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Tuesday, 02 March 2010

By Rob Garretson

Escalating the already rapid-fire tablet PC war, HP next month will deliver two new models in its EliteBook line including a business convertible tablet that sports both a pen and a finger-gesture touch-screen interface.

The HP EliteBook 2740p is an update of the HP Compaq 2710p with the same industrial steel finish and magnesium casing, but available with either a standard voltage Core i5 or Core i7 processor, unlike the original Compaq that incorporated low voltage processors that boost battery efficiency yet sacrifice speed. Other speed improvements include DDR3 memory and a new Intel graphics subsystem.

The 2740p starts at 3.8 pounds and includes a pivoting 12.1-inch LED display or optional outdoor-view display with less reflection and a higher contrast for easier viewing in natural light, according to HP. The pivoting touchscreen can be positioned for use as a tablet or a standard notebook PC, and gives users their choice of input methods, including multi-touch gestures, finger taps and swipes across the screen.

Like Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X201 Tablet, which will be available this month, the HP 2740p has dual pointing devices: a touchpad and a pointing stick with two pairs of rubbery mouse buttons. Hard drive options include 160-GB, 250-GB, and 320-GB capacities, and it sports a 2-megapixel webcam and a FireWire port. The standard 6-cell battery offers 5 hours of operation, according to HP, and an optional battery slice increases battery life to 11 hours. HP is offering a $300 Ultra-Slim Expansion Base, which has a dual layer DVD drive, DisplayPort, E-SATA interface, and additional USB ports.

HP touts its new EliteBook 2540p as the company's lightest EliteBook notebook PC, starting at 3.3 pounds. It’s designed to be a rugged, high-performance notebook equipped with a non-pivoting 12.1-inch LED display, optional 2-megapixel webcam with business card reader software and HP Fingerprint Sensor.

Both the 2740p and 2540p ultra-portables are designed to meet the MIL-STD 810G military-standards for tolerance of vibration, dust, humidity, altitude, and high and low temperatures. Both are EPEAT registered in the United States, HP says, and offer Energy Star qualifying configurations. They will be available starting in April; the EliteBook 2740 is priced starting at $1,599, while the EliteBook 2540p starts at $1,099.




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