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HP's latest pro-grade laptops pack new Intel chips and bright displays

The ZBook series packs a lot of power in a small frame.
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Intel has introduced a new generation of pro Core processors for laptops, and HP is determined to make the most of them right from the word "go." The PC maker has unveiled a string of work-oriented laptops that all take advantage of Intel's latest hardware, including computational speed boosts and faster WiFi 6 networking. The star of the show is arguably the updated ZBook line -- the 14-inch ZBook 14u (above) and 15.6-inch ZBook 15u both tout up to a quad-core 1.8GHz Core i7, 32GB of RAM and Radeon Pro WX 3200 graphics, giving it up to a 50 percent graphics boost for tasks like 3D modeling. The 14u in particular is billed as the "world's thinnest" mobile workstation at 0.71 inches thick -- it's not the slimmest laptop ever, but it'll be easy enough to slip into a carry-on bag without much fuss.

They also tout surprisingly bright displays, which could help if you're stuck finishing a project on a park bench. The 14u's optional 4K display can reach a healthy 600 nits of brightness, although you can go to an eye-searing 950 nits if you're willing to settle for a 1080p screen. The 15u is more modest at "just" 700 nits with a 1080p panel.

The rest of the lineup is aimed more at everyday workers. Refreshed versions of the 13-inch EliteBook 830, 14-inch EliteBook 840 and 15-inch EliteBook 850 (below) boast largely similar CPU options, although you'll have to settle for the option of Radeon RX 550 video on the larger two systems. You will get screens as bright as 1,000 nits, though, and a low-power LCD option can extend your battery life to 18 hours. There's even a choice of gigabit LTE (the first in a mainstream business laptop, HP claims) if you need to stay online at all times. Fans of convertibles can get an updated 13.3-inch EliteBook 830 x360, althoughit doesn't have an extra-bright screen or dedicated video.

As is often the case with HP launches, you'll have to wait a while to get everything. The ZBooks arrive on May 27th at unspecified prices, while the EliteBook 830, 840 and 850 all show up sometime in May. The EliteBook 830 x360 doesn't land until June, although it will come alongside a $429 EliteDisplay E324q monitor that provides a 31.5-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 screen as well as USB-C, HDMI and DisplayPort inputs.

HP EliteBook 850 G6 laptop

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