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HP refreshes consumer laptop lines

HP announced the Pavilion dv4, Pavilion dv5, and Pavilion dv7 lines, as well as the Compaq Presario CQ40, CQ45, and CQ50 series.

Michelle Thatcher Former Senior Associate Editor, Laptops
Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.
Michelle Thatcher
2 min read
HP Pavilions
Three models of the refreshed Pavilion line. HP

The consumer side of HP's massive product rollout on Tuesday included a refresh (and welcome name simplification) of the Pavilion line of laptops, as well as three new Compaq Presario models.

First up: Pavilions. The three models in the company's flagship laptop line have received some small enhancements, including a new metallic HP Imprint finish, a "frameless" display option that the company is calling BrightView Infinity, and a hard drive accelerometer to protect data if the laptop is bumped or dropped. All the new Pavilion models also include an HDMI port and the option for a Blu-ray drive.

Otherwise, the Pavilions are largely unchanged. Model names with a "t" suffix still indicate an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and integrated Intel or discrete Nvidia graphics; a "z" suffix still translates to an AMD Turion X2 or Athlon X2 CPU with ATI Mobility Radeon HD graphics. All models incorporate up to 4GB of RAM; 5,400rpm hard drives up to 320GB (with one exception, below); and a Webcam, microphone, and optional fingerprint reader.

In fact, it seems the naming scheme is the largest change--and a welcome one. HP now offers the Pavilion dv4 series, with a 14.1-inch WXGA display (the only model to offer an LED-backlight option); the Pavilion dv5 series, with a 15.4-inch WXGA or WSXGA display; and the Pavilion dv7 series, with a 17.1-inch WXGA+ or WSXGA+ display. As befitting a desktop replacement, the Pavilion dv7 also adds Nvidia GeForce GS and GT graphics options as well as hard drive configurations up to 640GB.

HP is also reviving the Compaq Presario brand name with three new models. The 14.1-inch CQ45 includes a built-in TV tuner as well as discrete graphics and Blu-ray drive options; the nearly identical CQ40 contains a more basic feature set. Meanwhile the 6.6-pound, 15.4-inch CQ50's configuration--which includes AMD Athlon and Sempron processors, just 2GB of RAM, and a 250GB hard drive--may not win any speed tests, but its $499 starting price is destined to have some appeal.

Pricing and availability for the new models varies. The Pavilion dv4t series starts at $999 and will be available beginning later this month, while the dv4z series starts at $799 and is promised for September. The $899 Pavilion dv5t and $699 dv5z will be available later this month, as will the $1,229 dv7t. The $949 Pavilion dv7z should be available in July.

Availability and pricing for the Compaq Presario Q40 and Q45 vary by region, but the Compaq Presario CQ50 starts at $499 and will be available later this month.