Earlier this month, HP quietly announced the ProBook 5320m in some of their region-specific websites (such as HP Singapore), successor to last year’s ‘thin and light’ ProBook 5310m business notebook. The HP ProBook 5320m is a fairly minor refresh, with the changes being a new body color (now in gold-silvery tone, versus the all-black 5310m) with new 2010 Core i-series processors dropped into its 0.93 inch thin aluminum + magnesium alloy chassis (the ProBook 5310m measures the exact same dimensions and weighs the same 3.8 lbs/1.72 kg as its predecessor). While the ProBook 5310m had “medium voltage” SP-series Core 2 Duo processors (with 25W TDP), the new ProBook 5320m uses “standard voltage” Core i3/i5 processors (with 35W TDP)… I wonder how this will impact battery life. Currently there are just three i-series processor options available: the 2.26 GHz Core i3-350M, 2.40 GHz Core i3-370M and 2.40 GHz i5-450M (whose advantage over Core i3 being its ability to ‘overclock’ itself up to 2.66 GHz via Turbo Boost). Seeing they probably share the same motherboard, I’m wondering why HP doesn’t list options for higher-spec Core i5 processors or even the powerful 2.66 GHz Core i7-620M for the ProBook 5320m (perhaps HP will offer such options in the future, but for those daring enough to ‘dig in’ to their notebook, you could probably try to order a ‘replacement part’ Core i7-620M and install it at your own risk!). There’s also a low-end 1.06 GHz Celeron ultra-low voltage U2300 processor option available for those willing to sacrifice power for better battery life.
Two other noteworthy additions to the ProBook 5320m is the multi-touch, gesture enabled touchpad (which the 2009 ProBook 5310m can probably do too, via this magical Synaptics touchpad driver from HP’s website) and new VGA port alongside the Display Port option (the 5310m has Display Port only, hence requiring an adapter to connect to most projectors and VGA-cabled monitors). I’m a bit surprised that HP decided to continue using a more traditional ‘touchpad with physical buttons’ setup here on the ProBook 5320m (versus the button-less huge trackpad they’ve outfitted on the other 5000-series ProBook and consumer Pavilion/Envy models).
While the ProBook 5320m has appeared on HP’s websites for certain countries, there’s no word so far on pricing or availability in North America.