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hp tm2It’s raining Hewlett-Packard products today. The world’s biggest computer company is announcing 20 new computer-related products today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

We saw them last month and the bottom line is that HP continues to design elegant products that give Apple and everyone else a run for the money.

One of the lead products is the HP TouchSmart tm2 (pictured at top), a fourth-generation touchscreen laptop. It has a swivel 12.1-inch screen that can be turned into a tablet. You can enter things with your finger, full-size keyboard, or a digital pen. It has a capacitive multitouch display that recognizes multi-finger gestures such as pinching or swiping. It has an aluminum case with a Riptide engraved illustration.

The Windows 7 laptop uses the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors and has options for ATI Mobility Radeon graphics chips. It has nine hours of battery life (using the somewhat discredited MobileMark 07 benchmark, which means actual battery life is less than that) on a six-cell battery. It has a fingerprint reader, and HP has packaged it with BumpTop, a user interface that gives your Windows desktop a 3-D look and feel. It also has DigiFish Dolphin, a 3-D screen saver with a touch-sensitive ocean environment. And it comes with Corel Paint it! Touch, which lets users paint with their fingertips. Other touch apps include Netflix, Hulu Desktop, Internet TV, Twitter and HP Music Store. This is one of HP’s environmentally friendly machines which doesn’t use brominated flame retardants or polyvinyl chloride, a couple of toxic chemicals. It is available Jan. 7 and starts at $949.

hp mini 5102 againAmong the most interesting of HP’s new offerings is the Mini 5102 (pictured), the company’s first touch-enabled netbook. You can use multi-finger gestures on the capacitive multitouch screen, which doesn’t require a lot of pressure to make something happen. You can tap or swipe to navigate through applications and menus. It has a 10.1-inch LED display with a two-megapixel webcam coupled with face-recognition software. Once it recognizes you, it will log you into the computer, and it will do the same for web sites as well.

The 2.6-pound machine is less than an inch think and has a lightweight anodized aluminum enclosure that comes in black, red or blue brushed finishes. There’s an optional handle that you can use to carry it. The keyboard is about 95 percent the size of standard keyboards. The chip has the Intel Atom N450 processor, multiple connectivity options, and it can play high-definition video content at 720p or 1080p resolutions. The battery life is 4.5 hours with a four-cell battery (using the MobileMark 07 benchmark, which means actual busy-usage time is less than 4.5 hours) and 10 hours with a six-cell battery.

It runs on Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system or Windows XP Home. It comes bundled with Corel Home Office, and with QuickWeb, you can access the web, your email, or other features without waiting for a bootup. It takes just 5 seconds access the web or your email. You can even edit your calendar now in QuickLook 3 mode. It is available this month for $399 in the U.S., and there’s a student option with the machine with an optional handle and other bundled items.

hp mini 210HP is also offering two new laptops for both consumers and small businesses. The HP Mini 210 and the HP Mini 2102 weigh 2.7 pounds and are less than an inch thick. The Mini 210 (pictured) is available in black crystal, silver crystal, blue or red, while the Mini 2102 comes in black. They feature the latest Atom processors and have 10.1-inch screens that can handle high-definition video.

They come with optional 3G broadband and global positioning system (GPS) navigation. The keyboard is 93 percent of typical size, and there are no screws in the laptop’s enclosure.

Battery life is up to 10 hours, and swapping batteries is easy. The machine supports Adobe Flash 10.1. and comes with HP’s QuickSync (for wireless synching), QuickWeb, CloudDrive and MediaStream software. The CloudDrive service lets you store 2 gigabytes of data for free, and MediaStream lets you access your files remotely at home. The Mini 201 is available on Jan. 7 at $299 and the Mini 2102 starts at $329.

hp elitebookHP is refreshing its line of HP EliteBook notebook PCs for those who are thinking of computing in a combat zone. The HP EliteBook 8440w and 8540w mobile workstations, as well as the HP EliteBook 8440p and 8540p laptops, come with ruggedized features that meet the specifications of the military. They have durable cases, dust-proofing, metal hinges with steel pin axels and a reinforced display latch. They can tolerate heat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 60 degrees.

Among the features: HP Skyroom, a video conferencing app that can connect people via high-definition video. They also share a lot of the features of the above laptops and use the latest Intel Core i7 processors. Prices are $1,099 for the 8440p, $1,249 for the 8540p, $1,299 for the 8540w, and $1,499 for the 8440w. They will be available in January.

hp projectorHP’s entry in the small projector market is the HP Notebook Projector Companion. This small box measures three inches by four inches and weighs less than a pound. But it can project an image up to 60 inches diagonally from a distance of up to 8.5 feet. It has a light-emitting diode light source that can last 10,000 hours, and it has a brightness of 100 lumens. It’s clearly not the most powerful projector on the market, but it will do the job for most presentation purposes, and you can’t beat the size. It comes with an option for a $99 battery adapter. It is available Jan. 15 for $499.

On the environmental front, HP is offering the Compaq 8000f Elite Business PC. The machine is HP’s first Windows-based desktop PC that doesn’t include the previously mentioned BFRs or PVCs, from the wall to the mouse — meaning everything that comes in the box. It has an 87 percent efficient power supply and runs on an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The inner paper packaging for the machine is made from 100-percent recycled molded pulp packaging, and the box is recyclable as well. It sells for $849 starting Feb. 1. When idle, the machine runs on 24 watts, which is about as much as a lot of laptops. In standby mode, it consumes 3 watts, and it has a hibernation mode that doesn’t use any power. If you took out the hibernation mode, it would use about $12.31 in electricity per year, compared to $4.76 per year with hibernation mode. By 2011, all of HP’s desktops will have similar environmentally friendly features, the company says.

Other new desktops include the 8100 Elite Business PC ($849, starting Feb. 1), and the Compaq 8000 Elite Business PC (available now, $799).

Other products being introduced are the HP Pavilion Elite HPE desktop consumer PC, the HP Z200 Workstation (available in February at $769), the HP ZR22w monitor (available February at $289) and the HP ZR24w monitor (available February for $425), the HP Compaq LE19f monitor and HP Compaq LA22f widescreen (February, $179), and the HP Compaq L2105tm 21.5-inch widescreen touch monitor (available now at $299).

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