updated 04:00 am EDT, Tue June 10, 2008
HP EliteBook and Biz Notes
As part of a wide effort, HP today gave its business notebooks a refresh that includes a brand new model. The EliteBook signals one of HP's first rugged notebooks and is designed to survive both cosmetic and internal damage: anodized aluminum on the palm rest and outside shell keep the computer free of scratches, while a magnesium honeycomb cage and an anti-twist 14-inch display prevent impact damage from ruining the system's innards. The casing, shock-resistant hard drive, and spill-proof keyboard help meet US military-grade 810F levels for survivability in extreme temperatures as well as vibrations and very damp environments.
In spite of the outer protection, the EliteBook is also fast: it uses either Intel's Centrino 2 or AMD's Turion X2 Ultra platform with accompanying faster processors and graphics. One system starts the lineup: the EliteBook 6930p has the option of an extra-high capacity battery that pushes as much as 15 hours of battery life as well as a Mobility Radeon HD 3450 for better video, an LED-backlit screen, and the ability to use a second hard drive with the option of a RAID mirror or stripe. Qualcomm's Gobi chipset provides 3G cellular Internet access in some models. Pricing starts at $1,179 for the EliteBook when it ships in late July.
A more conventional update applies to the HP Compaq business lineup. The 14-inch 6530/6535b and 6530/6535s use Intel and AMD chips; the b series uses a more scratch-resistant silver finish while the s line uses a more conventional black. The matching 6730/6735b and 6730/6735s do the same for larger 15.4-inch notebooks. A lone 17-inch system, the 6830s, uses an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and comes with an ATI Radeon HD 3410 that claims is useful both for 3D workstation apps as well as gaming.
All the HP Compaq-branded systems also have the choice of the Qualcomm Gobi platform and will ship in late July. Prices for s series versions start at $799; higher-end models and b series notebooks haven't yet received public pricing.
HP Compaq lineup