HP expands its thin-and-light collection with new Ultrabooks and Sleekbooks

9 May 2012

The new HP Envy Spectre XT Ultrabook

HP unveiled new, sleek additions to its notebook portfolio today, with Ultrabooks and Sleekbooks packed with technology for both consumers and businesses.

The new additions to HP’s thin-and-light selection of notebooks announced today are the HP Envy Spectre XT, HP Envy Ultrabook systems, HP Envy Sleekbooks and the HP EliteBook Folio 9470m – and they are all boasting high performance and sleek design qualities, with an array of added features to boot.

For the unfamiliar, Ultrabook specifications are defined by Intel and the title signifies a higher class of ultra-portable notebook. To be deemed an Ultrabook, notebooks have to be fast, going from zero to awake in seconds, less than an inch thick, lightweight and long-lasting, running actively for hours and on standby for days.

Though the latest collection from HP includes some lightweight laptops that didn’t make the Ultrabook grade (hence the name ‘Sleekbooks’), a slightly lower pricetag makes them just as desirable.

As thin as 14.5mm (for the Spectre XT) and weighing less than 2kg, the Envy series of notebooks also come with a slip-resistant base, making them easy to grab and go. The HP ImagePad (which offers precise multi-finger touch and gesture control) and HP TrueVision HD webcam come as standard, and you can also add a backlit keyboard, for working in low-light conditions.

Intended to be impressive entertainment systems, the Envy notebooks come equipped with Beats Audio, a high-performance sound system developed by HP and Beats by Dr Dre to deliver big sound from a small package.

HP Envy Spectre XT Ultrabook

HP Envy Spectre XT

The previous HP Envy 14 Spectre is an award winner, so there are high expectations for its successor. Daring to be different from the earlier glass-covered model, the new Spectre XT features an all-metal design, built with a mix of premium materials. An ultra-fast mSATA solid state drive and Intel Rapid Start Technology make for quick boot and resume times, while Intel Smart Connect Technology automatically updates your email while the notebook is in sleep mode

For the security conscious, one year of Absolute Data Protect, two years of Norton Internet Security, and Intel Identity Protection come preloaded. And for business customers, there is also a pro model that comes with Microsoft Windows 7 Professional and an embedded TPM security chip that protects data in emails, as well as information on the solid state drive.

  • 14.5mm thick, 1.4kg, 13.3-inch HD display with slim bezel line
  • 128GB of storage
  • Up to eight hours of battery life
  • Full array of ports (Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and HDMI)
  • Latest Intel Core processors
  • Full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and Adobe Premiere Elements 10
  • Beats Audio over quad speakers (or via headphone jack)
  • Dedicated on-the-phone technical support (exclusive to HP Envy Spectre users)

HP Envy Ultrabook

HP Envy Ultrabook systems

The Envy Ultrabook comes in two models, 14-inch display or 15.6-inch display, offering up to eight or nine hours of battery life, respectively.

  • Starting at 19.8mm thick and weighing less than 1.79kg
  • mSATA solid state drive
  • Intel Rapid Start
  • Intel Smart Response
  • Intel Smart Connect
  • Intel Identity Protection
  • Latest Intel Core processors
  • Beats Audio, dual speakers and a subwoofer
  • Windows 7 Professional available for business models

HP Envy Sleekbook

HP Envy Sleekbook systems

The Sleekbooks are also available in 14-inch or 15.6-inch display, the former coming equipped with the latest Intel Core processors and the latter with the latest AMD Accelerated Processing Units. Just like the Ultrabook, you can get up to eight or nine hours of battery life from these models, and the same Beats Audio system.

With optional discrete graphics on Intel platforms and discrete-class graphics on AMD, Sleekbook users will not only have a heightened gaming and multimedia experience, they can also create and edit videos quickly.

HP EliteBook Folio 9470m

Following in the footsteps of the award-winning HP Folio 13, comes the HP EliteBook Folio 9470m, an enterprise-ready Ultrabook with enhanced security, manageability and reliability features. Built for mobile professionals, the EliteBook Folio claims to have all-day battery life, plus the option for a secondary battery – for those constantly working on the go.

This professional laptop comes with HP Premier Image, which includes the full suite of HP EliteBook business software and anti-virus protection, without trial-ware or disruptive notifications. Security is also taken care of with HP Bios Protection providing enhanced protection against virus attacks and other threats.

  • 19mm thick, 1,58kg, 14-inch display
  • Full array of ports, including optional built-in 4G wireless WAN, full-sized Ethernet, VGA, DisplayPort and USB 3.0
  • Optional solid state drive
  • Third-generation Intel Core vPro processor
  • Integrated smart card reader
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Embedded TPM security chip
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Choice of management tools

Pricing and availability

The HP Spectre XT is expected to be available at the end of June with a starting price of €1,099, while the Ultrabooks and Sleekbooks, also expected in June, will start at €799 and €749, respectively. Those of you ogling the EliteBook will have to wait until October, however, at a price yet to be confirmed.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.