HP adds Haswell to new EliteBook laptops

HP has made the EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 thinner, but retained serviceability for in-house repairs

Hewlett-Packard has added Intel's Haswell processors to a pair of new EliteBook business laptops, while making them slimmer.

HP on Tuesday announced the EliteBook Folio 1040 G1, which has a 14-inch screen and is one of company's thinnest ultrabooks, HP said. The company also announced the EliteBook Revolve G2 laptop, which has a convertible design based on a swiveling screen.

The EliteBook Folio G1 is 15.9 millimeters thick, making it around 16 percent thinner than its predecessor, the EliteBook Folio 9470M, said Aaron Slessinger, notebook category manager at HP. The laptop is also 7.3 percent lighter than its predecessor.

The addition of Intel's fourth-generation Core processors, code-named Haswell, adds longer battery life and better graphics to the laptop, Slessinger said. HP has measured battery life at around 10 hours.

Due to the thin size, many ultrabooks are sealed and difficult to service. But the EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 allows for some repairs and battery replacements to be done in-house, Slessinger said. That is important for businesses that don't want to send laptops back for repairs.

The laptop can be connected to a display through a DisplayPort port, and supports the dock used for the 9470M ultrabook. The EliteBook Folio 1040 is priced starting at US$1,299 and by default will have a 720p screen, though options for full high definition and touch screens are also available.

HP also bought Haswell processors to its new EliteBook Revolve G2 laptop, which has a convertible design with a swiveling screen that can be placed on the keyboard. The laptop offers 10 hours of battery life, which is an improvement over the 8.25 hours of battery offered by its predecessor, introduced in December last year. The Revolve G2 will start at $1,364.

There's still a demand for convertible laptops, as some users want their screen attached to the base, Slessinger said. There are other HP products available with detachable screens, Slessinger said.

"We're still learning about convertibles, detachables and where they are going to go," Slessinger said.

The EliteBook laptops will have optional 4G LTE. Release dates and availability information for the laptops were not provided by HP.

HP also introduced a Classmate Notebook laptop with Windows 8.1 for the education market. The rugged laptop, which will run on Intel's Celeron N2000 processor, will only be sold in channels directly to educational institutions. The laptop's price was not provided by HP.

The Classmate laptop has Intel's education suite of learning software and collaboration tools. It's made of heavy plastic that will allow the laptop to take some bangs and bumps.

The Classmate is an attempt by HP to diversity its offerings, Slessinger said. HP also offers Chromebooks for the educational market.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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