HP updates its desktop and laptop range ahead of Windows 8 release

20 Sep 2012

HP Envy m4

HP has unveiled a range of new laptops and desktop PCs to take advantage of the upcoming release of Windows 8, due on 26 October. The new line-up has options for a variety of consumers, be they budget-conscious, a gaming enthusiast, or business-minded.

HP Envy m4

Following the launch of its flagship Windows 8 products – the Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4, SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook and the Envy x2 – HP has revealed a wider range for the Windows 8 platform, including another Envy laptop at a lower price point. The Envy models announced earlier start at more than €1,000, whereas the US pricing for the Envy m4 starts at US$899.

The thin and light brushed aluminium laptop comes with a 14-inch HD display and optional backlit keyboard. It’s powered by third-generation Intel Core i-3 or i5 processors and comes with a range of HP technologies, like HP ProtectSmart to guard against data loss if the laptop is dropped, HP CoolSense which adjusts performance based on heat conditions, and a fingerprint scanner for added security.

The Envy m4 offers a choice of a 32GB SSD or up to 1GB hard drive for storage, as well as up to 8GB of RAM. It also features a HD webcam, Beats Audio from two stereo speakers and a subwoofer, and Intel Wi-Di – wireless display technology that allows users to see the screen image on a HDTV wirelessly.

The Envy m4 is coming to select markets when Windows 8 launches, but there are no specific details yet on whether it will be available in Ireland.

HP Pavilion Sleekbook 14 and 15

HP’s cheaper consumer line of Pavilion notebooks are also getting new Windows 8 models in the form of the Pavilion Sleekbook 14 and 15, featuring 14-inch and 15.6-inch displays, respectively. Both laptops are available in either black or red with up to 1TB of hard-disk storage, HD webcam, Dolby Advanced Audio, HP ProtectSmart and CoolSense technologies, and Beats Audio. There’s also the option to add Nvidia discrete graphics chips.

The Sleekbook 14 will be powered AMD A-series APUs (accelerated processing units) while the Sleekbook 15 will be Intel-powered. The larger laptop also features a numeric keypad.

HP Envy Phoenix h9

For gamers, HP has launched the Envy Phoenix h9 desktop PC featuring armour-plated design and attention-grabbing lighting. Its tool-less hard-disk bays support up to three internal hard disks, while the cable dressing has been updated to promote airflow and cooling, and also makes swapping out components easy.

HP Envy Phoenix h9

The Envy Phoenix h9 is powered by top-of-the-range third-generation Intel Core processors and users are offered a choice of Nvidia or AMD discrete graphics chips. Beats Audio is included once again, while optional ExpressCache SSD allows for fast boot-up and application start times.

New desktop and laptops for business

For business users, HP has introduced a new desktop and three new laptop computers – however, only one of these laptops will be available outside of the Asia-Pacific and Japan regions. The HP Probook 4545s is available now worldwide and comes with all-new AMD A-series APUs and discrete graphics, with an option to include Radeon Dual Graphics for better 3D-rendering performance.

HP Probook 4545s

The new business desktop, the HP Compaq Pro 6305, will also be AMD-powered with APU A10, A8, A6 and A4 processors. It features an improved x86 architecture and overall claims better system and graphics performance than previous generations. This desktop will be available worldwide on 8 October running Windows 7 with Windows 8 configurations following at a later date.

HP has also said the launch of an enterprise-ready tablet is still to come, so it’s not done yet with Windows 8 releases.

UPDATE: The HP Pavilion Sleekbook 14 and 15 laptops start at €499 and €449, respectively, and are expected to be available in November. The Compaq Pro 6305, available from 8 October, will be priced from €440, while the ProBook 4545s starts at €275 and will be available from October 29th.

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.