HP Elitebook 2540p and Elitebook 2740p: both official!

The new, upcoming HP Elitebook 2540p!

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.

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  1. Tim March 2, 2010 Reply

    I was sad to see the eSATA port on the Expansion Base instead of the unit, but I did get the processor I had hoped.
    The HP 2740p Ultra-Slim Expansion Base still has no upgradable optical drive, and so far they have chosen not to offer a blue-ray option.

  2. vēer March 4, 2010 Reply

    If their starting prices are around 1k, at least for 2540p, then i think Lenovo will start to loose some sales due to folks choosing 2540p over X201. Sure, they have slim version called X201s, but it comes at a price. Interesting to see, how it will evolve since i myself been drooling over X200 series for a while and now im seriously reconsidering my TP fetish in favor of this new 12″ Elitebook. Lets see what Dell brings in to the game 🙂

  3. and March 19, 2010 Reply

    Doesn’t look like they have HDMI 🙁 if it did, it would be the perfect lightweight, high performance, long battery life, low voltage machine :p

    • Brad March 24, 2010 Reply

      Well, the 2540p has a Display Port, which you could easily hook up to a HDMI display via an adapter.

  4. Daniel March 28, 2010 Reply

    I love elitebook 2740p, I was waitting from 2730p upgrade to multitouch and more capacity, and now the new version its a reality … but I see some problems for this “elite” notebook thats for a price starting on 1,5K$ I not agree with some features:
    – Don’t comes with DVI vga connector. Maintain de older DB9 analog interface. We want DVI and if need use an adapter to DB9, and not vice versa.
    – KeyBoard Semi-Chiclet stile. This is a stupidy from a designer, sure not developed by a normal user thats wants to work productively. This new keyboard is less confortable, increases a lot the number of edges and it’s the firt step to lie us to a this new kind of “pretty” but unusable square “mac keyboard”, this in turn makes it more difficult to type. The keyboar is the interface between “the notebook – our need of poductive work – and us”. We need normals keyboards, really full-sized.
    – Ridiculous disk capacity for today notebooks. We buy a new last generation notebook, we don’t want be loaded with externals disks. HP don’t offers solution not even paying, the maximum capacity even paying is the ridicolous 250Gb.
    – TouchPad must be like last generation pads with the click integrated on the pad (without buttons) they’re integratting yet on others cheppest hp notebooks.

    • Brad March 30, 2010 Reply

      Hi Daniel, I beg to differ with the point about the keyboard – having recently used the Elitebook 2540p and 8740w (and 8440 and 8540 with identically-styled keyboards), I’d say typing is just as good, if not slightly better, than previous generation models with ‘regular’ keyboards. Key travel seems to have very slightly improved and now offer a slightly ‘fluffier’ (in a good way) feeling, and I could comfortably type an 3,000 word article on it for a few hours (Spread over five days). I agree with the fact that the available disk options offer too little maximum capacity – I’m seriously looking into the non-tablet 2540p as a second notebook for work later this year, and given the options, I would go for a smaller 1.8 inch disk (prefer SSD, but HDD will do if SSD is too expensive) and then slot in a second 500 GB HDD into the optical drive bay. But seeing you’re looking at the 2740p, it is unfortunate that it only supports 1.8 inch drives (I think, I can’t recall off the top of my head) and 250 gigs is the highest that form factor will go at the moment. The reasoning behind this is that it is assumed you won’t be using the 2740p as your primary PC (ideology carried forward from 2730p), but that has changed with the presence of Core i7 processor options available for the 2740p, while only low voltage Core Duos were available for the 2730p.

      The 2740p has a touchpad with separate, dedicated buttons as opposed to the large, buttonless trackpads of HP’s consumer models, and I don’t see how that’s a disadvantage. Having used an Envy 15 and Touchsmart tm2 and something else, I’d take a trackpad with its own buttons anytime – because I can use Photoshop and Illustrator with better precision (than buttonless trackpads), drag and dropping stuff around folders is easier, etc.

  5. Daniel April 1, 2010 Reply

    Hi Brad, Thanks! really I’want this 2740p as a primary full work computer.
    Agradezco tus comentarios sobre sus sensaciones con el teclado.
    Regarding disk capacity, HP have not do anything. I think Sony for example allows mount varius discs of 1.8″ (include SSD) (and which lets you use RAID)
    Trackpads do not have the extended functionality (such as double click or selection touchpad directly pad) allowing for better precision with photoshop?
    What you think about analog vga-db9 connector?

  6. asdf April 1, 2010 Reply

    But displayport doesn’t carry audio. So you can’t use this to output to a big tv for example. I know this is aimed at business users, but there isn’t a consumer notebook which is this compact, yet uses high performance low voltage processors (i7 LM series)

    I also prefer separate buttons on the touch pad.

  7. Daniel April 2, 2010 Reply

    DVI connector instead db-9, digital instead analog, DVI is the interface used by any monitor today. Nothing about TV or consumer questions.

  8. Cristi April 27, 2010 Reply

    Is this ever coming out??!! I’ve been waiting to get it for months and I’m so tired of not having a notebook! Someone please find out, thanks!

  9. Cristi April 27, 2010 Reply

    Never mind, its out and I just ordered one!

  10. LH May 20, 2010 Reply

    Do you know if you can use the 2730p ultrabase on the 2740p

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