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Hewlett-Packard is trying to outgrow its fuddy-duddy image by launching new business laptops with consumer-friendly features. The new laptops are part of a years-long effort to make HP’s products as cool as Apple’s.
The new models can be used as business or consumer laptops, but the designs are definitely steering in the direction of being friendly to consumers. If HP can pull off its attempt to turn its products into desirable and cool must-haves, it will likely capture more market share — as well as higher value profit share — in the computer business.
The consumer friendly features include HP Beats Audio technology, which started as a high-end audio feature and is rolling out across a bunch of the company’s laptops now. The new models also come with nice-looking industrial designs and the newest energy-efficient microprocessors from Intel.
One of stand-out machines is the new HP Envy 14 laptop (pictured top), which has a 14.5-inch screen and comes with CoolSense technology that detects whether your laptop is sitting on a table and can use full power or is sitting on your lap and needs to be cooler. It also has universal serial bus (USB) 3.0 connectivity and a new HP imagepad that allows for better-quality touchpad control. It has an etched-metal alloy case. It will be available for $999 and up in the U.S. on June 15. It has new Intel Core microprocessors and options for AMD Radeon stand-alone graphics chips.
The HP ProBook 5330m has a dual-tone color scheme with brushed aluminum for its chassis cover and a backlit keyboard. The laptop is less than an inch thick and comes with a 13.3-inch diagonal high-definition screen. It is available now at $799 and up in the U.S. It has Intel’s latest Core i5 and Core i3 dual-core microprocessors. The laptop weighs 3.9 pounds and has HP’s fingerprint reader for improved security.
The Elitebook p series has two new models, the 2560p and the 2760p tablet PC (pictured left). These “ultra-portable” laptops are among the smallest and lightest that HP offers, coming in at 3.68 pounds with a 12.5-inch diagonal HD display and an integrated optical drive. The HP EliteBook 2760p tablet laptop allows for finger-touch input or pen input, and it has a 12.1-inch screen. The screen can swivel so you can use it as a tablet or as a laptop. Both models have the Intel Core i7 or i5 dual-core processors and offer a choice of hard drives or solid state drives for users. The 2560p starts at $1,099 and will be available in the U.S. on May 23. The 2760p starts at $1,499 and is available in the U.S. now.
HP also has a new version of the HP Mini 210 laptop with five colors, HP Beats Audio, and HP QuickWeb 3.0 for fast web starting. The HP Mini 210 is less than 3 pounds and less than an inch thick. It can get up to 9.5 hours of battery life. The laptops start at $299 and will go on sale in the U.S. on June 15.
HP is also launching its HP Pavilion dv4 laptop with a 14-inch screen and two different colors. The laptop has CoolSense technology and is available in two colors. It starts at $599 and will be available in the U.S. on May 18.
The laptops come with a way to simplify remembering passwords and protect you at the same time from cyber criminals. The HP SimplePass 2.0 technology lets you use fingerprint identification to remember your password at different web sites such as Facebook or Twitter. The system can eliminate phishing, or password stealing scams, by generating unique one-time passwords that are linked to the user’s fingerprint. You simply scan your finger into the built-in biometric reader on the laptops and then type in a six-digit password that works only once.