HP announces new ProBooks, including touchscreen model

HP also announced HP 200 laptops starting at $249

Hewlett-Packard on Monday kicked off a series of upcoming PC announcements with new ProBook 400 series laptops, including a 15.6-inch model with a touchscreen.

The new laptops are 36 percent thinner and 18 percent lighter than their predecessors, HP said. The five laptops, which are targeted at small and medium-size businesses, have screen sizes between 13.3 inches and 17.3 inches.

The 15.6-inch ProBook 450 has a touchscreen, making it the first such laptop in the product line. The other models include the 13.3-inch ProBook 430, the 14-inch 440 and 445 laptops, the 15-inch 455 and the 17.3-inch 470.

HP is claiming up to eight hours of battery life for the ProBooks, depending on size, usage and other factors. The laptops will be priced starting at US$499 and will be available worldwide starting later this month.

The ProBooks will run on Intel and Advanced Micro Devices processors, said Kathy Nielsen, product manager at HP.

Intel is scheduled to release new fourth-generation Core processors code-named Haswell in early June, but Nielsen declined to comment on when the laptop models would be upgraded to those chips.

The laptops' storage options include a 128GB solid-state drive or hard-disk drives as large as 1TB. Hybrid drives that combine spinning-disk and SSD storage will also be offered.

Other standard features in the laptops include USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and a webcam. Operating system options include Windows 8, Windows 7 and Suse Linux.

HP also introduced low-cost HP 200 PCs with 14-inch and 15.6-inch screens starting at $249. The laptops will become available this month with either Intel or AMD processors.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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