HP announces Envy m4, two new budget Pavilion Sleekbook laptops

The new notebooks aren't technically Ultrabooks, but are sufficiently thin and light. They will be available when Windows 8 launches on October 26.


You may not believe this, but not every new PC notebook has to be an Ultrabook, as HP is proving with its latest Windows 8 laptop announcements.

The company is rolling out the Envy m4 and the Pavilion Sleekbook 14 and 15, none of which apparently qualifies to be deemed an Ultrabook. The m4 is a 14-inch laptop with a decidely non-Retina Display-like resolution of 1,366x768. According to Engadget, there will only be a single configuration available in the U.S., but in general the m4 will offer Intel Core i3 and i5 processor choices, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 1TB of hard drive capacity and an SSD option. 

The notebook also includes technology like HP ProtectSmart to protect your data if the m4 is dropped, HP CoolSense to adjust fan settings automatically to keep the system at an optimal temperature, and HP SimplePass, which uses finger-swiping recognition to secure the laptop. It also comes with Beats Audio to enhance musical output from the included speakers and subwoofer.

At $900, the m4 is priced like an Ultrabook. For those who want to spend a little less, the Sleekbook 14 and 15 are a few hundred dollars cheaper at starting prices of $499.99 and $559.99, respectively. Unlike the Envy m4 (and Ultrabooks), the Sleekbook 14 uses AMD processors, while the Sleekbook 15 makes use of Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs. They feature "high-resolution displays," though HP does not detail what the exact resolution is for each. We do know that they offer up to 1TB of storage and that the Sleekbook 15 comes with a numeric keypad on its keyboard. 

The Sleekbooks also come with HP ProtectSmart and HP CoolSense, and you also get Dolby Advanced Audio thrown in. There's an option to get an Nvidia discrete graphics card to improve gaming performance, though HP does not specify the cards that are available.

All three new laptops will be available on October 26, which, not coincidentally, is when Windows 8 launches.

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