HP's new line of notebooks

Hewlett-Packard unveiled a broad range of next-generation notebook computers designed to be visually appealing but rugged and secure enough for the corporate or agency worker to take on the road.

At the top of the line is the HP EliteBook notebook PC, which incorporates the latest mobile technologies and meets multiple durability tests, including the Defense Department's Mil-Std 810F tests, company officials said.

The EliteBook and a family of newly designed HP Compaq notebooks are part of a massive announcement of next-generation personal systems HP made at the company's Connecting Your World event in Berlin today.

The company introduced 17 consumer, business and luxury notebooks, ranging from the EliteBook to new ultramobile products bearing the Voodoo brand.

Additionally, the company unveiled the HP TouchSmart, a touch-enabled PC that lets users access photos, music, videos, games, the Internet, TV and family calendars with a swipe of a finger.

HP also unveiled a new display co-developed by HP color scientists and DreamWorks animators to bring more than 1 billion colors into view.

Although HP has had a presence in the PC market for years, the company is now focusing on areas such as industrial design, user interfaces and new technology to give users a more compelling computer experience, said David Roman, vice president of worldwide marketing communications at HP's Personal Systems Group.

HP business notebook

But it is the HP EliteBook and HP Compaq business notebooks designed with an emphasis on durability, functionality and security that will most likely appeal to business and government users, HP officials said.

'HP has significantly hardened its [notebook] line, making it more robust,' which should appeal to government users, said Rob Enderle, president of the Enderle Group, an IT consulting firm. He noted that HP is a big provider of systems to government users ' from notebook PCs to high-end, fault-tolerant servers.

The EliteBook and HP Compaq notebooks incorporate HP DuraCase, whose features include a brushed anodized-aluminum exterior and a magnesium alloy chassis for protection and scratch resistance.

Another feature ' HP QuickLook2 software ' provides access to e-mail, calendars, task lists and contact information at the touch of a button. The HP SpareKey feature helps address the hassle of forgotten passwords by using a sequence of three predetermined personal identification questions to allow entry into the system.

The HP business notebook lineup offers a choice of the latest processor technologies, including Advanced Micro Devices' Turion 64 X2 dual-core mobile processors and the latest Intel Centrino 2 and Centrino with vPro Technology processors.

HP mobile broadband capability is included in select notebooks. With Qualcomm's Gobi technology built in, HP notebooks use a single module ' the HP un2400 ' to support multiple mobile broadband network technologies and operators.

Designed for the corporate road warrior, the EliteBook 6930p includes all-day battery life and business-rugged features. With a starting weight of 4.7 pounds, the 6930p meets the Mil-Std 810F specifications for vibration, dust, humidity, altitude and high temperatures.

The HP Compaq b-series notebooks, which sport a silver finish and magnesium alloy support structure, are targeted to mainstream mobile users ' professionals who commute, move around the office or travel occasionally. Notebooks in the standard s-series come loaded with security features, including HP ProtectTools Security Manager. For instance, Drive Encryption for HP ProtectTools encodes information on the hard drive to make sensitive data unreadable if the notebook is lost or stolen.

File Sanitizer adds extra data security by permanently deleting individual files, folders and personally identifiable information. Additionally, s-series notebooks have HP 3D DriveGuard, which uses a three-axis accelerometer to detect sudden movement and initiate actions to protect the notebook's hard drive from bumps or drops.

All notebooks are expected to be available in July. Prices range from $799 for PCs in the standard s-series to $1,179 for those in the EliteBook series.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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