It’s clear that Apple, and Intel, have had a wide influence on the PC community at large, and that can only be a good thing. HP’s fall update includes, as a whole, a group of notebooks manage to pack in the features without packing on the inches.
You might notice a far-out date of introduction for these computers – you can blame Microsoft and the new Windows 8 for that.
HP Pavilion Sleekbook 14 and Pavilion Sleekbook 15
The Pavilion Sleekbook 14 and 15 measure in at 14 and 15.6 inches, and each offering some degree of HD resolution (though not 1080p – at least, not at the base level). Both feature HDMI out, and offer USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. While both major chipmakers support USB 3.0 on-die, HP still includes the occasional USB 2.0 port for compatibility with an internal debugging tool.
This new introduction marks a return to AMD processors as a full-on partner – to that end, the Sleekbook 14 will be powered by AMD APUs (CPU/Graphics), while the Sleekbook 15 will be running on Intel chips and chipsets. Coming in both ‘sparkling black’ and ‘ruby red’, the notebooks can store up to 1TB with an optional hard drive upgrade. HP TrueVision HD webcams make video calling clearer than ever.
HP is promising up to six hours of battery life, which means you won’t be carting these around all day. Still, for the price, it’s hard to beat a notebook of these specs and solid build.
The HP Pavilion Sleekbook 14 carries an MSRP of $499.99, while the Pavilion Sleekbook 15 will enter the market at $559.99; both are due to start shipping on October 26th.
HP ENVY m4 Notebook
Not a Sleekbook, not an Ultrabook – just a notebook. Well, not just a notebook. Oh, never mind.
As notebooks go, the ENVY m4 is reasonably nice. Part of the girth is due to the fact that this laptop actually has an optical disc drive, which is becoming increasingly rare on new notebooks. In addition to Ivy Bridge CPUs and a 14-inch display, the ENVY m4 has Intel’s Wi-Di built in; you’ll be able to hook it up – sans wires – to any supporting box or display.
The chipmaker has made a number of improvements to the technology, and newer, lower latency versions even make it suitable for some kinds of gaming.
HP is promising to deliver the “best-sounding” audio found on any PC – lofty words from the Beats Audio buy-in, no doubt. To that end, they built a subwoofer into the laptop in addition to two higher quality speakers.
The m4 also features a fingerprint scanner with HP’s SimplePass technology, which lets you sign into the computer and onto all your favorite sites just by swiping a finger.
Slick brushed aluminum covers the outside, while an optional backlit keyboard and a scalloped trackpad keeps things spiffy on the inside. Carrying the ENVY premium brand, the m4 costs a bit more than the Pavilions – it’s due out on October 26th, for a starting $899.99.
HP ProBook 4545s
HP’s ProBook line is growing increasingly to look like their EliteBook notebooks, which, in our eyes, can’t be a bad thing. The 4545s (and Asia-only 4445s, 4446s) exclusively uses AMD’s newest A-Series APUs along with AMD VISION Pro graphics. The new ProBook also marks the company’s first notebook that’s really pushing AMD Enduro, which is the chipmaker’s response to NVIDIA’s Optimus GPU switching technology.
Despite coming with the business build and extra warranty support, the new ProBook 4545s will start at just $499.99. It’s available now.
Be sure to check out our image gallery for the rest of the press photos, and stay tuned for our hands-on coverage!