HP's Business Laptops, EliteBooks Get Style and Speed Makeover
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For a long time, it seemed, your typical enterprise PC lacked the stylishness -- not to mention, in some cases, the processing power -- of its sleek consumer cousins.
Over past few years, though, manufacturers began injecting a little more chic into their business offerings. This could have been a response to Apple, whose laptops' and desktops' sleek lines and aluminum bodies captured the imagination of many employees -- particularly the younger ones flooding into the enterprise and small businesses. It could have also stemmed from designers' growing realization that a cool-looking laptop, unleashed in a boardroom, can give a user a certain cachet that translates, however indirectly, into better business.
Whatever the case, Hewlett-Packard seems to be the latest company to place style front-and-center, with a new line of business laptops that unite streamlined design, upscale materials, such as aluminum, and more powerful processors.
First up is HP's EliteBook p-series, whose stamped-aluminum shell is meant to appeal to younger users while remaining rugged enough for even those road warriors with a tendency to smash their laptop bags into the nearest wall. The chemically strengthened glass touch-pad allows for gesture control, including pinch and rotate. Available in either a 14- or 15.6-inch model (price points start at $999), the laptop includes security features such as a fingerprint reader and facial-recognition software.
HP's commitment to redesign extended to the underside of the EliteBook, which features a single access door to the device's inner workings. IT administrators can install a security screw here, physically preventing more curious employees from accessing the hardware.