No offense to the previous ProBooks s-series, but we think HP may have finally removed the last pieces of boring from the line. The new crop of business laptops – if you can even call them that anymore – are available with 13.3, 14, 15.6 and 17.3-inch display sizes, and can be configured with Intel's latest Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. There are too many configurations to list, but the $900 15.6-inch ProBook 4520s with a Core i5 CPU and a 500GB 7,200RPM drive sounds like a deal to us. Fear not graphics mavens, you can configure any of the models with ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 5350 GPU. Specs aside, we were pretty enamored with the externals – all are clad in a brushed aluminum case and a matte surface lid that's available in "caviar" brown or a reddish "bordeaux." Our fingers were big fans of the chiclet keyboard, but the addition of the ClickPad with its integrated mouse buttons makes us a bit anxious, you know, given the issues we've had with those on the Mini 210 and Envys. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention HP's new Day Starter software that lets the workaholics amongst you check a configured Outlook calender while the laptop boots up in the background -- it doesn't work yet with Google Cal, we asked. You should be able to start configuring the lappies in the next few weeks, but hit the break for some hands-on pics and the full PR.

HP ProBooks hands-on

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HP ProBook press shots

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HP Unveils Ultra-thin, Touch-enabled Convertible Tablet and Notebook PCs for Small and Midsize Businesses

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 1, 2010 – HP today introduced the company's first multitouch-enabled tablet for business users as well as notebook PCs tailored for both enterprise and small and midsize businesses (SMBs).
The additions to the HP portfolio include:

- HP EliteBook 2740p – an ultra-thin, multitouch-enabled convertible tablet that provides an interactive experience for businesses in health care, education, sales and more;
- HP EliteBook 2540p – the company's lightest EliteBook notebook PC, starting at only 3.3 pounds, is ideal for global and large corporate enterprises, the public sector and other businesses in need of a rugged, high-performance notebook; and
- HP ProBook standard series (s-series) notebook PCs – four new models of the high-performing series provide a new design and sophisticated colors for everyday use.

"The HP business touch tablet is the latest addition to the broad mix of choices that HP offers business customers to best improve manageability, productivity and mobility," said Dan Forlenza, vice president, Business Notebooks, Personal Systems Group, HP. "HP continues to implement the latest innovations to help large companies and SMBs exceed productivity expectations."

The notebook PCs are the latest in the company's series of launches providing businesses a wide selection of products to refresh their aging business technology.

Powerful and light notebook PCs for the road warrior
Now offering standard voltage Intel processors, the HP EliteBook 2740p tablet PC combines the power and reliability of an HP business notebook PC with the flexibility of a tablet, making it ideal for users on the go. The 2740p starts at 3.8 pounds and includes a 12.1-inch diagonal LED display or optional outdoor-view display with less reflection and a higher contrast for easier viewing in natural light.(1)

The touchscreen option allows users to get work done more intuitively and faster based on their choice of input methods. Multitouch gestures, finger taps and swipes across the screen allow users to navigate through applications and menus, as well provide access to information and websites.

The HP EliteBook 2740p offers a variety of battery solutions for lightweight configurations, including a six-cell li-ion prismatic battery, which provides up to 5 hours of uptime, and an optional HP 2700 Ultra-Slim Battery that provides up to 11 hours when combined with the standard battery.(1,2)
The optional HP 2740 Ultra-Slim Expansion Base(1) allows users to dock their notebook PCs to utilize peripherals without needing to constantly plug and unplug. This innovative expansion base includes a DVD+/-RW drive, fits neatly into a briefcase so the optical drive can easily travel, and supports DisplayPort so users can easily connect to an external monitor. The expansion base also has an eSATA port, allowing for connection to an external RAID array, HDD and to optical drives for fast and easy storage.
The HP EliteBook 2540p offers business users a choice of Intel® Core™ processors in either standard voltage for maximum performance – a first for HP ultra-portable notebooks – or low voltage for increased flexibility with the convenience of an optical drive or secondary hard drive.

As the lightest-weight offering in the HP EliteBook portfolio, the 2540p is equipped with a 12.1-inch diagonal LED display, optional 2-megapixel webcam with business card reader software and HP Fingerprint Sensor. (1)

Integrated HP Mobile Broadband powered by Gobi(3) allows users to conveniently access the internet, company intranet, email and mission-critical information in more places than ever before, while HP Connection Manager 3.0 simplifies and automates connecting users with their preferred networks.

