The EliteBook, ProBook b-series, and ProBook s-series

HP has divided their enterprise machines into three different lines. In descending order, they are the EliteBook p-series, the ProBook b-series, and the ProBook s-series. All of the features mentioned on the previous page are integrated into each of these lines, so it's largely a matter of market segmentation.

The EliteBook p-series

HP's big daddy line is the EliteBook p-series. These notebooks will be available in 14-inch and 15.6-inch models.

HP was quite proud to show these off and to be fair, they're mighty attractive. The major differentiators here are a silver outer shell with increased durability inside, designed to be as rugged and durable as possible. Perks include a chemically-strengthened glass touchpad designed to be simultaneously more comfortable and more wear-resistant along with support for HP's Ultra-Capacity notebook battery slate, which HP rates at offering the 14-inch model up to a staggering 32 hours of battery life.

The p-series will come equipped with the new Sandy Bridge processors, but graphics support is somewhat disappointing, topping out at just the AMD Radeon HD 6470M. The 6470M has just 160 stream processors and support for GDDR5, making it feel a bit anemic for such a premium line, but AMD has apparently introduced technology comparable to NVIDIA's Optimus that enables switching between the Sandy Bridge IGP and the dedicated AMD graphics. We hope to get a look at this in the near future.

The EliteBook notebooks start at $999.

The ProBook b-series

Stepping down to the ProBook b-series means moving to a slightly less rugged but still durable shell colored in a gunmetal shade of gray. You still get most of the perks, but HP hasn't announced availability of discrete graphics options for these notebooks. These can be ordered with processors ranging from the top-end Core i7 Sandy Bridge chips down to the lowly Celerons.

HP's ProBook b-series will start at $799 and will be available in 13.3-inch, 14-inch, and 15.6-inch form factors.

The ProBook s-series

One would be tempted to call the s-series the budget line of the bunch, but that's not entirely fair. These notebooks include many of the same design perks of the b-series and EliteBooks, with the primary differentiators seeming to be the latches on the lids and a slightly less generous port selection (upon inspection these looked to be missing FireWire and ExpressCard ports).

The flipside is that HP will be offering discrete graphics in these notebooks, though they haven't announced yet which models will be available except to say they'll be AMD Radeons. They'll also run a larger gamut of sizes, being available in 13.3-inch, 14-inch, 15.6-inch, and 17.3-inch models. Overseas there will be an additional 12.1-inch model, though unfortunately it doesn't look like we'll get to enjoy it in the states. Sales of ultraportables out here are fairly low while the Asian markets tend to eat them up and forego the larger desktop replacement models.

HP's ProBook s-series will start at $579.

Coming in March: HP Updates in a Big Way Conclusion: Back, in Style
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  • Jellodyne - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    We picked up a Probook 4250s to evaluate for work as a possible replacement for the Dells we buy, and the big thing I see it's missing is a real dock option -- the USB 2.0 dock is a half solution, requiring you to hook up both a usb cable and a power cord to the laptop to 'dock', and it lacks a power button -- you have to open the laptop to power it on. As far as I can tell the USB 2.0 dock is the standard for the whole line. The only USB ports on the Probook are all located on either side, right by the front of unit, which is frankly awkward to use IMO. What ever happened to ports on the back of laptops? The side of this thing is jam packed with ports, and the back is blank. The USB dock comes with a DVI port, so presumably you're working off some sore of USB video card while you're 'docked' -- it works slick and doesn't seem to be a problem for what we use them for, but if you're looking to do any video intensive work while docked it might be an issue. Or it might not, I don't know, we really didn't stress it.

    Anyway, Dell's docks are awkward to get the laptop into, but at least it's a real dock. But their actual laptops are crap, performance wise. So I suppose we're still looking for their replacement.
    Reply
  • nbrenner72 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    I just started a new job and got a shiny aluminum lid HP EliteBook with a Core i7, so I was thinking I had one these refreshed models that is referenced in the article. Although, I don't have a single piece underbelly and it would appear I only have USB2 based on looking up the Intel 3400 Series chipset info. My model is the 2540p. Hard drive is slow as dirt and graphics are rather poor (Intel HD - or so running dxdiag tells me). Anywho, the article just confused me a bit because it sounded excited to talk about these shiny new aluminum models that are coming out soon (and yes I have the rubber bumpers under the lid too) with Core i7s and what not, and that is what I've had for a month or so now, but without some of the other bells and whistles mentioned (i.e. USB3) Reply
  • HMTK - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    Is nobody bothered by the numeric keypad on the 15" models? IMO a 15" notebook is not wide enough to include such a thing. A decent keyboard isn't even available as an option it seems. Guess it'll be a Vostro or Latitude E5510 for me then even though I can have HP's at resellers price.

    Besides that, I hate most recent laptops because for some idiotic reason, suppliers have switched to 16:9 displays of questionable resolution. As if 16:10 wasn't bad enough...

    As for the article, I can't seem to find any specific model numbers which make the article rather useless. "And in further news, BMW has a announced a new car. It features 4 wheels, an engine and some pedals. A roof is optional."
    Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    can't wait till the review, I may get one of these. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, March 5, 2011 - link

    What is business? Webpages, code, and documents. All of which are portrait. 1050 vertical, whether it's 14.1" 1400x1050 or 15.4" 1680x1050, is a must. (btw, Apple still sells the latter) And look at all that wasted bezel on these HPs. Reply
  • beginner99 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Is there any more info available if the graphics are switchable? The 6470m isn't exactly a powerhouse and if I lose QuickSync for it, I would say I don't really need it. Also how much faster is it than HD-graphics? not much I would say? Reply

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