Looking to blur the line between business and consumer laptops, HP's new ProBook line of systems looks to, in the company's words, "merge business functionality with sophisticated design."
These 14, 15, and 17-inch 16:9 models come in red or black ("merlot" or "glossy noir") and include thin LED backlit displays, and a spacious raised keyboard design that's a departure from HP's norm.
Interestingly, Linux will be an option, in addition to Windows Vista. It's not the first time we've seen Linux from HP, but it's the first time the company has offered it as a pre-installed option on a business laptop.
According to HP, the available models will be:
HP ProBook 4410s (Intel) and HP ProBook 4415s (AMD)
Feature a 14-inch diagonal 16:9 HD widescreen LED backlight display, integrated optical drive with Blu-ray option and choice of ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 or Intel GMA X4500 HD graphics controller.
HP ProBook 4510s (Intel) and HP ProBook 4515s (AMD)
Offers a 15.6-inch diagonal 16:9 HD widescreen LED backlight display. Customers can select the optional HP Mobile Broadband connectivity with built-in Gobi technology. They also feature an integrated numeric keypad.
HP ProBook 4710s (Intel)
Features a 17.3-inch diagonal HD widescreen display, the largest of the lineup. Includes the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330, with up to 512 megabytes of GDDR2 for video memory. It also features the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors. The notebook incorporates a HDMI port to connect to HD displays, as well as an integrated numeric keypad.
The ProBook line is available to order now, starting at $529, but the merlot color option won't be available until June (and then only on the 14 and 15-inch models).
The entire line has an EPEAT silver rating, is EnergyStar qualified, and according to HP, "The ProBook s-series has been engineered for reduced impact on the environment by eliminating or reducing substances of concern, using fewer resources and reducing energy consumption."