At this week's HP event in Hong Kong, CNET Australia got its first up close and personal look at some of the company's upcoming laptops, from the new scratch-proof Elite Book range and a new female focused netbook by fashion designer Vivienne Tam, as well as several "imprint" Pavilions.
Inspired by jets
The new Elite Book range has its homing missiles primed for high-flying execs. Its chassis is made of lightweight magnesium, which is then thermally bonded — a technique used in aircraft manufacture — to its anodised aluminium casing.
24-hour battery life
HP claimed that its Hong Kong event was more about making a "fashion statement" and was a tech launch per se. This apparently why company execs chose to stay fairly mum about specifics about the Elite Book range, as well as the forthcoming Vivienne Tam designer laptop.
HP exec, Chin Hon Cheng, did however let on a few details about a version of the Elite Book which will boast battery life of 24 hours. According to him, if you kit out an Elite Book 6930 — available in about one or two months time — with an 80GB solid-state drive, LED backlighting for the screen and Windows XP, as well as using a set of special drivers and BIOS, you should be able to eke out a day's worth of work on a full charge.
Are you ready for the Napisan challenge?
While the aluminium shell is pleasantly tactile, the anodising process renders the Elite Book immune from scratching from all but the harshest treatment.
A fact demonstrated by an HP exec who used a piece of steel wool to prove his point. Finger prints, however, remain undefeated.
Peony flower power
Although launched at her fashion show in New York earlier this week, this was our first chance to see, if not touch, the Vivienne Tam designed laptop.
Finished in pink and with an imprint of a peony flower, and with a netbook form factor, this is part of HP's push to woo more female customers.
Got an Aussie visa?
As if to emphasise the style over substance theme HP was pushing, the company's execs remained tight-lipped about the hardware specifics of the Vivienne Tam laptop except to say that it'll be available early 2009 through her stores across Asia Pacific.
Its availability in Australia has yet to be nutted out as she has yet to open her own stores here, although she does have a number of stockists.
Under lock and key
All the Vivienne Tam laptops were shown off in closed form. And after being paraded around by models, they were kept under lock and key.
Making an imprint
HP showed off a series of laptops featuring moulded imprint shells.
Some imprints are a part of the permanent range, such as "fluid" (left) and "intersect" (right) prints which feature on the HDX-series and certain Pavilion dv-series laptops, respectively.
For a limited time only
Other imprints, such as the "renewal" (left) and "intensity" (right), are limited editions based Pavilion dv5-series and Pavilion dv4-series, respectively.