Meet the HP ProBook 5330m: MacBook Air killer and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 fighter?

HP ProBook 5330m: when a ProBook goes on a diet and dresses up like a pricier EliteBook

Not wanting to be one-upped and left out by Lenovo and their rumored ThinkPad X1 ultra-thin laptop, HP has busted out the doors with their new ProBook 5330m ultra-thin business laptop. The ProBook 5330m appears to have a slight costume malfunction in the identity-crisis sense of the word as it carries HP’s ‘ProBook’ branding while at the same time, sports a design similar to HP’s upper-tier EliteBook series of notebooks. But at least it’s super-thin and is visibly so, because HP’s 2011 EliteBook design has the tendency of bringing out the “fat” side of their notebooks when viewed from certain angles.

If you’re looking for an alternative to, or just plain sick of, the Apple MacBook Air’s (extremely dated Core 2 Duo) low voltage processor, lack of a backlit keyboard and proprietary flash storage, and looking for a ‘real’ notebook that’s both ultra-thin in form-factor and powerful under-the-hood (though you can’t exactly hit the pedal once to make the floor shake like a real EliteBook can), then the HP ProBook 5330m might be for you!

Here’s what’s brewing with the HP EliteBook 5330m:

  • Intel Sandy Bridge full-voltage dual core processors: choose between the basic 2.1 GHz Core i3-2310M or the more powerful 2.5 GHz Core i5-2520M.
    Not sure why they left it out, but I’m sure HP could have easily slipped in the powerful Core i7 dual core mobile processor in there (the 2.7 GHz Core i7-2620M) since it doesn’t draw more power or run hotter than its Core i3 and i5 siblings
    Unlike previous EliteBook models, these are ‘full voltage’ Intel processors and HP has dropped the option to equip the notebooks with ‘low voltage’ (slower but less power hungry) processors
  • Intel Integrated Graphics HD3000
    And for those who enjoy frowning upon integrated graphics, wake up! Times have changed and the Intel Sandy Bridge IGP can give the MacBook Air’s Nvidia 320M and some other dedicated graphics options from Nvidia and AMD a run for their money
  • Two DDR3 1333 MHz RAM slots up to 8 GB of memory (no word whether the ProBook 5330m will take 8 GB RAM sticks, but 16 GB of RAM in a super-thin notebook would be sick!)
  • 2.5 inch user-accessible storage bay lets you select between a 500 GB hard disk or 128 GB solid state drive from HP (of course you’re welcome to swap it out for your own hard disk, 250 GB Intel SSD or something, since the drive IS accessible without undoing a bunch of screws and dismantling the notebook… unlike Apple’s MacBooks!)
  • No built-in optical drive
  • 13.3 inch matte (anti-glare) LED backlit display (1366 x 768); 16:9 ‘widescreen’ ratio
  • Port selection: Three USB 2.0 ports total (one ‘standard’, one ‘always-on’ and one combo eSATA/USB port), HDMI port, VGA connection, two-in-one combo headphone/microphone jack, RJ45 LAN port, SD/SDHC card slot
  • “Beats Audio” branding for the notebook’s speakers
  • HD webcam
  • Full-sized backlit chiclet style keyboard (yes it’s backlit!)
    Big multi-touch trackpad with dedicated left and right click buttons
  • About one inch thin (2.52 cm) with consistent thickness around the whole notebook
    Weighs in at 1.82 kg (or 4 pounds)
    Removable/replaceable 4 cell battery

There’s also support for ‘business’ security features such as TPM and Intel vPro. The HP ProBook 5330m basically screams “bring it on [insert competitor with ultra-thin notebook here]”, while giving its own cousin, the HP EliteBook 2560p, a run for its money and looks (In fact I’m surprised HP didn’t rebrand this as the EliteBook 2660p or something!).

Starting price for the HP ProBook 5330m is $800 and you should be able to pick one up (or at least order one) later this month!

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3 Comments

  1. jke May 9, 2011 Reply

    Backlit? OMG, OMG, OMG! :-))))

    (it’s the small things that matter 🙂

  2. jmp May 9, 2011 Reply

    agrrr! where is USB 3.0?!?! c’mon…
    where is docking port!! i’m confused :/
    almost perfect but without this stuff just simply good 🙁

  3. lolhp May 19, 2011 Reply

    What dont these writers get, the whole point of a MBA killer is to beat it not only in performance, BUT IN WEIGHT AND BATTER LIFE TOO! There are about 20 laptops which easily smoke the MBA and cost far less too, do we call them all macbook killers? The MBA weighs less than 3 lbs, this thing weighs over 4. Why do you think people even buy Airs? Because they basically want an iPad with keyboard + real operating system.

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