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HP Unveils New Netbooks, Ultra-Thin PC Models

September 15, 2009

Hewlett-Packard Co recently unveiled several new products including thin and light laptop PCs and an eye-catching new netbook for its fall season line, Reuters reported.

HP, which is currently the world’s No. 1 PC maker, has managed to grow its global market share to 20 percent even as consumers and businesses cut back on spending during the current recession.

Many analysts expect PC sales to begin a slow recovery from lows seen earlier this year with the forthcoming launch of Microsoft Corp’s new Windows 7 operating system on October 22.

Meanwhile, PC makers continue to see a market in more expensive and stylish models for those who can afford them even during hard economic times.

HP’s new “Envy” is the company’s first entry into the high-end, ultra-thin consumer PC market.

The Envy is under an inch thick and weighs less than 4 pounds, and will have a customized software interface that HP says makes the device more personalized.

Apple Inc’s MacBook Air and Dell Inc’s Adamo will be the Envy’s biggest competition.  However, HP’s super thin notebook starts at $1,700, while both the Air and the Adamo start at $1,500.

But HP is also set to launch a pair of more affordable PCs in the ‘thin and light’ category.

The ProBook 5310m, the “world’s thinnest full-performance notebook” at 0.9-inches thick and an affordable entry point of $699 will be the company’s new business PC.

At an even cheaper starting price of $549, the new HP Pavilion dm3 has an optional CULV low-power processor from Intel Corp and measures less than an inch in thickness and claims up to 10 hours of battery life.

Due to the growing popularity of netbooks, consumer PCs have fared much better than business PCs in the downturn. Users have flocked to the Ultra-portable devices that are used primarily for Web surfing, email and other simple tasks.

However, HP has been actively pushing its creative side as PC makers are increasingly emphasizing design as a way to differentiate their machines.

HP unveiled a gold “digital clutch” netbook adorned with butterflies on a catwalk at New York’s Fashion Week on Saturday. The limited edition netbook, which won’t be available until next spring, is its latest collaboration with designer Vivienne Tam.

Another $400 netbook designed by Dutch artist Tord Boontje will be launched this fall. It has a floral and environmental theme etched in a three-dimensional design and is targeted toward the youth market.

Also in the $400 range is the Mini 311, a new netbook model featuring a slightly larger screen at 11.6 inches and Nvidia’s Ion platform, which pairs Intel’s Atom chip with an Nvidia graphics processor.

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