HP ultraportables tap future low-power chips, SSDs

The EliteBook 2530p and 2730p feature upcoming Intel 45-nanometer ultra-low-voltage processors, and the option for an 80GB solid-state drive.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read

Hewlett-Packard on Monday announced three notebooks, one as light as 3 pounds, that will use upcoming Intel low-power chips and solid-state drives.

HP 2530p is just over three pounds
HP 2530p is just over three pounds Hewlett-Packard

The EliteBook 2530p and 2730p replace the current 2510p and 2710p models. The biggest changes are a brushed, anodized aluminum exterior casing, new wireless broadband modules, the use of upcoming Intel 45-nanometer ultra-low-voltage (ULV) processors, and the option for an 80GB solid-state drive.

HP will replace current low-power Intel processors with upcoming 45nm processors, said Keith LeFebvre, vice president and general manager for business notebooks, HP PSG Americas. However, LeFebvre did not specify which low-power processor models it will offer because Intel has not announced these chips.

The newest power-stingy Core 2 Duo mobile chips are due in September and range in speed from 1.4GHz for a 10-watt chip to 2.4GHz for a 25-watt version. All will compare favorably to mainstream Intel mobile chips that typically have a power envelope of 35 watts.

New solid-state drives will also debut in both the 2530p and 2730p--HP will offer an 80GB solid-state drive as an option. To date, the largest capacity that HP offered was 64GB. The newest wave of SSDs coming from Micron, Intel, and Samsung are faster and more reliable than the first generation of drives used in ultraportables such as the MacBook Air and ThinkPad X300, according Avi Cohen, managing partner at Avian Securities.

The 1.8-inch hard-disk drives have also been upgraded. Typically these tiny drives have been a bottleneck because they run at a sluggish 4200rpm. New 1.8-inch drives will run at 5400rpm and there will also be an option for a 7200rpm 2.5-inch drive in the slightly larger 2230s EliteBook series, said LeFebvre.

New wireless broadband modules will not be wedded to one single provider--a gotcha with previous generations of HP business notebooks. HP will offer built-in Gobi technology from Qualcomm that uses a single module, the HP un2400, to support multiple mobile broadband network technologies and mobile operators.

HP will also include as standard HP QuickLook2 software that provides instant access to e-mail, calendar, task, and contact information without having to boot the system.

Both the EliteBook 2530p and 2730p feature a mercury-free Illumi-Lite LED display, which is lighter and more energy-efficient than standard notebook display technology.

A slightly heavier line of EliteBook 2230s models are available now and weigh in at about 4 pounds. The 2230s offers faster processors--up to a Core 2 Duo T9600 running at 2.8GHz--and 7200rpm hard-disk drives.

The HP EliteBook 2530p and HP EliteBook 2730p are expected to be available by early September, with estimated starting U.S. street pricing of $1,499 and $1,670, respectively. The HP Compaq 2230s is currently available at an estimated starting U.S. street price of $999.

Windows Vista Business 32 is standard in all models.