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  (Source: HP)
Intel ultrabooks won't come with discrete graphics, you'll have to pay extra for that

Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) is the world's largest seller of personal computers and hence a key battleground for processor makers Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) and Intel Corp. (INTC).

Both companies' latest and greatest chip are on parade in a trio of new ultrathin lines unveiled by HP, a refresh to the company's "Envy" ultramobile brand.  Interestingly, the Ivy Bridge (Intel) and Trinity (AMD) notebooks have the same battery life rating from HP -- 9 hours (though of course real-world testing is likely to reveal a winner and a loser).

The AMD designs are substantially cheaper than the Ivy Bridge ones.  HP's most affordable "Sleekbook" line will first launch with higher priced Intel designs, but in June will be expanded to include less costly models powered by AMD's new Trinity accelerated processing unit (APU), which features "discrete quality" on-die graphics.

The SleekBook models are as follows:

HP Envy SleekBook (14-inches): May 9 launch
Price: $699 (Sandy Bridge) ~$799 (Ivy Bridge)
Weight: 4 lb
Thickness: ~19.8 mm
Screen: 14-inch 1366x768 pixel
Memory: 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Storage: 500 GB HDD
Connectivity: 802.11a/g/n, gigabit ethernet
Ports: HDMI, USB 3.0 x2, USB 2.0 x1, SD card reader
Extras: Beats Audio

(Note: This isn't an ultrabook, as it doesn't meet Intel's official spec, which requies an SSD or NAND cache.)

HP Envy SleekBook (15.6-inches): June 20 launch
Price: $599
CPU: AMD Trinity APU
Weight: 4 lb
Thickness: ~19.8 mm
Screen: 15.6-inch 1366x768 pixel
Memory: 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Storage: 320 GB HDD
Connectivity: 802.11a/g/n, gigabit ethernet
Ports: HDMI, USB 3.0 x2, USB 2.0 x1, SD card reader
Extras: Beats Audio

The actual ultrabooks from HP will come in two flavors -- the Envy Ultrabook, the mid-range model, and the Envy Spectre XT Ultrabook, the flagship model.

These designs are as follows:

HP Envy Ultrabook (14-inches): May 9 launch
Price: $749 (Sandy Bridge) ~$849 (Ivy Bridge)
Weight: 4 lb
Thickness: ~19.8 mm
Screen: 14-inch 1366x768 pixel
Memory: 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Storage: 500 GB HDD + 32 GB NAND cache
Connectivity: 802.11a/g/n, gigabit ethernet
Ports: HDMI, USB 3.0 x2, USB 2.0 x1, SD card reader
Extras: Beats Audio

HP Envy Ultrabook (15.6-inches): May 9 launch
Price: $799 (Sandy Bridge) ~$899 (Ivy Bridge)
Weight: 4 lb
Thickness: ~19.8 mm
Screen: 14-inch 1366x768 pixel
Memory: 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Storage: 500 GB HDD + 32 GB NAND cache
Connectivity: 802.11a/g/n, gigabit ethernet
Ports: HDMI, USB 3.0 x2, USB 2.0 x1, SD card reader
Extras: Beats Audio
HP Ultrabook
HP Envy Spectre XT (13.3-inches): June 8 launch
Price: $999
CPU: Ivy Bridge (third generation Core i-Series processor) 
Weight: 3 lb
Thickness: 14.5 mm
Screen: 13.3-inch 1366x768 pixel
Memory: 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Storage: 128 GB SSD
Connectivity: 802.11a/g/n, gigabit ethernet, 2x2 WLAN, Bluetooth 3.0
Ports: HDMI, USB 3.0 x1, HDMI
Extras: Beats Audio, Adobe System Inc.'s (ADBE) Photoshop (full), and Symantec Corp.'s (SYMC) Norton Internet Security (full)

Spectre XT black

The body designs for all the models are relatively similar with sleek brushed metal (black or silver available) cases colored in black or silver hues.  The Ivy Bridge models do not come with discrete graphics by default, but customers can pay extra to get a discrete GPU.  Larger hard drives or more memory are among the other customization options consumers can pony up extra cash for.

Ultimately, the AMD vs. Intel Ivy Bridge thin notebooks are shaping up to be much as what thought -- the Intel will be slightly thinner and lighter, but will be well over $1,000 USD with discrete graphics added.  By contrast, an AMD Sleekbook with matching performance (other than the slower HDD) will start at ~$600.  Build quality (packaging) will be almost identical for both competing designs, other than size and weight.

