Wed, Sep 16, 2009 - Page 12 News List

HP revamps range of notebooks

JOCKEYING FOR POSITION Hewlett-Packard’s launch of new thin, light laptops came a day after netbook pioneer Asustek introduced its new UnLimited laptops

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Hewlett-Packard Co, the world’s largest personal-computer maker, has revamped its consumer notebooks to meet growing demand for faster, thinner and lighter machines.

The new ProBook 5310m and the Pavilion DM3 are less than 2.5cm thick, Hewlett-Packard said yesterday in a statement. The company also added two new versions of its ultrathin Envy line.

Demand for thin, light PCs will rise faster than the total notebook market in the US over the next five years, Hewlett-Packard said, citing research from IDC. Notebooks accounted for 17 percent of Hewlett-Packard’s sales last quarter.

“If there’s one message that explains our focus, it’s that less is more,” said Stacy Wolff, head of PC notebook design for Hewlett-Packard.

Notebooks have become a status symbol for users, who are looking for high-quality materials and simple designs, he said.

The new ProBook and Pavilion models will be available in the US on Oct. 22, when Microsoft Corp ships its latest Windows operating system software. The ProBook includes an Intel Corp processor and weighs 1.7kg. It has a 34cm screen and a battery that lasts as long as seven hours.

The Pavilion weighs 1.9kg, with up to 10 hours of battery life. Customers will be able to choose between processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

The Envy 15 is the most powerful of the new models. The computer, coming out on Oct. 18, will include Intel’s new Core i7 processor. It weighs 2kg, with a 38cm screen.

Hewlett-Packard’s launch of new thin, light laptops came a day after netbook pioneer Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) introduced its new UnLimited family of such laptops on Monday in Taiwan.

Asustek wanted the introduction of its four UL-series notebooks powered by Intel’s ultra-low voltage (ULV) processors to help boost the Taiwanese company’s notebook shipments, a company official said at a local launch ceremony in Taipei on Monday.

Asustek chief executive Jerry Shen (沈振來) said the company aimed to ship as many as one million ULV notebooks by the year-end, bringing the company’s total notebook shipments to between 11 million and 13 million units this year.

The new ULV laptops, each measuring less than 2.5cm thick, may account for 10 percent to 20 percent of the company’s overall laptop shipments this year and the share may increase to between 20 percent and 30 percent next year, Shen said.

Asustek says the UL-series laptops can offer up to 12 hours of battery life. They are equipped with Microsoft’s Windows Vista Premium operating system and are upgradeable to Windows 7, Asustek said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LISA WANG

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