updated 02:45 pm EDT, Mon August 4, 2008
HP 550 Notebook
HP without fanfare today introduced the 550, the newest generation of its entry-level pro notebooks. The refresh is based on Intel's earlier Santa Rosa platform but skews performance higher than often expected in the class, with a 1.73GHz Celeron dual-core available as an option and unusual 1.4GHz and 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo chips sitting at the top end. A 1.73GHz single-core Celeron is still an option for low-demand users.
The system holds up to 4GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive but can be configured for as little as 512MB of of memory and a 120GB. Windows Vista is available with or without an XP downgrade option but can also be replaced by FreeDOS for buyers planning to install Linux or another operating system.
HP has yet to reveal any pricing or shipping information for the 550, though cost savings are likely to push the price towards the $500 mark. [via Laptoping]