It’s that time of the year again; there was word earlier this week about Lenovo coming out with new Intel Haswell-equipped ThinkPad models. But it appears the rumor mill has churned out a little something for fans of HP as well.
The first tidbit comes from the same Chinese forum that brought word about next-generation EliteBook Workstation models sporting big air vents. At least four business-class laptops have been named, along with a change in naming convention: The rumored EliteBook 8480p and 8580p (more accurately, successors to the EliteBook 8470p and 8570p models) will supposedly be renamed to HP EliteBook 840 G1 and EliteBook 850 G1 respectively. HP first introduced the three-digit number naming convention earlier this year with the EliteBook “Revolve” 810 so it is plausible that future models will adopt a similar naming scheme. It can also be speculated that future models would carry the same “EliteBook 840″ and “EliteBook 850″ name, but with G2, G3, G4, etc denoting different generations (model years)… sounds kind of similar to what Apple does and a good way to build up model name recognition.
The same forum topic speaks of rebranding of HP’s mobile workstation notebooks (rumored to become HP ZBOOK; a trademark for which was filed last year according to Trademark Hound) as well, and what we used to know as the EliteBook 8580w and EliteBook 8780w might make an appearance, if and when they are announced, as the HP ZBook 15 and HP ZBook 17, with the numbers denoting screen size (in HP’s usual flavors of 15 and 17 inches). There might also be a smaller 14 inch variant of the ZBOOK, as a performance benchmark from a mysterious “HP ZBook 14″ has already appeared in a benchmark listing online.
A reliable anonymous source has also tipped that a new “future retro” design is set to be launched with 2013 Intel Haswell-carrying EliteBook and ZBook models. They are rumored to employ HP’s new “soft-touch” design (first seen in the EliteBook Revolve and 9470m), “updated keyboards” and high-resolution displays standard with Hi-DPI upgrade options available. A 10 inch Android tablet with a HiDPI display is also reportedly in the works (rumored name: Slate 10).