HP Unveils Low-Cost Business Laptops

Hewlett-Packard today launched a new line of low-cost business notebooks called the ProBook s-series that merge business functionality with consumer goodies like HD graphics and Blu-ray drives. The HP ProBooks give you a choice of an Intel or AMD processor across most of the line, as well as choices of 14-, 15.6-, or 17.3-inch diagonal HD widescreens with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Models come in glossy noir (black) or merlot, though merlot is only available on the 14- and 15-inch models and is not expected to be available until June.

HP is offering two OS flavors: Windows Vista with available XP downgrade or Novell's newly-released SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11. The ProBook series also has a few HP specialties including the HP SpareKey button which lets you answer three personal identification questions in case you forget your system password; one-touch access to e-mail, calendar, and contacts with QuickLook 2; and the File Sanitizer utility that can completely wipe individual files, folders, and personally identifying information from your hard drive.

The ProBook series starts at $529 MSRP.

Most of the ProBooks share similar features, including:

-800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM two slots expandable up to 8GB-Up to 500GB SATA HDD internal storage-Wi-Fi a/b/g/n-ExpressCard/34 slot

-Media Card Reader-Ports: four USB 2.0, VGA and HDMI-Full-size keyboard

-Options include: Blu-ray ROM DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL LightScribe Drive5; 2 MP webcam; and Bluetooth 2.0

Here's the breakdown for specific models:

4410s (Intel) and 4415s (AMD)-14-inch diagonal widescreen with 16:9 ratio-ATI Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics, ATI Mobility RadeonTM HD 4330 discrete graphics, with 512 MB dedicated video memory-6-cell Lithium-Ion battery-Weight: 5 pounds with optical drive-Dimensions: 1.22 (at front) x 13.2 x 9.15 in

4510s (Intel) and 4515s (AMD)

-15.5-inch diagonal widescreen with 16:9 ratio-integrated number pad--HP un2400 EV-DO/HSPA Mobile Broadband Module that HP says will work with multiple mobile broadband carriers-Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD, ATI Mobility RadeonTM HD 4330, with 512 MB dedicated video memory (4510s)

- ATI Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics, ATI Mobility RadeonTM HD 4330 discrete graphics, with 512 MB dedicated video memory (4515s)-8-or 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery-Weight: 5.7 pounds including optical drive-Dimensions: 1.24 (at front) x 14.6 x 9.83 in

4710s (Intel only)

-17.3-inch diagonal widescreen with 16:9 ratio-ATI Mobility RadeonTM HD 4330, with 512 MB dedicated video memory-8-cell Lithium-Ion battery-Weight: 6.8 pounds with optical drive-Dimensions: 1.26 (at front) x 16.17 x 10.63 in

All HP ProBooks come with HP Smart AC adapters that allow the notebooks to automatically make power adjustments as needed. The ProBook models are mercury-free, have an Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool silver rating, and are ENERGY STAR qualified. The ProBook models are also compatible with HP's USB 2.0 docking station.

Follow Ian Paul on Twitter (@ianpaul).

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