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HP's laptop mega-launch

It's just as well that HP isn't superstitious -- the company launched 13 new notebooks at its 2007 Mobility Summit in Shanghai this week.

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New Compaq logo

It's just as well that HP isn't superstitious -- the company launched 13 new notebooks at its 2007 Mobility Summit in Shanghai this week.

All are built on Intel's fourth-generation 'Santa Rosa' Centrino platform with six of this baker's dozen aimed at the consumer market, spanning from a 14.1 inch entry-level Compaq Presario to the 20 inch Pavilion HDX 'desknote' superslab which HP has christened 'The Dragon'.

The range are all fitted with HP's trademark notebook flourishes such as top-firing Altec Lansing speakers, backlight touch-sensitive controls and subtle patterns inlaid into the high-gloss chassis. Buyers will be able to choose between Intel's Core 2 Duo T7100 processor (clocked at 1.8GHz with 2MB of Level 2 cache) or the gruntier 2GHz T7300 processor with a 4MB cache. The sole exception is the HDX 'Dragon', to which HP is bolting Intel's flagship 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo T7700.

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HP Pavilion dv6500. Click here to see an enlargement of its new 'Radiance' pattern detail.

The two Compaq models -- the 14.1in V3500 and 15.4in V6500 -- share a common platform including Intel's X3100 integrated graphics media accelerator, which has native support for DirectX 10.

They also introduce a new-look Compaq brand in which the logo is a stylised merging of the letters CQ, shaped to look like a speech balloon. The Presario V6500 line will arrive locally in June, with the smaller V3500 following in August.

The mid-range Pavilion dv6500 series of 15.4in notebooks will arrive in June 2007 with an optional HD DVD drive and a choice of NVIDIA graphics engines: the GeForce 8400M GS with 128MB of graphics memory or the 8600M with 256MB.

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HP Pavilion dv2500. Click to enlarge.

This will be bookended in August with the 14.1in Pavilion dv2500 (a 14.1in model with GeForce 8400M graphics) and the Pavilion dv9500 (with a 17.1in panel and GeForce 8600M graphics).

The same month will see the HDX 'Dragon' take flight, and this 20in behemoth will undoubtedly draw the most attention -- despite being HP's least portable 'portable PC' since Compaq introduced the original 12kg luggable in November 1982.

However, a HP spokeperson said there were still no plans for an Australian release of the vendor's Voodoo range of high-end gaming systems. The US direct-sales company was acquired by HP's in October last year, six months after Dell snapped up the highly-regarded PC gaming box-builder Alienware.

David Flynn travelled to the HP Mobility Summit in Shanghai as a guest of HP.