The HP EliteBook 2540p includes multiple battery options for lightweight configurations or longer battery life, including a three-cell battery that provides up to 4 hours, a six-cell battery that provides up to 8 hours, and a nine-cell battery that provides up to 10.5 hours.(2)

Also available for select EliteBook models are three- and six-cell HP Long Life Batteries, providing a three-year life span(1,4) – up to twice as long as most li-ion notebook batteries. HP Long Life Batteries reduce overall battery waste by requiring fewer batteries to be used over the life of the PC.

Both the 2740p and 2540p are engineered to meet the tough MIL-STD 810G military-standard tests(5) for vibration, dust, humidity, altitude, and high and low temperatures. They also are EPEAT® registered in the United States and offer ENERGY STAR® qualifying configurations.

HP strives to use less material in products through improvements in product design and technological advances. In the company's efforts to reduce the amount of raw materials consumed and help protect natural resources, the HP EliteBook 2540p Notebook PC employs post-consumer recycled plastic resin in at least 12 percent of its total plastic content.

Additionally, the EliteBook 2740p and 2540p come preloaded with a trial version of HP SkyRoom,(6) an affordable, high-definition (HD) videoconferencing software(7) that offers live, real-time collaboration for face-to-face meetings.

Big performance for small businesses
For small businesses, the company announced a new design of the HP ProBook s-series, featuring a durable brushed-aluminum metal case with a matte surface that is available in caviar or bordeaux.

The HP ProBook s-series is available in four HD(7) LED-backlit display choices: HP ProBook 4320s (13.3-inch diagonal), HP ProBook 4420s (14-inch diagonal), HP ProBook 4520s (15.6-inch diagonal) and HP ProBook 4720s (17.3-inch diagonal).
Starting at $719,(8) the HP ProBook s-series provides an affordable combination of features in a full-function notebook PC, including all-new 2010 Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors,(9) a choice of Intel HD Graphics or discrete graphics for advanced multimedia support featuring the ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4350 and multiple wireless technologies.

Logging on to Windows® and other websites is fast and easy with HP Face Recognition for Protect tools, while an optional fingerprint reader adds another layer of security.
The HP ProBook s-series features new multimedia controls for video, and comes loaded with the new ArcSoft TotalMedia Suite to allow users to play, edit and create video and audio files. The suite includes the following features: MediaImpression, TotalMedia LabelMaker, TotalMedia ShowBiz, TotalMedia Studio, TotalMedia Theater and WebCam Companion. The latest ClickPad Gestures functionality taps into a more intuitive document navigation experience for HP ProBook users.

Innovations for the mobile professional
Available on all new HP ProBooks and the EliteBook p-series, the HP DayStarter(10) allows users to get a head start on the day's activities with access to key information even before Windows finishes booting up. A customized display includes a calendar (12-hour time period) and battery charge state, and a Windows loading indicator appears while Windows continues to load in the background.

The HP EliteBook and most HP ProBook notebook series also include HP QuickWeb, which allows users to access the web in seconds when the PC is shut down; HP Power Assistant, which provides total visibility over the notebook PC's reported power consumption, with tools allowing users to conserve power, stretch battery run time, and accurately monitor reported power needs;(11) and spill-resistant keyboards.

Central Management for HP ProtectTools provides IT personnel remote functionality to deploy and manage key security policies across the entire business. For example, IT can centrally define and deploy security policies based on users and user types, monitor and audit client activity, and recover access for remote users who have forgotten their passwords. Central Management is available on all HP

EliteBook and ProBook notebook PCs being introduced in 2010.

Financing options for SMBs in the United States and Canada
HP is offering businesses zero percent vendor-direct financing plans for these new EliteBook and ProBook lines through HP Financial Services, the company's leasing and life cycle asset management services subsidiary. There are two plans to choose from – a 12-month lease with a $1 purchase option or a 36-month lease with a fair market value purchase option. Qualifying transactions must be between $1,500 and $150,000 dollars in the United States and $5,000 and $150,000 dollars in Canada. More details on these financing options are available at www.hp.com/go/totalfinancing.

Pricing and availability (8)
- The HP EliteBook 2540p starts at $1099 and is expected to be available in the United States next month.
- The HP EliteBook 2740p starts at $1599 and is expected to be available in the United States next month.
- The HP ProBook s-series starts at $719 and are expected to be available in the United States this month.
- The HP 2740 Ultra-Slim Expansion Base starts at $299 and is expected to be available in the United States next month.

More information about the products, including product specifications and images, is available at www.hp.com/personal.

About HP
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world's largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

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HP spices up ProBooks with Core 2010 CPUs, ClickPads and caviar paint