminum chassis with a high-resolution LED backlit display, the company said. It features an Intel Core i7 processor and up to 16G 1066-MHz DDR3 memory.

The company’s HP ProBook line is also adding a new player with the 5310m, which HP says is the world’s thinnest full-performance notebook at 0.9 inches thick, weighing in at 3.7 pounds. Selling for $699, it offers an Intel Core Duo SP9300 processor and seven hours of battery life, HP said. It is covered in a black anodized aluminum with a magnesium frame wrapped in soft-touch paint.

HP also has added to its Pavilion product line with the Pavilion dm3, a trim Pavilion at less than an inch thick and 4.2 pounds, selling for $549. It offers a 13.3-inch diagonal LED screen and a choice of AMD or Intel processors.

Looks matter to some people, and for them HP has provided the Mini 110, designed by Dutch artist Tord Boontje. The notebook features floral design imprinted into a three-dimensional surface technology called HP Imprint 3D. It sells for $399, as does the Mini 311, which is capable of playing back 1080p high-definition video, the company said. The Mini 311 also has an 11.6-inch screen, the largest available screen in a mini notebook, the company said.

Customers can reserve the HP Mini 110, the HP Envy 13 and 15, or the HP Pavilion dm3 beginning today at www.hpdirect.com/go/newfromhp.

The HP Mini 110 by Studio Tord Boontje with Windows 7 Starter is expected to be available Oct. 18.

The HP Mini 311 is expected to be available with Windows XP on Sept. 23 and with Windows 7 Premium on Oct. 18.

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