by Jerry Jackson
If you’re planning to purchase a new laptop after Microsoft releases Windows 7 in October, you now have several new reasons to choose something with an HP logo on the lid. We spent some hands-on time with the newest HP notebooks to give you a first look at what’s coming soon to a store near you.
Of course, when I say “coming soon” what I meant to say was, “coming as soon as Windows 7 launches in October.” All of the new HP laptops I’ll be showing you below will ship with Windows 7 … so you can’t get your hands on these just yet.
HP Envy 13
The newest 13-inch premium consumer notebook from HP promises to provide the ideal balance of durability, mobility and design. Coming in at just 0.8-inch thin and 3.74 pounds, we’re inclined to believe HP’s marketing on this one.
The Envy 13 is connected to the HP VoodooPC Envy 133 in more ways than just the name. The new Envy 13 includes switchable ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 discrete graphics that deliver high performance when you need it or reduced power consumption when you want as much battery life as possible. Speaking of the battery, the Envy 13 offers an ultra-high capacity battery slice that extends battery life for up to 18 hours! Part of that impressive battery life comes from the use of the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SL9400 running at 1.86GHz.
As impressive as that sounds, the most striking feature of the Envy 13 has to be the new “HP Radiance Display” that delivers vivid color quality & exceptional brightness thanks to an improved color gamut (82%) and a brightness rating of 410nits. “Beats Audio” also gives the Envy some reasonably impressive speakers for a 13-inch laptop. You might not feel the need to use your earphones with this notebook.
In addition to these key features, the Envy 13 includes HP QuickWeb (essentially a custom version of Linux) which allows users to access the Internet, music, photos, videos in seconds, even when the notebook is shut down. The Envy 13 starts at $1,699.
HP Envy 15
The 15-inch Envy 15 is the big brother to the Envy 13 and offers some impressive performance for such a compact notebook (just 1-inch thin and 5.18 pounds). HP constructed the chassis out of a combination of aluminum and magnesium alloy to give the Envy 15 a durable feeling and keep it as light weight as possible. Inside, you’ll find space for two hard drives or high performance SSDs, an Intel Core i7 mobile processor and up to 16GB (that’s NOT a typo) of 1066MHz DDR3 system memory.
The laser-etched chassis and high-resolution LED backlit display help keep this notebook attractive to the eye … though your wallet might not find this laptop too appealing. The Envy 15 starts at $1,799.
HP ProBook 5310m
HP took some criticism earlier this year with the release of the ProBook line of business notebooks. These budget-priced laptops were designed to offer small and medium business owners a more affordable alternative to the HP EliteBook line of business notebooks. The HP ProBook 5310m proves HP is paying attention to the critics. The 13-inch ProBook 5310m features a metal chassis similar to the EliteBook line but the notebook itself remains less than 1 inch thick and only 3.7 pounds in weight.
The ProBook 5310m will offer an Intel Core Duo SP9300 processor and up to 7 hours of battery life. Just like the Envy 13 and Envy 15, the ProBook includes HP QuickWeb, allowing users to access the Internet, music, photos, videos in seconds, even when the notebook is shut down. The ProBook 5310m starts at $699.
HP Pavilion dm3
The newest member of the popular Pavilion family, the Pavilion dm3 boasts an attractive HD BrightView 13.3-inch diagonal LED screen and your choice of AMD or Intel processors and discrete graphics to meet some pretty demanding performance needs. Think of the Pavilion dm3 like a slightly larger Envy 13 … without the jaw-dropping price tag.
The lightweight aluminum design keeps the notebook down to just 4.2 pounds and the profile is less than an inch thick thanks to the lack of an optical drive. HP claims the Pavilion dm3 will offer 10 hours of battery life, and we’re eager to put those claims to the test. The dm3 starts at $549.
HP Mini 110 by STUDIO TORD BOONTJE
This new netbook is essentially a minor refresh of the current 10-inch Mini netbook from HP. The biggest difference isn’t inside … this time you really can judge a netbook by its cover. HP was the first laptop manufacturer to produce lid designs that were printed inside multiple layers of plastics. The “HP Imprint” technology has since been copied by several other companies, but the new Mini 110 is the first laptop to feature a three-dimensional surface known as HP Imprint 3D. It’s hard to describe what the lid looks like, but it’s essentially multiple layers of fully transparent and partially transparent plastic that create a sense of depth and texture to the design on the lid.
HP worked with designer Tord Boontje to create a unique flora design that weaves delicately around endangered animals and unravels onto the palm rest and touchpad. HP will even offer a range of matching accessories that are covered in the same HP Imprint 3D design.
The Mini 110 comes with a clean desktop as well as a Stardock MyColors custom theme, screen saver, icons and 15 wallpapers designed by Tord Boontje. The Mini 110 starts at $399.
HP Mini 311
The last addition to the HP mobile family is an updated Mini with an 11-inch screen the new HP Mini 311 offers everything that the last generation of HP Mini “companion PCs” delivered … with a bigger screen and Nvidia ION graphics.
Thanks to ION, the Mini 311 is capable of playing back 1080p high-definition video with smooth playback … something Atom-based netbook with Intel graphics can’t do. As an additional value for Mini owners, HP includes “Syncables” software to help you update files on the go and sync effortlessly with your primary PC. The Mini 311 starts at $399.
There isn’t much more to talk about with the Mini 311, so here is a quick look at the technical specs:
- Intel Atom Processor N270(3)
- Genuine Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 3
- 11.6” Diagonal HD LED(8) BrightView Widescreen Display (1366 x 768)
- NVIDIA ION LE for Windows XP with up to 319MB total graphics memory
- 1024MB DDR3 System Memory (1 Dimm)
- 160GB (5400RPM) Hard Drive (SATA)(7)
- HP Webcam with integrated digital microphone
- 802.11b/g WLAN(10a)
- 6-Cell Lithium-Ion battery
- 1-Year Free Hardware Technical Support
Stay tuned to NotebookReview.com for more details and full reviews of all these notebooks!