HP Antes Up With Wave Of Business-Focused Ultrabooks

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Hewlett-Packard intends to be a major player in Ultrabooks, and on Wednesday, this goal came into sharper focus with the unveiling of several new models tailored to business users.

At HP's Global Influencers Summit in Shanghai, China, CRN got a first-hand look as company executives took the wraps off the EliteBook Folio 9470m, an Ultrabook featuring a 14-inch high-definition display and a sleek casing that's only 19mm. Though it weighs just a bit more than 3.5 pounds, the EliteBook Folio 9470m comes with Ethernet and VGA ports built in, a measure of flexibility that HP believes will be a selling point with enterprises.

The EliteBook Folio 9470m also comes with Intel vPro and support for 3G and 4G LTE wireless broadband. It's expected to be available in October, but HP isn't talking about pricing yet.

HP, which launched its Envy 14 Spectre Ultrabook in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, is adding a new model -- the Envy Spectre XT Ultrabook. This is not the Gorilla Glass-coated stunner that turned heads at CES, but it does feature a lightweight design and, at $1,049, it's much less expensive than the Envy 14 Spectre, which starts at $1,399.

The Envy Spectre XT comes with Beats Audio, a 13.3 inch high-definition display and video camera, and a TPM chip, which secures data on the solid state drive as well as in e-mail. HP has redesigned the touchpad, adding more real estate for Windows 8.

There are minor design tweaks, too: HP's marketers found that spelling out "Hewlett Packard" on the Envy Spectre XT casing conjured thoughts, in the minds of consumers, of the innovative aspects of HP.

HP is sweetening the pot with full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements preinstalled on the Envy Spectre XT, as well as HP's Concierge service, which can help if the device is lost or stolen.

"This class of product will have value-added software, and the services offering will be more robust going forward," James Mouton, who leads the Personal Computers unit of HP's Printing and Personal Systems (PPS) Group, told the roughly 500 attendees at the event. "The industry has moved beyond speeds and feeds. On the PC side, we're looking at the total process a businessperson gets involved in."

HP also unveiled its Envy Pro Ultrabook line, which starts at $849 and comes with 14-inch or 16-inch high-definition displays, integrated Beats Audio, dual speakers and subwoofers. This line is aimed at creative professionals, though HP is clearly targeting the middle ground between personal and business use that consumerization brings out.

NEXT: HP Also Refreshes Regular Business Notebooks

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