DailyTech's poll indicated that the majority of people would prefer an AMD ultrathin to an Intel one (the vote was nearly 2-to-1 with over 3,500 votes cast), given the price and graphics difference, assuming battery life and build quality were the same.  Of course the majority will have to wait a month to get their wish, while the vocal enthusiast minority can get their Ivy Bridge Ultrabook dream machine today.

HP's new ultrathins and similar ilk from rivals all closely parrot Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iconic MacBook Air design, which was arguably the first true metal body-encased ultrathin.  When the Air launched in 2008 many mocked its lack of an internal optical media drive and predicted weak sales.  After Apple wowed with MacBook Air sales, the tune quickly changed, as evidenced by the fact that the Envy Sleekbooks, Envy Ultrabooks, and Envy Spectre XT carry nary an internal optical media drive.

Sources: HP [Press Release], [Spectre XT Product Page]



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RE: Attack of the clones
By Tony Swash on 5/9/2012 6:26:46 PM , Rating: 0
A group of HP designers sit down in a dark room and say "let's design a new laptop, but let's not think about the laptop that has been gutting our sales and bottom line for the last few years, no - let's start from scratch and come up with our very own design".

And a new laptop was born.

And it looked just like the laptop that had been gutting HP's sales for years

But it was just a coincidence!


RE: Attack of the clones
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/9/2012 6:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
Again, you douche, they look nothing alike. Get your eyes checked.


RE: Attack of the clones
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/9/2012 7:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
I meant iDouche...sorry.


RE: Attack of the clones
By Tony Swash on 5/10/2012 6:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
Given Apple's track record of introducing new product design motifs that are stunningly successful in the market place it is not surprising that OEMs copy and follow Apple's design moves so slavishly. However Apple's design influence goes deeper than that, because Apple's designs are so powerful that they become hegemonic, their designs reshape the fabric of the aesthetic of the market place and soon it's hard to conceive of products that are not designed within the paradigm Apple has created. And of course Apple's design aesthetic leeches far beyond computers, phones and tablets, not just to the whole vast iDevice ecosystem but beyond the tech sector entirely. This tendency first became apparent with the release of the original Bondi Blue iMac back in 1998 when within a few months staplers, coffee machines, pencil sharpeners and office equipment of all kinds was popping up all made using the same semi translucent Bondi Blue plastic. Nowadays with Apple the dominant tech company the influence of Apple design is simply unavoidable and it saturates the world of made objects, above all in the tech sector.

I don't blame HP for copying the MacBook Air but I do laugh at their crassness.

And at those who, through a weird form of rigorous and self inflicted visually impairment, try to pretend that Apple design doesn't matter. It's like watching someone who insists on wearing dark glasses stumbling about in a dark house bumping into the furniture.


RE: Attack of the clones
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/10/2012 8:23:00 AM , Rating: 2
Apple doesn't matter to me...and to a lot of people. They are just a company, not a religion. But to some they are, and you are the cult leader.


RE: Attack of the clones
By Tony Swash on 5/10/2012 1:00:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Apple doesn't matter to me...


I guess that's why you are always popping up to make a comment in Apple related threads ;)


RE: Attack of the clones
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/10/2012 1:19:18 PM , Rating: 1
Because of the bullshit they are doing by potentially getting competitors banned over ridiculous lawsuits? You really are brain dead aren't you? I think so....

Oh, by the way, how is your buddy Florian? How is that Oracle pay he is getting? How much does does Apple pay you to shill?


RE: Attack of the clones
By Solandri on 5/10/2012 6:04:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A group of HP designers sit down in a dark room and say "let's design a new laptop..."
And it looked just like the laptop that had been gutting HP's sales for years

But it was just a coincidence!

Most of HP's laptops are designed and manufactured by Quanta. Quanta also designs and builds the Macbooks, including the Air.

It's tough to say how much of the Air's design originated at Apple vs. Quanta. And likewise whether it was HP which told Quanta they wanted something Air-like, or if it was Quanta which came up with on their own when HP requested an Intel Ultrabook. All the name-brand companies are very tight-lipped about their relationship with the ODMs. But the success of Asus (they used to be an ODM) points to the ODMs doing most if not all of the design work.

So it's most likely that the Macbook Air is actually the Quanta Air, and the HP Spectre is the Quanta Spectre. No surprised that they look (somewhat) alike.


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