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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  • oshogg - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I would like to know more about the W series and IPS display possibility as well. Reply
  • oshogg - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I wonder why HP doesn't provide an option similar to Thinkpad's bay battery. The amount of space used by a CD/DVD drive is a big waste for many business users. Pretty much all of file I/O is done via USB thumb drives. Most software installations are done via network (including the OS install in many corporate environments).

    Osho
    Reply
  • peterfares - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    +1. Or just have some models which omit the drive to make the computer smaller, with the option of a slice battery which will make it the normal size while extending the battery life.
    This isn't 4 years ago where omitting the optical drive was a big deal. No one uses them anymore.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    "Sales of ultraportables out here are fairly low while the Asian markets tend to eat them up and forego the larger desktop replacement models."

    LOL - that's probably because the average US-citizen weights about twice as much as the average Asian. Well.. sorry, just kidding.
    Actually I've recently been to Sydney and seen an absolutely amazing amount of huge cars with V6 and V8 engines. But apparently they're not driving them because they'd be so fat - no, it's because the city is built like one huge suburb with plenty of space everywhere.

    MrS
    Reply
  • YpoCaramel - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    Token Asian reporting in here: I in fact do use a 12" Asian Probook 5220, replaced an eeePC with it and it's a good machine, I welcome the extra power. That said, it's very slightly bigger and I would prefer something even more 'ultraportable' haha Reply
  • jah1subs - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    As a business user looking at these new notebook computers, my first consideration, assuming adequate specifications is: are the displays matte or glossy.

    I am using a Dell Vostro 1500 and the display bothers my eyes for reading almost anything.

    Are these displays going to be easy on the eyes?

    Or, do we even know enough to guess whether or not they have a chance of being easy on the eyes?

    Since these are more expensive than consumer notebooks, I am hoping this is the case.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Unless something changed since the last iteration, ProBook and EliteBook are all matte (thank goodness!) It baffles me how the whole business world generally goes with matte, but then somehow the consumer market is 99% glossy. Businesses - that actually use their systems for work - prefer glossy. And no one seems to think that some consumers would prefer matte as well? Of course, the latest matte LCDs are horrible on contrast and color (like 200:1 contrast at best), unless you get a really expensive display (Dell RGB LED, HP DreamColor, etc.) Reply
  • Justin Time - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    "somehow the consumer market is 99% glossy"

    Mfgs have done their homework, and they know that consumers prefer to buy glossy and shiny baubles over dull and practical.... New + Shiny = Better.
    Reply
  • VJ - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    Consumers in a shop will typically always prefer the glossy item when it's been setup next to the matte item. I actually prefer less contrast and feel that many of these 'objective' measurements found in tests are misleading. My HP with it's 1680x1050 (purchased in 2008 for 710 euro incl. VAT) may not score as high in these tests but the screen looks like paper with colors which I prefer to many Mac Books and the likes I see around me. Then again, I used to turn down contrast and brightness on my TV, especially when viewing for longer periods of time.

    You may prefer high contrast air brushed paintings over a van Gogh, like many people prefer Adderall over a balanced life style. Laptop manufactures are like drug dealers.
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    As an IT Architect I've had just about every laptop brand there is issued to me at one time or another. The HP W series are easily the best PC laptops I have ever used. I much prefer Macs but if you must use Windows these are the way to go. On the other hand I think HP's consumer series of laptops are cheap pieces of junk. There is also a huge difference between HP's business support and consumer support. Reply

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