HP lays down laptop gauntlet to Apple

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HP lays down laptop gauntlet to Apple

HP is set to take on Apple today by introducing several new notebooks, all seemingly aimed at each and every Apple counterpart.

The company is launching not one but five new notebooks, the most noteworthy being the HP Envy 13 and HP Envy 15.

The surprise launch was leaked by Rahul Sood, ex-Voodoo supremo, when he twittered: "OK folks, new product coming out in September/October (ish), you'll love it! You will be the envy of all your friends. :)."

He was, of course, referring to HP's duo of Envy notebooks.

The new Envy 13 and Envy 15 notebooks - the numbers refers to their screen sizes - have replaced the Voodoo DNA with some serious Apple DNA, more so if you look at their price tags. They are slim, all-aluminium and magnesium crafted and should appeal to the luxury notebooks thin and light crowd.

HP is quiet about details but, according to Dutch e-tailer Topproduct.nl, the Envy 13 ships with a Core 2 Duo SL9400 mobile processor, 3GB of DDR3 RAM, ATI mobility HD 4330 graphics with 512MB GDDR3, a 250GB HDD, 2-in-1 card reader, Lightscribe DVD+/-RW drive, Gigabit LAN, Wi-Fi, a webcam and multi-touch trackpad. It weighs 1.7kg and ships with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

The Envy 15 (1060ea or 1080ea) is in a different class. It will premiere the Clarksfield mobile Nehalem architecture, with a Core i7 720QM processor (1.6GHz, quad-core, turbo boost to 2.8GHz and 6MB of L3 cache), 6GB or 8GB of DDR3 RAM depending on model, ATI mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics with 1GB GDDR3, and with very much the same accessories as its 13in brethren, multi-touch included.

Photos of the new laptops have leaked on several sites, and feature an Apple-inspired bezel design and edge-to-edge glass panel.

HP also broke out the Pavillion dm3 and ProBook 5310m, as well as a "guy's" notebook based on the Mini 110 chassis and designed by Dutchman Tord Boontje.

The ProBook 5310m is a 13.3in LED display notebook just 0.9in thick and weighing in at 1.7kg, just like the Envy 13. It uses an Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 mobile processor. HP claims that its six-cell battery will get 10 hours' worth of work done. It also integrates a Gobi module to allow for 3.5G wireless connections. Unsurprisingly, the optical disc drive is optional.

The Pavilion dm3 is also thin and light, but it's an entertainment notebook, meaning that it's price-driven kit. It will be powered by either Intel or AMD dual-core processors and sport integrated Intel, AMD or Nvidia graphics.

The Envy 13 weighs in at US$1,699 and the Envy 15 at US$1,799. There is no word on UK pricing yet.

In the end, these Envy and ProBook kits do give some credit to the rumour about Apple's having dumped the Green Goblin and moved on to ATI for its next-gen Macbooks.

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