updated 12:00 am EDT, Tue October 13, 2009
HP adds ProBook 6445b, 6545b, Elite 7000
HP on Tuesday centered its pro PC updates for Windows 7 on a new high-end tower and two frugal notebooks. The Elite 7000 desktop is HP's new high-end outside of workstations and runs on Core i5 and i7 processors and has a new black, metal case more suited to a desk than the workmanlike old models; it's also the first desktop in the category for HP that allows SuSE Linux in place of Windows. Graphics have been given a large boost and can scale to as much as either a GeForce GT 230 or a Radeon HD 4650.
The starting Elite 700 configuration hasn't been defined, but systems will start at $789 and will start out light with a 160GB hard drive and integrated graphics. Up to 8GB of RAM and a 1TB disk are options. HP makes the desktop available on October 22nd.
Also new are HP's first AMD-based ProBook portables. The 14-inch 6445b and 15.6-inch 6545b use AMD's latest wave of Sempron, Athlon II and Turion II processors and purportedly get as much as 60 percent better battery life than earlier Compaq-branded notebooks even as they run faster; HP claims up to 8.25 hours of runtime.
The ProBooks will launch at $799 and should each carry at least a 2GHz Sempron processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB disk and Mobility Radeon HD 4200 for video. They ship internationally on Windows 7's October 22nd release, but Americans will have to wait until mid-November. Each has the option of a new Advanced Docking Station that has six USB ports, eSATA, and video inputs that include dual DisplayPort jacks and one each of DVI and VGA.
Advanced Docking Station