Wednesday, May 9, 2012

HP Announces New Ultrabooks, Introduces ‘Sleekbooks’

HP Announces New Ultrabooks, Introduces ‘Sleekbooks’:

The HP Envy Spectre XT has an all-metal body and weight only 3.07 pounds. Photo: HP
HP has expanded its ever-slimming laptop line with the introduction of five new devices. The company introduced on Wednesday new Ultrabooks that are thinner and lighter than their predecessors, and also unveiled a pair of “Sleekbooks,” a new HP term to describe thin and light laptops that don’t quite meet Intel’s Ultrabook criteria.
On the high end of the lineup is HP’s new 13.3-inch Envy Spectre XT, the follow-up to the glass-bodied Envy 14 Spectre. This time around, HP has ditched the glass and opted for an all-metal body. The Spectre XT undercuts its predecessor in weight and size, weighing in at 3.07 pounds and featuring a slightly smaller screen. (The Envy 14 Spectre has a 14-inch screen and weighs just under 4 pounds.) The new Envy Spectre XT does, however, maintain the same thinness at 14.5mm thick.
Inside the chassis, HP’s Envy Spectre XT features Intel’s third-generation Ivy Bridge processors, 128GB of SSD storage, and 4GB of memory. And according to HP, the Spectre XT will get up to 8 hours of battery life. It has a 1366×769 pixel display and comes with Beats Audio speakers, a backlit keyboard, HP CoolSense technology, as well as a bunch of preloaded software such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 10, and Norton antivirus protection. The Envy Spectre XT will start at $1,000 and be available on June 8.

HP also introduced two new Envy Ultrabooks in 14-inch and 15.6-inch models. Both Ultrabooks can be configured with either Intel’s second-generation Sandy Bridge or third-generation Ivy Bridge processors. Both models became available May 9 — the 14-inch Ultrabook for $750, and the 15.6-inch device for $800.
Most interesting of all, HP’s two new Sleekbooks (which also come in 14-inch and 15.6-inch models) sport very similar features to the Ultrabooks, but cost conspicuously less. The 14-inch model will be available on May 9 for $700 and the 15.6-inch will be available June 20 for $600.
The biggest difference between the Sleekbooks and Ultrabooks is that the 15.6-inch Sleekbook model comes with an AMD processor, rather than an Intel processor. Another difference: The Ultrabooks — being Ultrabooks — come with various Intel technologies, including Rapid Start, Identity Protection Technology, Smart Response and Smart Connect Technologies.
All four of the ultrabooks and sleekbooks feature Beats Audio with dual speakers and a built-in subwoofer, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and an Ethernet port. The 14-inch Ultrabook and Sleekbook models get up to 8 hours of battery life, while the 15.6-inch models give you an extra hour at 9 hours of battery life. While HP didn’t provide specific thickness and weight measurements, the company stated that the devices start at 4 pound and are as thin as 19.8mm.
Keep an eye out for our full reviews.

The HP Envy Ultrabook and Envy Sleekbook side by side. Photo: HP

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