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HP revamps EliteBook mobile workstations; starts at $1,299

Earlier this year, Hewlett-Packard revamped its professional-grade notebooks inside and out. Now HP's EliteBook mobile workstations are getting the same treatment.
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Written by Rachel King, Staff Writer on

Earlier this year, Hewlett-Packard revamped its professional-grade notebooks inside and out. Now HP's EliteBook mobile workstations are getting the same treatment.

Many of the same aesthetic and protective notes found on those pro laptops are also seen on the EliteBook workstation series. Outfitted with an all-metal, hybrid magnesium and aluminum chassis, the EliteBook design is inspired by aerospace technology, also evident by the brushed gunmetal finish.

There is one release door on the bottom of the computer for simplified access, and all of the ID stickers and such have been moved under the battery to clear up the clutter. The touchpad is double the size of those seen on the EliteBook's predecessors, and this new design features a chemically-strengthened glass, like the one on the iPod touch.

All of the connectivity ports are now outlined with a silver trim for a cleaner finish, and a rubber Display Safe Frame outlines the bezel on the interior to protect the extremely HD, RGB-backlit Dream Color 10-bit panels. (I say "extremely" because I've seen the picture quality in person, and it's better than seeing anything in person, if that makes any sense.) Those displays are held on with a CNC aluminum hinge and screws, and the HP logo is backlit to top it all off.

Now that we've covered all the fine points of the exterior, let's go inside these EliteBooks. These mobile workstations have second-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 dual-core processor options, USB 3.0 ports, fingerprint readers, face recognition security using the HD webcam, optional 3G, and graphics cards options ranging from AMD's FirePro M3900 to NVIDIA's Quadro 2000M GPU.

The 14-inch model is not only the most portable because of its more compact frame but it also boasts the best battery life of the series, offering up to six to seven hours after a full charge.  The 15- and 17-inch models have backlit keyboards. That 17-inch machine is the behemoth of the group with 4GB of video memory, dual hard drives and an optical drive that can be swapped out for a third HDD. That means the 17-inch EliteBook can hold up to 3TB of storage space.

Set to roll out in May, pricing starts at $1,299, $1,349 and $1,899 for the 14-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch EliteBook mobile workstations, respectively.

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