HP introduces the Sleekbook

HP introduces the Sleekbook

Summary: First came the Ultrabook, thin and light laptops designed to compete with the MacBook Air. Now we have the Sleekbook which is an Ultrabook in everything but name.

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Thin and light laptops are all the rage; we can thank Apple and the MacBook Air for that. First came the Ultrabook, a term designated by Intel to invoke a desire in consumers to open wallets and make laptops fly off the shelves. Now comes HP with the Sleekbook, which is an Ultrabook without Intel processors inside.

The new Sleekbooks from HP will be packing AMD processors, which are cheaper than the Intel models in the Ultrabooks. The new Sleekbook moniker is necessary as specifications for Ultrabooks were defined by Intel, and it would be rude (if not involve lawyers) for HP to drop the Intel processor and still call them Ultrabooks. Confused yet?

The new 14 and 15-inch laptops from HP with the Sleekbook tag will be cheaper than the company's Ultrabook models. The inclusion of AMD allows HP to offer the Sleekbooks starting at just $600 and $700 for the 15.6-inch and 14-inch models, respectively. HP is claiming 8 or 9 hours of battery life with the AMD-powered Sleekbooks, which is competitive with the company's Intel versions.

Both of the Sleekbook laptops appear to be good value for the products, and definitely cheaper than HP's Ultrabook line. They provide a starting point for the budget-conscious, without appearing to sacrifice capability.

The new laptops with the lower prices should be particularly appealing to small businesses. Those must always have an eye on the bottom line and the new Sleekbooks are capable laptops that don't invoke sticker shock. The 15-inch model starting at just $600 makes it a good candidate for the small shop whose employees value the thin form yet without breaking the company bank.

We knew that the Ultrabook product category was likely going to confuse consumers, with the name being applied to laptops without strict guidelines. The appearance of the Sleekbook will not help consumers trying to make sense of it all. Perhaps next we'll see the arrival of the Skinnybook?

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Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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10 comments
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  • Can we see some proof please?

    [i]We knew that the Ultrabook product category was likely going to confuse consumers[/i]

    No. You stated that this would confuse consumers. Do you have any proof that this has actually happened?

    "Ultrabooks" and "Sleekbooks" are not new. They are not different. They are laptops. Plain and simple. Ultrabook and Sleekbook are marketing terms meant to generate excitement, that's it. They can't do anything that any other laptop can't do so to fuss about whether a certain model is an Ultrabook, Sleekbook, or Laptop makes no difference to a consumer. A consumer will have an idea how important portability, price, and features (like optical) are and will then purchase a [b]laptop[/b] based on that. If the box holding the laptop happens to say Ultrabook or Sleekbook or nothing at all, are they going to get confused and return it? [i]I want to return this laptop. While everything is great about it, the box doesn't say Ultrabook. I specifically asked for an Ultrabook. I'm so confused as to why my box doesn't say Ultrabook. [b]RAGE[/b][/i].

    If you don't have any proof that there is actual consumer confusion, stop spreading this FUD. Linking to an article you wrote where you suggested that there would be confusion is not proof.
    toddbottom3
    • "You can have a laptop with any make CPU in it, as long as it's Intel"

      Yes, "Ultrabooks" confuse people.

      Because, it was promised that those will be "no compromise", ultralight laptops.

      People look at the models that are currently on the market, and see nothing else but an afterthought. They compare them with the thing that they were intended to compete with, the Macbook Air and see they are offered an inferior clone at the same or higher price. Few Apple haters buy them.. the rest either buy the real thing or just wait, or buy "something". Intel lost big in this gamble with Apple.

      HP are actually very smart with the Sleekbook concept. HP remains one of the smartest "PC" OEMs.
      danbi
      • I'll ask you for your proof too

        You and James have offered us theories. Where are your polls to backup your theories?

        Let me ask you: are you confused when you try to buy a slim, light, full powered laptop when one of the models says [b]ULTRABOOK[/b] on the box and the other doesn't? If so, please state it right here and now. [i]I, danbi, am very confused by slim, light, full powered laptops. I just don't know what to call them. I turn it on and I look at the screen in confusion because I don't know if I'm about to use an Ultrabook, a Sleekbook, or a Laptop. I sit there paralyzed with fear that I'm about to use the wrong device. Please help.[/i]
        toddbottom3
      • How did Intel lose against Apple? Apple also has "Intel Inside",

        so, Intel wins either way.

        What Intel wanted was for the thin laptops to become more widespread, and not just an Apple thing. With more manufacturers on-board the thin-laptop mantra, Intel would gain a lot more customers.

        So, Intel wins with Apple, and they win a lot more with a lot more competition offering the same form-factor.
        adornoe
  • I have to agree with toddbottom3

    I haven't yet seen anyone "confused" over the difference between an 'ultrabook' and a 'regular' laptop. Its easy enough to differentiate. The ultrabook/sleekbook (a rose by any other color...) is simply a matter of size and weight. Where's the confusion in that?

    Is there confusion over a Full Tower vs a Mid-Tower desktop PC? Ah, I don't think so...
    ccs9623
  • Tempest in a tea cup ...

    Consumers primarily shop on features/benefits and price. The 'benefits' may or may not include percieved value of the brand, e.g. reputation for durability, coolness, etc.

    I would venture were Apple to change the name of the Macbook Air to the Macbook Feather Light or Macbook iAir, there wouldn't be any confusion either. Consumers would look at this 'new' device, precisely like they will look at the win/tel laptops ... does the feature set fit my needs at a price I can afford and do I trust the outfit selling this? The name is much ado about nothing.
    whatagenda
  • not quite

    "Thin and light laptops are all the rage; we can thank Apple and the MacBook Air for that."

    *sign* ummm no. You can thank netbooks for that. That segment was extremely popular for 3 years and gave netbook makers a lot of money. If you recall, apple got a lot of flak for being late to the party when air debut. Its not all about the red headed step child apple in every single article.
    rengek
    • You can repeat that over and over again, these people don't care

      Clearly the 2004 Sony X505 was inspired and cloned from Apple's 2008 MBA. Instead of being innovative like Apple is, Sony took the easy way out by inventing a time machine, jumping 4 years into the future, and releasing their MBA clone back in 2004. I mean, that makes sense, right?
      toddbottom3
      • I'm sorry Toddbottom, is this your claim,

        or do you have proof to back up this comment of yours? Because if you don't then this is just about you with no facts to back you up, right?
        T-Wrench
  • Must be a slow day

    What, with todd's bottom engaging in semantics and all.

    Of course an ultrabook is a laptop. It's also a notebook and if it's screen is small enough it could even be considered a netbook as well. It's all about marketing, something your buds over at Microsoft know all too well.

    As @danbi said, few Apple haters would buy them so what would you know.
    CaviarBlack