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It's official: HP laptop available with USB 3.0

HP has begun shipping the Envy 15 laptop with next-gen USB 3.0 ports.

Hewlett-Packard has begun shipping some Envy 15 laptop configurations with USB 3.0 technology, becoming one of the first PC makers to do so.

The new "SuperSpeed USB" 3.0 standard is touted as achieving up to 10X the data transfer rate of USB 2.0, the standard that has been shipping on laptops for the last eight years or so. (See video demonstrating the HP Envy 15 with USB 3.0..)

HP Envy 15 is now shipping with USB 3.0 ports
HP Envy 15 is now shipping with USB 3.0 ports CNET Reviews

HP spokeswoman Sheila Watson said Tuesday that the company is shipping certain Envy 15 configurations with the USB 3.0 ports. "HP Direct (our online store) does now sell the Envy 15 with the USB 3.0 along with the new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5830 Graphics (DX11)," she said in response to an e-mail query Tuesday, referring to the mobile Radeon graphics chip from Advanced Micro Devices' ATI unit.

Watson said consumers can get an Envy with USB 3.0 "if you configure it with the new ATI 5830 graphics and quad-core i7 processor."

And USB 3.0 will be available on EliteBook--HP's high-end business laptop line--8540p and 8540w models "in a couple of weeks," according to Watson.

The HP Envy 15 with USB 3.0 ports debuted last week at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. That news left some CNET readers questioning whether the USB 3.0-equipped Envy models were actually shipping, as some HP salespeople, readers said, weren't yet aware of the USB 3.0 ports on new models.

Asus will begin shipping laptops with USB 3.0 at the end of this month, including the N61Jq model, an Asus spokeswoman said Tuesday.