HP returns to the PC: quietly unveils new laptop lineup

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Earlier this year, HP said it was done with consumer electronics. We didn’t think we’d ever see a new HP laptop or PC. Then the company fired its CEO and hired former eBay CEO Meg Whitman to take the helm. After a full month of deliberating, Whitman decided that HP would like to remain the #1 PC manufacturer in the world. Was it a hard decision? How many spreadsheets does it take to figure out that you don’t want to abandon a market you dominate? In any case, this brings us to the present. Despite months of disarray at HP, the company is already unveiling a new line of computers. Unfortunately, we think the photographer and art department might have been fired. The landing page asks users to phone in to “reserve yours today.” Is this 1995?

HP Folio 13 business Ultrabook

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The Folio 13 (press release) follows Intel’s Ultrabook specs, meaning it’s super thin, has a solid-state drive (SSD), and should get better battery life than a traditional PC. Ultrabooks are supposed to be like PC versions of the Apple MacBook Air. The Folio 13 has a 13.3-inch screen, 128GB SSD drive, is powered by Intel Core chips, has USB 3.0, weighs 3.3 lbs, and measures 18 mm thick. It also has a “wide array of ports” though no specifics have been given. HP claims that the battery life is the “industry’s best” at 9 hours, though we’ve yet to see an Ultrabook (or any consumer electronic device) that truly meets its battery claims. It hits shelves Dec. 7 for $900. 

HP Envy 15 and 17 laptops

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HP has redesigned its Envy laptop lineup with new 15.6-inch, 17.3-inch, and 3D models (press release). Here are the specs: Intel Quad Core processors, AMD Mobile Radeon HD graphics processor, Beats Audio (for a price), a 128GB SSD hard drive (with up to two additional 1TB hard drives), 9+ hours of battery life in “ideal conditions,” and optional Wi-Fi upgrades that can improve the range and speed of wireless connections. The display is fairly impressive. HP claims it is 50 percent brighter than traditional displays, offers a wider viewing angle, and it has a 1080p resolution, meaning you can have two windows up side by side and still get work done. The three laptop models come out on Dec. 7. The Envy 15 will start at $1,100; the Envy 17 will start at $1,250; and the Envy 17 3D will cost $1,600 and up.

HP Pavilion dm4 and dm4 Beats Edition

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These two laptop computers are essentially the same, except one has Beats Audio (press release). The new Pavilion dm4 is 1-inch thick (at its thinnest point), has a 14-inch HD LED screen, weighs 4.5 lbs, offers about 7 hours of battery life, runs on Intel Core processors, has an AMD Radeon HD graphics processor, and comes with a brushed aluminum casing. No SSD drive was mentioned, so we assume this computer runs on a slower, standard hard drive. The Beats Edition has an added subwoofer, Beats Solo HD headphones, Beats background wallpaper, and Beats Audio software for better sound. Both Pavilion dm4 models will hit shelves on Dec. 18. The model without Beats will start at $630 while the model with Beats will start at $900. 

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