HP announces laptops with new AMD Llano chips

The new Pavilion and ProBook laptops have dual- and quad-core A-series chips

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday announced 11 new laptops starting at US$399, running AMD's new chips code-named Llano.

The new Pavilion and ProBook laptops have dual- and quad-core A-series chips, which AMD is expected to officially announce this month. The laptops are targeted at consumers and businesses.

AMD's A-series chips are faster and more power-efficient than its predecessors, the Phenom, Athlon and Sempron processors. The new processors integrate the CPU and graphics processor in a single chip.

HP has been updating its laptops this year with Intel's latest Core chips based on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, which started shipping in January. Like the A-series chips, Sandy Bridge chips integrate the graphics processor and CPU in a single chip. Analysts have said that while AMD's graphics technology is superior, the CPU technology is better on Intel chips.

Like other vendors, HP is offering both AMD and Intel chips on its laptops to meet market demand for a variety of laptop configurations.

The new ProBook and Pavilion laptops provide longer battery life than its predecessors, HP said. The laptops will become available in different parts of the world in various configurations, though the company did not provide specific release dates. The A-series chips in the laptops have CPUs running between 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz and Radeon graphics processors running between 1.4GHz and 2.1GHz.

The Pavilion G4, G6 and G7 laptops are priced starting at $399, and are targeted at budget customers for basic tasks like office productivity and casual gaming. HP did not provide further details on the laptops or their battery life.

The Pavilion DV4, DV6 and DV7 laptops start at $579, and are designed for entertainment, the company said. The laptops offer double the graphics performance than previous integrated graphics technologies, HP said.

The ProBook S-series business laptops are priced starting at $519. The strong Radeon graphics engines allow the laptops to run heavy multimedia applications, besides regular applications. Browsers will for example off-load Adobe Flash video for processing on the graphics processor. Earlier such tasks were done by the CPU, which is typically slower in processing graphics.

The ProBook 4435S and 4436S models come with 14-inch displays, while the 4535S has a 15.6-inch display. The laptops support up to 8GB of RAM and 750GB of hard drive storage. The laptops have USB 3.0, HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface), and Microsoft's Windows 7 OS. The weight of the laptops start at between 2.07 kilograms (4.57 pounds) and 2.33 kilograms without optical drives.

The AMD processor options with the ProBook S-series laptops include the 2.3GHz quad-core A6-3400MX processor or 2.5GHz dual-core A4-3400M.

The ProBook B-series laptops, priced starting at $679, includes the 14-inch screen 6465B, and a 15.6-inch screen 6565B. The laptops come with either the quad-core A8-3510MX processor running at 2.5GHz, the 2.3GHz quad-core A6-3410MX, or the dual-core A4-3310MX running at 2.5GHz.

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