HP Adds ‘Sleekbook' Laptop Concept To Mobile Line


New York - Hewlett-Packard is entering the back-to-school selling season with new, larger and heavier Ultrabooks and the company is introducing a new category that it has dubbed the sleekbook.

The dm1

A sleekbook is similar to an Ultrabook, but it does not quite meet Intel's criteria to receive that designation, said David Conrad, HP's product marketing manager, personal systems group.

The sleekbook's primary differentiator from the Ultrabook is it can be equipped with an AMD processor and graphics, and it will not use solid-state storage, he said.

The sleekbooks will ship under the Envy-series name and come in 14- and 15.6-inch screen sizes. Configurations will include either AMD or Intel processors, and it will have Beats audio sound. It can be equipped with a variety of storage and memory options. The 14- inch model will ship on May 9 with a $699 suggested retail, and the larger version hits stores on June 20 at $599.

On the same days HP will also make available two new Ultrabooks based on the same display sizes. The Envy Ultrabooks differ greatly in size and weight from the company's first-generation Ultrabook, the Spectre.

The new models have displays larger than the Spectre's 13.1-inch, and at 4 pounds are just more than half a pound heavier than the earlier models.

Conrad said HP's customer research found that people wanted all the new features found on an Ultrabook tied to a larger form factor.

The Ultrabooks will have the latest generation of Intel Core processors, solid-state drives for storage, Beats audio and about nine hours of battery life. Other features include Intel Rapid Start, Intel Identity Protection and Smart Connect.

The 14-inch model will carry a $749 suggested retail, while the larger model will come in at $799.

Despite the introduction of bigger Ultrabooks, HP is not shying away from the smaller, sleeker form factor.

On June 3 it will ship a new Spectre, said Alison Connor, worldwide launch manager for HP's personal systems group. This Spectre will retain the 13.3-inch screen size, weigh in at 3 pounds and is 0.57 inches thick.

The Spectre will use a third-generation Intel processor and have a 128GB solid-state drive. It also comes bundled with two years of Norton Internet Security protection, Beats audio, an HD webcam, backlit keyboard and the full version of Adobe's Photoshop Elements.

The Spectre will carry a $999 suggested retail.

HP also did a total refresh on its traditional laptop lines.

The dm1, which HP positions as a device a step up from a netbook, was reworked to include a new rubbery-like covering for better grip, said Cara Baez, HP's personal systems group category manager.

The laptop has an 11.6-inch LED display, AMD processor, 500GB hard drive, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Beats Audio and the full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. It carries a $629 suggested retail.

The Pavilion g6 and g7 also received a new look. HP replaced the splashier colors and design elements with a more classic look, Baez said. The laptops will carry respective suggested price tags of $479 and $549.

The Pavilion 14-inch dv4, 15.6-inch dv6 and 17-inch dv7 also received facelift, obtaining a tapered edge for creating a better grip and a smaller profile. These models are being targeted to customers interested in the sleek styling normally found in an Ultrabook, but while retaining the optical drive, Baez said.

 The dv6 and dv7 have a new Midnight Black metal finish, while the dv4 has a plastic covering and will come in Midnight Black, Black Licorice, Linen White and Carmine Red.

All three will ship on June 20 with a price of $549 for the dv4, $579 for the dv6 and $799 for the dv7.

The Pavilion m6 is new to HP's laptop line. The laptop weighs about 5 pounds, has a 15-inch display, optical drive and will only be available at select retailers.

It will carry a $699 suggested price and ship sometime in June.

For the first time, a printer was unveiled at the company's annual spring computer event. This addition is part of the recent company-wide reorganization that HP underwent that saw the merging of the printing and computer groups. A company spokesman said this will happen with more frequency moving forward.

The printer is the Photosmart 5520e all-in-one. The printer focuses on wireless printing and features HP's Wireless Direct technology, which allows any Wi-Fi device to send items directly to the printer instead of having to gain access to the network via the router.

The 5520e will ship in June; pricing has not been set.


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