updated 08:25 am EDT, Mon August 11, 2008
HP EliteBook Quad Core
HP today preceded the SIGGRAPH expo by introducing a notebook it claims breaks two records in notebooks. The 17-inch EliteBook 8730w is the first known notebook to use a true Intel mobile quad-core processor rather than repurposed desktop parts and thus has the same size and battery performance of regular 17-inch systems. The company doesn't reveal the processor but is known to be using a 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme with 12MB of Level 2 cache, trading the clock speed of some Core 2 Duo processors for better performance in video encoding and other tasks that can recognize more than two cores.
It also uses the updates of Intel's newer Centrino 2 notebook platform to support as much as 8GB of memory, twice that of earlier notebooks.
The mobile workstation is also one of the first to use a true high-color display, HP boasts. The 8730w borrows the similar color accuracy development as the PC maker's recent DreamColor desktop display and outputs a full 16 million colors versus the 260,000 of most existing notebook LCD panels; while less than the one billion of the 24-inch original, the accuracy is enough to improve visual editing without relying on an external LCD. The system has the choice of an NVIDIA Quadro FX video chipset with 1GB of memory that can accelerate advanced 3D.
The 8730w will be available before the end of the month with prices starting at $1,699; base specifications haven't been revealed but include a Core 2 Duo and more modest video hardware. Two smaller 15.4-inch systems, the EliteBook 8530p and 8530w, will also have the option of the quad-core processor and come with as much as 8GB of memory when they ship in September, starting at a slightly lower $1,499.
Intel has yet to formally announce the 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme part but is expected to sell it through other notebook manufacturers and is targeting it at high-end, desktop replacement systems rather than thin-and-light models.