Hands On with HP’s Spring Refresh: New Pavilions, EliteBooks, Ultrabooks and More

by Reads (20,984)

The new HP business PC lineup features some pretty outstanding machines. The EliteBook 2170p measures just 11.6 inches diagonally, but manages to to pack in up to 16GB of RAM, Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs, USB 3.0, DisplayPort, 750GB hard drives or 256GB SSDs, a backlit, spill-resistant keyboard, LTE or HSPA+, 5-in-1 memory card slot and a docking connector for powering multiple displays.

Perhaps most importantly, all that computation prowess comes in at under three pounds (2.89, to be precise) – which means slipping the 2170p into your carry-on bag won’t be a problem. HP achieved that goal by dropping the optical drive, saving weight and allowing for more battery room. To that end, this guy will get you an estimated nine hours of battery life. The slightly larger 2570p (at 12.5 inches) gets you a bit more productivity by reintroducing the optical drive.

  

Since it’s part of Hewlett-Packard’s business line, the EliteBook (and all EliteBooks) offers a number of tools and security features that help protect you and your data when you’re out and about. 

Optional Self-Encrypting Drives can encrypt your storage and tie it to the hardware inside your notebook. If someone pulls the drive out and attemps to read it – no dice. HP’s Disk Sanitizer wipes any sensitive information off of older drives before disposal or transfer, TPM Embedded Security chips allow for hardware security checks, Fingerprint sensors and Smart Card readers let employees log on without worrying about insecure passwords (or allow IT managers to double up on security measures), and Microsoft Security Essentials is even pre-installed. 

 

Most of the rest of HP’s EliteBook updates are nice, though not supremely memorable. The silver, industrial look remains the same, though that’s hardly a criticism. Larger models, such as the 8470p and 8570p have been updated to Ivy Bridge CPUs and more powerful discrete GPUs – and now offer up to a day and a half on a single charge. That’s right; with an optional Ultra Extended Life Notebook Battery, power users can snag up to 36 hours of runtime without needing to plug into an outlet.

 

The EliteBook p-Series did get one welcome upgrade, though – audio. This trend of consumerization in IT has pushed manufacturers to add more consumer-friendly features, like awesome speakers, to their staid enterprise lineups. The new EliteBooks get SRS Premium Sound PRO Audio, which means you won’t need to worry about audio presentations or team VoIP calls sounding like complete, well, you know.

HP EliteBook FolioHP EliteBook Folio

Easily the best business laptop shown off was the new HP EliteBook Folio 9470m. Taking cues from the first Folio and the company’s recent Ultrabook push, the new Folio bears only a slight resemblance to its chunky EliteBook forebears. The new EliteBook Folio delivers a 14-inch screen, but measures only 3/4 of an inch thick. Despite that svelte exterior, it features VGA, DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet and three USB 3.0 ports. Like the rest of the EliteBook lineup, you can snag hard drives or SSDs, HSPA+ or LTE, extended life and slice batteries, HD webcams and up to 16GB of RAM. You can also order the new Folio with a 24GB or 32GB mSATA SSD cache module, which is an affordable way to experience some of the speed that flash storage delivers.

HP EliteBook FolioHP EliteBook Folio

Disappointingly, the new 9470m comes with a 1366×768 resolution, 14-inch display – and you can’t upgrade to something with a bit more pixel density. Despite being a 14-inch notebook, the Folio weighs barely more than the little p Series laptops; the average configuration comes in at only 3.6 pounds. You also get a snazzy glass touchpad as well as a backlit keyboard, standard.

HP ProBooks HP ProBooks

The ProBook line, which is targeted at business users who don’t need quite the performance and robustness found in the more expensive EliteBook models, also received a number of updates. The new b Series are clad in a tungsten-colored metal finish that’s designed to hide bumps and bruises. Despite the more affordable nature, the new ProBooks feel almost every bit as robust in the hand as the new EliteBooks do. The ProBook 6470b, 6570b are built with Intel vPro technology, while HP’s 6475b uses more affordable AMD processors. 

HP ProBooksBuilt to entice smaller businesses to jump on board, the new ProBook s Series feature expensive-looking aluminum on top and rugged black plastic on the bottom. The ProBook 4340s, 4341s, 4440s, 4441s, 4445s, 4446s, 4540s, 4545s, and 4740s range in size from 13.3 inches for the 43XX models to 17.3 inches for the 4740s.

The EliteBook 2170p starts at $999, while the 2570p jumps to $1,099; both will be available on June 22nd. The 8470p and 8570p each start at $899, and ship beginning June 4th. The ProBook line will also ship on the 4th of June, with the 6470b and 6570b starting at $769, the 6475b at $669, and the new s Series at just $589. The innovative HP EliteBook Folio will hit in October for an undisclosed price.



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