HP has today launched its first business-class ultrabook, the EliteBook Folio 9470m, with a thin and light design that aims to tap into the consumerisation trend while still providing enterprise functionality and security features.
The Folio 9470m, which was unveiled at HP's Global Influencer Summit 2012 in Shanghai today, has a 14-inch screen and is 19mm thick, weighing in at 1.58 kg. It runs on Intel's third generation Ivy Bridge processors, includes 16GB of RAM, and offers a choice of 500GB HDD or 256GB SSD.
The new notebook comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, with the option to upgrade to Windows 8 when it arrives. It offers an array of ports and connectivity options for business users, including optional built-in wireless WAN, full-sized Ethernet, VGA, DisplayPort and USB 3.0 connections.
It also has up to 20 hours of battery life, according to HP, and comes with a secondary battery that attaches to the base of the device for extended power usage. The company said this makes it ideal for mobile professionals who spend a majority of time away from their desks.
On the security front, the Folio 9470m has an integrated smart card reader, fingerprint reader, embedded TPM security chip and choice of management tools. It also offers enterprise-class manageability and multilevel security features, including HP Bios Protection.
"We are looking to bring out designs that deliberately push on the idea of classic consumer and enterprise needs," said James Mouton senior vice president of personal computing at HP's Global Business Unit, in a keynote address.
"The new HP Elitebook Folio has a more compelling, sleeker design, but security is still the utmost thing. We think this is a nice way to sexy-up the core."
The Folio 9470m is expected to be available in October, and will ship with HP Premier Image business software and antivirus protection.
The Folio was among a selection of ultrabooks announced at HP's Global Influencer Summit. The HP Spectre ultrabook, targeted primarily at the consumer and executive market, aims to appeal to the style-conscious with an even slimmer design and all-metal case. It has a 13.3-inch HD screen and is just 14.5mm thick, weighing in at 1.395kg.
Meanwhile, the HP ENVY ultrabook is available in 14-inch and 15.6-inch versions, and features a soft-touch, slip-resistant base, dual speakers and a subwoofer for movies and music.
Both ultrabooks use Intel's Rapid Start Technology for quick boot and resume times, and Intel Smart Connect Technology, which automatically updates email while the notebook is in sleep mode.
They also include HP Beats Audio, for high-quality sound, CoolSense technology to optimise performance and cooling, Imagepad, for multifinger touch and gesture navigation, and TrueVision HD Webcam to produce bright HD images.
Alongside the ultrabooks, HP launched two ENVY "sleekbooks," which are essentially the same, but run on AMD processors instead of Intel and use an AMD graphics card by default.
In a panel session at the Summit, HP executives said that the company aims to provide a broad range of options in order to meet the needs of its customers, adding that ultrabooks are a natural fit for cloud-based computing.
"This is the future of the notebook and you're seeing it today."