updated 12:40 am EDT, Tue April 28, 2009
HP tonight put pressure on Apple's high-end MacBook Pros, as well as the current Dell Latitude series, by launching its ProBook s-series portables. The new systems are exercises in minimalism and blur the distinctions between home and work models: though they have quick access to calendars and contacts as well as added security measures and the option of 3G, they all have 16:9 ratio, LED-backlit screens, options for media features like Blu-ray or dedicated non-workstation graphics, and a merlot red body color option. They mark HP's first systems to use through-the-shell "chiclet" keyboards like Apple's MacBooks or certain Sony models.
The 14-inch ProBook 4410s and 4415s have received few details but will come with Intel and AMD processors respectively, with at least a GMA 4500 or Mobility Radeon HD 4330 providing graphics. Both have HDMI standard and a Bluetooth option on top of the optical choice common across the whole line.
At the mid-range, the 15.6-inch ProBook 4510s (Intel) and 4515s (AMD) have received more details. Despite their size, both fit numeric keypads. They also get options for 3G and dedicated graphics. While the 4515s' specs are as yet unpublished, the 4510s' most common configuration will provide a 1366x768 display, a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, a DVD burner and GMA 4500 video.
The 17.3-inch ProBook 4510s comes only as an Intel-based system and with a minimum Mobility Radeon HD 4330 for graphics. It starts with a 1600x900 LCD and a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, 3GB of memory, a DVD rewriter and a 320GB hard disk.
Pricing hasn't been published for most systems, but HP asserts that a base ProBook will cost $529. The 15.6- and 17.3-inch examples are already available to order and should be joined soon by the 14-inch version, though the red hue won't be available until June.
ProBook 4510s and 4515s