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HP launches touchscreen PCs and laptops

Sixteen new laptops announced

HP has launched a range of laptops and displays, focusing on key trends such as touchscreen technology and compact laptops for business and consumer users.

HP made the announcements during its 'Connecting Your World' conference in Berlin on Tuesday.

HP brought out 16 laptops, including fresh models for its Compaq 'b' and 's' series for business users as well as the Compaq Presario and Pavilion line. The company also introduced a new series, EliteBook.

EliteBook models have a brushed anodized aluminium casing with a magnesium alloy chassis, which HP says complies with military-standard durability. The hard drive is shock-resistant, and the keyboard is spill-resistant. One version of the EliteBook, the 6930p, has up to 15 hours of battery life with an optional ultracapacity battery, HP said.

Some of HP's new laptops have the latest chips from AMD, such as that company's Turion 64x2 ultra dual-core mobile processor. Other models have Intel's Centrino 2 and Centrino 2 with vPro, HP said.

HP said it has put some features previously only in business-class notebooks into consumer models. One is HP's ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection, which can stop a hard drive from spinning if the computer senses the laptop is falling. That feature has been incorporated in the consumer-focused Pavilion line.

HP also rolled out the Voodoo Omen desktop and the Voodoo Envy 133 laptop, which are aimed at gamers and other demanding consumers.

The Voodoo Omen can support up to four graphics processors. Omen also has copper cooling pipes, and since it is liquid cooled, HP said it runs quietly even when pushed hard. Omen starts at $7,000 (£3,500) in the US and will only initially be available to those who bought a Voodoo PC before, HP said, although it will be more broadly available in around three months.

The Voodoo Envy laptop, which costs $2,099 (£1,050), has a carbon-fibre casing, a backlight keyboard and a 'multigesture' touchpad, supporting pinch-like movements.

On the desktop, HP has launched a line that features touchscreen interfaces. Users can tap or drag a finger across the screen of the TouchSmart series of PCs to access basic features such as playing music or manipulating audio or video files.

TouchSmart PCs have a 22in diagonal wide-screen display, built-in DVD burner, wireless keyboard and sport an Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

HP said its new DreamColor display - an LCD (liquid-crystal display) that supports 1 billion colours - costs just a quarter of competing displays. DreamColor will sell for $3,499 (£1,750).

The company said DreamColor will accurately display colours for people where colour matching has been a tricky task, such as the animation, game development and graphics arts industries. DreamColor, HP claims, cuts down on the need for multiple proofs, redesigns and colour checks.


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