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HP announces Fusion netbook with LTE

Pavilion DM1 will play back 1080p HD video

HP has announced a netbook with some cutting-edge mobile broadband and graphics technologies that could make it the most powerful netbook yet.

The lightweight Pavilion DM1 netbook comes with an 11.6in screen, and runs on AMD's new Fusion processor, which bundles a graphics chip and CPU into a single piece of silicon.

"It's got the portability of a netbook, but it's got the performance of a notebook all wrapped up into one," said Cara Baez, concept product marketing manager at HP.

AMD's Fusion chip will enable users to view full 1080p high-definition video, a capability not readily available in netbook-sized laptops. HP already offers netbooks with 1080p video capabilities, but they use a separate high-definition decoder, which drains battery life.

In Fusion chips, the graphics processor shares resources with the CPU on the same piece of silicon, which reduces the need for an extra graphics card or accelerator. The DM1 runs for a maximum of 10.5 hours with solid-state drive storage, and 9.5 hours on hard drive storage.

"If you are running a lot of... high-definition applications, that is going to eat down battery life," Baez said. "If you start at ... ten-and-a-half hours, even if you eat down a couple of hours off that, you're still looking at substantially long battery life."

This laptop will also connect to LTE (long-term evolution) mobile broadband networks, which offer faster data transfers than current 3G networks, in the US.

HP declined to name the LTE provider, but in early December Verizon Wireless rolled out its LTE network across 38 cities in America. HP said it would announce more details about the LTE capabilities on January 6. It is likely that the netbook will hit the UK without the LTE capability as, apart from trials by O2 and Arqiva, there are no provisions for LTE networks in the UK yet.

The laptop offers up to 750GB of hard drive storage and includes other components such as a webcam. It will be available worldwide on January 9, with prices starting at $449 (£288) depending on configuration. UK pricing has yet to be revealed.

HP also upgraded the Envy 17 and Pavilion DV6 and DV7 laptops to include Intel's next-generation Core chips based on the Sandy Bridge architecture. There is a "performance bump" for the new laptops compared to their predecessors based on the previous generation of Core chips, Baez said.

The Intel chips integrate a graphics processor and CPU on a single piece of silicon, but the laptops will come with optional AMD Radeon 6000 graphics cards for more intense graphics tasks.

The DV6 and DV7 will be priced starting at $899.99 (£576) and $999.99 (£641) respectively. HP declined to comment on a US price for the Envy 17 while UK pricing for all three devices was not immediately available.

See also: HP Slate 500 tablet now available


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