HP gives AMD boost with new business laptops

Hewlett-Packard introduced seven new laptops with AMD's upcoming chips

Hewlett-Packard introduced seven laptops with Advanced Micro Devices' upcoming laptop chips on Wednesday, boosting efforts for the chip designer's efforts to catch up with rival Intel.

The new AMD-based ProBook laptops are up to 69 percent faster and offer up to 72 percent more battery life than earlier laptops based on AMD processors, said Joanne Bugos, business notebook marketing manager at HP. These new chips include many architectural improvements that help AMD close the power and performance gap with Intel, Bugos said.

The new laptops -- including three ProBook S-series and two ProBook B-series laptops -- will come with AMD's Phenom II, Turion II and Athlon II and V-series processors. The laptops will include dual-core processors and AMD's first triple-core and quad-core laptop chips.

This is the company's largest introduction of laptops with AMD chips, Bugos said. HP also announced two ProBooks based on Intel processors.

Some power improvements could stretch the AMD-based laptops' battery life beyond five hours, a 72 percent improvement from laptops with AMD's older chips. Laptops based on Intel chips, however, still offer some performance advantages and better battery life in excess of six hours, Bugos said.

However, at cheaper prices, AMD-based laptops offer good price-performance value, Bugos said. Laptops with AMD chips could be typically around 15 to 20 percent cheaper than Intel-based laptops, Bugos said.

HP's AMD-based ProBook 4325s, 4425s and 4525s laptops will come with screens ranging from 13.3 inches to 15.6 inches. The AMD ProBooks are priced starting at US$619, but HP didn't announce the pricing for Intel-based ProBooks. The HP 425 will come with a 14-inch screen and the HP 625 will have a 15.6-inch screen and will be priced starting at $549. The laptops will become available in May.

The HP ProBook 6445b, and 6555b series business laptops will come with 14-inch and 15.6-inch screens, with prices starting at $779 and will be available in the U.S. in June. The ProBook 6450b and 6550b will come with the same screen sizes but will run Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 processors.

The company didn't immediately return requests for comment on worldwide availability for the laptops.

AMD's CEO Dirk Meyer recently acknowledged that the company was "under-represented" in the laptop microprocessor space. The company last year launched new laptop processors and a new branding campaign called Vision in an effort to better explain the usability of laptops, but the company's laptop microprocessor market share nevertheless fell.

The new laptop chips are an attempt by AMD to improve its weak market position and gain ground on rival Intel. AMD held a 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 15 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to IDC. Intel was the leader by a wide margin, holding an 87.8 percent laptop microprocessor market share in the first quarter of 2010, growing from the 84.3 percent market share it had a year ago.

AMD next year is due to launches its Fusion chip, which combines the CPU and graphics processing unit on one chip.

HP also introduced the Envy laptop with a 17-inch screen, which is capable of storing a whopping 2TB of data through two hard-drive storage slots. The laptop also packs the latest technologies, including a Blu-ray hard drive, and an ATI Radeon graphics card to bring DirectX 11 gaming capabilities to the Windows 7.

The laptop will come with Intel dual-core and quad-core processors and up to three monitors will be able to connect to the laptop to improve the gaming experience. It will also come with a USB 3.0 port to connect high-speed external storage devices. The laptop will become available worldwide through HP's Web site starting at $1,399.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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