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The newly updated HP Envy 15 is the world's first laptop with USB 3.0 support built in.  (Source: HP)

  (Source: HP)

The laptop also offers the option of an i7 Intel processor and an ATI Mobility Radeon 5830 HD GPU.  (Source: HP)
HP beats competitors to market with laptop USB 3.0

Two and a half years have passed since USB 3.0 was first demonstrated.  Intel has not exactly been fast in adopting USB 3.0 on their motherboards.  To date, only a few third-party motherboards are available with this new Universal Bus architecture and virtually no OEM's are marketing their products with them yet, though many solutions were shown at CES 2010, some of which should eventually make their way to the market later this year. 

The only current solution for desktop enthusiasts is to purchase USB 3.0 add on cards, which are relatively inexpensive but require a free PCI-express slot due to the massive bandwidth capabilities with the new standard.  As we transition into higher resolution screens and High Definition films, the file sizes that we transfer are going to keep growing.  

For the first time, though, laptop junkies can get their fix of USB SuperSpeed right now, thanks to HP's new ENVY 15; the first laptop to officially support the new Bus.   USB 3.0 can move up-to a magnitude greater data in the same time as the previous generation.  More importantly,  USB 3.0 can push data up and down stream simultaneously.  This will allow USB 3.0 users to both copy and paste to their devices at the same time. 

USB 3.0 is able to pull off these feats with the help of an extra 400 milliamps of current.  The extra current will also be able to drive more demanding USB peripherals, such has larger external Hard disks.  The added bandwidth will hopefully make USB Blu-Ray drives a reality for the netbook community. 

Although NEC Electronics, the USB controller manufacturer, is ramping up production for the first quarter of 2010, Intel has stated that it will not formally support the new Bus until 2011.   Also, Microsoft is rumored to be introducing new USB 3.0 drivers into Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, as it was not fully supported from the get-go. 

Is it possible that HP is jumping the gun on their USB 3.0 support?  If so, the HP has at least packed a host of other impressive features into the new machine.  The ENVY supports DX11 gaming capabilities with the new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5830 GPU and Intel's mobile i7 quad-core all in one of the world's thinnest laptop chassis.  The notebook also boasts an impressive battery life of 7.5 hrs.

The machine retails starting at $1,299.  Processor options include the i5-520M (2.4 GHz, dual core), the i5-540M (2.53 GHz, dual core), the i7-720QM (1.6 GHz, quad core), and the i7-820QM (1.73 GHz, Quad Core) (all these processors feature Intel's TurboBoost tech for faster performance).  The system is available with up to 16 GB of DDR3, and with dual 160 GB SSDs.  The monitor also supports 1920x1080 resolutions.  A fully loaded model retails for $3,499.99 -- though we're not quite sure who would spend that much on a system with less than the best graphics card.





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