Don’t say we didn’t tell you something big was coming in mid-end March, because we did! And now it’s here: the HP Elitebook 8740w has just appeared on HP’s USA website – complete with a profile picture, half a dozen pre-built configurations and specifications, including ATI FirePro M7820 professional workstation class graphics appearing in its full glory. You can have one for yourself (the most basic model, of course) for a fairly affordable $1,999, while the almost-fully kitted out Core i7 quad model will cost you $3,899.
We expect prices for certain configurations to be able to hit the $5000 mark and over once more pre-built or configure to order models are released, especially with options for up to Core i7 Extreme (no word yet on whether it’ll be last year’s Intel Core i7 920XM quad core or the forthcoming Core i7 940XM quad core), backlit keyboard, Dream Color 2 and up to 16 GB of DDR3 RAM.
What puzzles me at the moment is why the seemingly high-end ATI FirePro M7820 is available only in the two lower end/cheaper configurations featuring regular Intel Core i5 processors and just 2 GB of RAM… I mean, ATI has always been affordable (versus Nvidia) in most cases, but the huge $1,000 price difference we’re seeing on the pre-built models? That’s just because you’re not getting Core i7 and loads of RAM that the Nvidia Quadro 8740w models have… and that sure makes one wonder WHY?!
And the magical question asked by people who DON’T want/need a 17 inch workstation-class laptop – will HP share some of the Core i7 Extreme and ATI FirePro love with the existing HP Elitebook 8440w and 8540w models? Quite likely.