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5/11/2011
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HP Unveils Laptops, Mobile Broadband Service

The computer maker introduced six notebooks and its DataPass service that allows the PCs to connect to 3G mobile networks.

HP ProBook 5330m
(click image for larger view)
HP ProBook 5330m
HP expanded its line of notebook PCs Monday with new features and services, including a new 3G mobile broadband service for the laptops.

HP introduced its DataPass mobile broadband service that works in conjunction with its new 3G-enabled Elitebook business laptops, which were announced simultaneously. The service allows users of the upgraded laptops to purchase wireless broadband data using major mobile carriers in the United States. Plans start at $5 for 75 MB of data over 5 hours, $10 for 150 MB of data over 3 days, $20 for 450 MB of data over 14 days, or $30 for 1 GB of data over 30 days. There are no activation or setup fees, and no contract is required.

The DataPass service is available on HP's new line of laptops including the HP ProBook 5330m, the HP EliteBook 2560p and 2760p, the HP Mini 210, the HP Pavilion dv4, and the HP Envy 14. Owners of older HP computers can download software to allow their PCs to work with DataPass, as long as they have the necessary 3G hardware.

The new HP laptops feature Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors and have a longer battery life than older models. Both business and consumer laptops include HP's "Beats" audio, which "allows the listener to hear music the way the artist intended," the company said.

The HP ProBook 5330m is less than 1 inch thick, weighs less than four pounds, and has a brushed aluminum chassis. It includes Intel's latest Core i5 and i3 processors, solid-state disk drive storage, a 13.3-inch screen, and a four-cell battery that provides up to 6.5 hours of battery life. The computer will become available in May, with pricing starting at $799.

HP is also releasing its smallest and lightest EliteBook. The 3.68-pound EliteBook 2560p includes a 12.5-inch screen, 16 GB of memory, and Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and starts at $1,099.

HP also released its 2760p convertible tablet PC, a "business-rugged" notebook that converts to a tablet that allows for pen or finger touch. It has Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and 16 GB of memory. Pricing starts at 1,499.

On the consumer side, the new HP Pavilion dv4 and HP Envy 14 laptops feature HP's CoolSense technology, which features a built-in motion sensor, or accelerometer, that automatically detects when it's on your lap and subsequently decreases temperature. When the laptops are placed on a flat surface, such as a table, it will ratchet up performance, which can make the machine hotter.

The HP Envy 14 features Intel i5 and i7 core processors, USB 3.0, and a new HP "imagepad" that uses image sensor technology for advanced gesture support and fluid control.

HPl has been busy ramping up its business and consumer PCs lately. This past February, HP announced it was adding Intel's new Core processors into its business notebook lineup, including revamped versions of its EliteBook, ProBook b-series, and ProBook s-series lines.

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