After months of speculation and a slip up in picture posting, HP finally made official the two new ultra-portable notebooks in their Elitebook line today. Meet the two new family members: the Elitebook 2540p ultra-portable notebook and Elitebook 2740p tablet PC. Both look like evolutionary upgrades to their predecessors announced in 2008 – on the outside, you’ll get a new partial-chiclet style keyboard, HP Night Light lamp and button consolidated into one and a low-profile, inconspicuous fingerprint reader, just like I speculated last week. The Elitebook 2740p tablet also got a change in touchpad button colors: they’re now black, instead of beige/silver on the 2730p tablet.
On the inside of both notebooks, you’ll get Intel’s latest generation of Core processors. My prediction was fairly spot on again, about those low-voltage Core i7 processors… but wait, here’s a surprise that probably none (or few) of us saw coming – both the Elitebook 2540p and Elitebook 2740p notebooks are configurable with Core i5 Mobile processors as well as a full (as in, non “low voltage” branded) Core i7 Mobile processor. Yes, that 2.66 gHz dual core Core i7 620M processor will now be available in notebooks even smaller than that compact Sony Vaio Z that everyone’s been talking about!
Now, someone could scream “hey, HP could’ve stuffed in those power-packing Core i7 Quad processors, seeing they share the same socket with the conventional Core i5 and dual Core i7!” but no, they use different sockets (there’s a variation/branch off the original socket) plus power consumption would be too high. Speaking of battery life, I wonder how the ‘new’ processors would fare in a face off against the old SL-series Intel Core 2 Duo low and ultra-low voltage processors with TDP almost twice that of the processors used by the 2530p/2730p pair, and clock speed that’s up to 20% higher (yes, true the new Core i5 and i7’s have the ability to throttle down effectively when running on battery power, but it still does make me wonder…)
Other than that, you still get pretty familiar designs, akin to the previous generation of Elitebook ultra-portables… plus the addition of a Display Port on the Elitebook 2540p. The 12 inch screen size stays put on both new notebooks, though the Elitebook 2740p now appears to support multi-touch. Choice of 1.8 inch hard disks/solid state drives on the Elitebook 2740p, plus 2.5 inch form factor varieties on the Elitebook 2540p, remain. And of course, you can attach external battery to the Elitebook 2740p tablet.
Excited yet? Unfortunately, only Intel integrated graphics are available as of now, with no [official] word or hint about discrete graphics, though there was a whisper or two about the remote possibility of dedicated graphics in the future, or never.
Check out the Elitebook 2540p specifications sheet and the Elitebook 2740p tablet specifications sheet both on HP’s official website. No prices listed yet, but word is that both notebooks will have starting prices upwards of $1000.