HP has just announced three new consumer-level notebooks: An all new HP Pavilion dv4 laptop, HP Mini 210 netbook (updated for 2011) and evolved Envy 14 with Intel Sandy Bridge processors.
First off we have the HP Pavilion dv4 (Note the “v” in the name; don’t confuse it with the HP Pavilion dm4 series) which acts as a more affordable alternative to the recently announced (last week), slightly more upscale Pavilion dm4x. It sports a plastic casing (versus metal on HP’s two other 14 inch laptops; the Pavilion dm4x and Envy 14) which comes in your choice of blue or black, has a 14 inch LED backlit display (1366 x 768 resolution), Intel Core i3 and Core i5 “Sandy Bridge” processors (naturally) and weighs less than 5 pounds. The HP Pavilion dv4 has a starting price of $600 and will be yours to configure and order starting next week.
Next up we have the 2011 HP Envy 14 which features the most minor of updates of the three new HP laptops (and another three business laptop models) announced today. Three months after its big brother Envy 17 was updated, the Envy 14 has finally been refreshed with Intel Sandy Bridge processors (up to the top-end dual-core Core i7-2620M option) and USB 3.0 ports. Everything else remains the same as the original 2010 HP Envy 14.
While it’s slim, it’s no MacBook Air killer, but the Envy 14 will now retain its competitive position as a viable alternative to Apple’s 13 and 15 inch MacBook Pro models with its similar design, superior specifications (most notably a better graphics card, more ports and USB 3.0) and more affordable price tag… at least when it starts to become configurable with said Sandy Bridge options on June 15, at a starting price of $1000 (still lower than the 13 inch aluminum MacBook Pro’s starting price!)
And finally, hot on the heels of the successful 2010 HP Mini 210 netbook comes the… you’ve guessed it… 2011 HP Mini 210! The Mini 210 this year adds a bunch of new colors for your choosing (black, blue, turquoise, red, blue, pink and purple!), Beats Audio branding for its speakers, redesigned 6-cell battery that fits flush with the notebook and powers it for “up to 9.5 hours” and HP QuickWeb, which is a separate web browser that starts up within seconds and without starting up Windows 7.
To the delight of some (and the dread and disappointment of the “I like my laptop to look as much like a Mac as possible” part of society), the HP Mini 210 brings back physical left and right click buttons this year; those disappeared into a single buttonless trackpad on last year’s model. Well, if you’re planning to pick one of these updated HP Mini 210 netbooks up, you’d better mark June 15th on your calendar and set aside $300 for the black model, or $330 for the other colors.