The EliteBook, ProBook b-series, and ProBook s-series

HP has divided their enterprise machines into three different lines. In descending order, they are the EliteBook p-series, the ProBook b-series, and the ProBook s-series. All of the features mentioned on the previous page are integrated into each of these lines, so it's largely a matter of market segmentation.

The EliteBook p-series

HP's big daddy line is the EliteBook p-series. These notebooks will be available in 14-inch and 15.6-inch models.

HP was quite proud to show these off and to be fair, they're mighty attractive. The major differentiators here are a silver outer shell with increased durability inside, designed to be as rugged and durable as possible. Perks include a chemically-strengthened glass touchpad designed to be simultaneously more comfortable and more wear-resistant along with support for HP's Ultra-Capacity notebook battery slate, which HP rates at offering the 14-inch model up to a staggering 32 hours of battery life.

The p-series will come equipped with the new Sandy Bridge processors, but graphics support is somewhat disappointing, topping out at just the AMD Radeon HD 6470M. The 6470M has just 160 stream processors and support for GDDR5, making it feel a bit anemic for such a premium line, but AMD has apparently introduced technology comparable to NVIDIA's Optimus that enables switching between the Sandy Bridge IGP and the dedicated AMD graphics. We hope to get a look at this in the near future.

The EliteBook notebooks start at $999.

The ProBook b-series

Stepping down to the ProBook b-series means moving to a slightly less rugged but still durable shell colored in a gunmetal shade of gray. You still get most of the perks, but HP hasn't announced availability of discrete graphics options for these notebooks. These can be ordered with processors ranging from the top-end Core i7 Sandy Bridge chips down to the lowly Celerons.

HP's ProBook b-series will start at $799 and will be available in 13.3-inch, 14-inch, and 15.6-inch form factors.

The ProBook s-series

One would be tempted to call the s-series the budget line of the bunch, but that's not entirely fair. These notebooks include many of the same design perks of the b-series and EliteBooks, with the primary differentiators seeming to be the latches on the lids and a slightly less generous port selection (upon inspection these looked to be missing FireWire and ExpressCard ports).

The flipside is that HP will be offering discrete graphics in these notebooks, though they haven't announced yet which models will be available except to say they'll be AMD Radeons. They'll also run a larger gamut of sizes, being available in 13.3-inch, 14-inch, 15.6-inch, and 17.3-inch models. Overseas there will be an additional 12.1-inch model, though unfortunately it doesn't look like we'll get to enjoy it in the states. Sales of ultraportables out here are fairly low while the Asian markets tend to eat them up and forego the larger desktop replacement models.

HP's ProBook s-series will start at $579.

Coming in March: HP Updates in a Big Way Conclusion: Back, in Style
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  • misuspita - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Thank you sir, I didn't knew that function until now (close tab with middle button) :)) Reply
  • Ben90 - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I use the middle mouse button on my laptops religiously.

    I hate where new laptops are heading. 16:10 and 16:9 are absolutely horrible laptop form factors. 4:3 is insanely better. Are there any business class 4:3 laptops anymore?

    Also touch sensitives buttons suck balls. There are NO tangible advantages to having those over tactile switches.

    I honestly think the T60 is the best laptop ever created. Sandy Bridge notebooks can suck my 4:3 nuts.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I'm a Linux user, but I've been clicking left+right mouse button simultaneously to middle click for 15 years now.

    Does Windows STILL not behave the same way??
    Reply
  • peterfares - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    It's up to the mousepad drivers to support the feature.
    I don't know why, but the Synaptics (the best touch pad manufacture) disables the feature in most of their drivers. None of the laptops I have owned after 2006 support the feature. It remains in the drivers though, and all that you need to do to enable it is add one registry entry.
    DWORD 'HasBothButtonFeature' and set to 1 in
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Synaptics\SynTP\Defaults\
    Then log out and back in. Clicking both buttons for middle will with then work.
    Reply
  • Hallucinogen775 - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    "The bottom panel of the notebook is a single large piece that can be removed by simply squeezing a latch and sliding it off, allowing for easy access to all of the internals. It's such a smart idea that one wonders why it hasn't been seen before."

    Well, it has been seen before. With the introduction of the DELL Latitude E-Series they implemented pretty much the same thing. Remove one scre only and pull off the entire bottom panel.

    Official removal instructions:
    # Close the display and turn the computer upside down.
    # Loosen the captive screw.
    # Slide the bottom of the base assembly away from the hinge covers, and lift to remove the bottom of the base assembly.

    So... this is nothing new... it's a pity that the review says it would be (kind of).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the comment. We're aware that similar designs have been around, but they're rare. I've edited the text to reflect the intended meaning. Reply
  • davepermen - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    the 2550p and 2750p.. I hope the 2750p is out soon, I'm eager to replace my 2730p. Reply
  • flashbacck - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    any info on the dimensions of these laptops? Reply
  • John Smith - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    No W series? No IPS? Reply
  • mackintire - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    No class 2 graphics? Radeon 6750 mobility or Geforce 540M?

    Then I am not upgrading from my older Elitebook with its Radeon 2600XT

    At least consider giving it a a Raedon 6500 or something equalivent
    Reply

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