As spring goes from a jog into a full out run HP showed press in New York City the refresh of their commercial notebook line the HP ProBook.

The ProBook series is aimed at SMBs, education, corporate clients and those in the public sector. The ProBook 400 series has five different models to choose from with screen sizes that range from 13.3 to 17.3 inches.

This new generation of ProBooks include the 430 model,  the 13.3 inch ProBook which uses Intel’s latest fourth-generation Core processors otherwise known as “Haswell.” This marks one of the first appearances of Haswell in the market and it should provide stellar battery life for all those who don’t want to be tethered to a power outlet.

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The other Intel systems in the ProBook line stick to Intel’s third generation Core processors. Two versions of the ProBook will be packing AMD’s latest mobile processor technology known as “Richland” which replaces their Trinity line that was released last year.

As a commercial notebook line, HP keeps the notebook secure by integrating a security suite into the hardware, software and BIOS. Included as part of the package is a fingerprint reader for that extra level of security that your company’s data requires.

Like prior generations the hard drive and RAM are accessible with the aid of a snazzy screwdriver for those who want to upgrade now or later. The 450 which is the 15.3 inch ProBook also has a touch panel display option which is new to the ProBook line and is optimized for Windows 8.

HP is also offering options like a hybrid hard drive (except for the 430 due to size constraints) that provides the storage space of traditional drives with the speed of a SSD and 4G WWAN for professionals that need to always be connected when out in the field.

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The ProBook series also comes with a number of other software features like Cyberlink Media Suite and HP Pagelift which helps cleans up captured images to minimize the need for editing. It will also support Intel’s WiDi which allows you to connect your notebook to a WiDi enabled display through Wi-Fi and HP’s Hotspot that turns your ProBook into a mobile hotspot.

Chad Paris, the Creative Lead for Notebook Product Design talked about Phi, HP’s global design initiative. He said that “employees want something sleek, sexy and desirable that they can be productive on but at the same time take home and be proud to carry.”

According to Paris Phi is about bridging the gap between their consumer and commercial products. Phi will allow HP “to build consistency so that we resonate with our customers as being one HP all across the board.” Paris said you will continue to see Phi trickle into their other product lines over time.

According to HP, this new generation of ProBook is 36 per cent thinner and 18 per cent lighter than prior generations, a fact that anyone who’s had to carry a notebook around will no doubt cheer. The ProBook features a stylish meteorite grey casing with a duraflex finish that makes it soft to the touch and resistant to the bain that are fingerprints and smudges.

The Interior of the ProBook is crafted from a single sheet of aluminum and has a metal and spill resistant keyboard so you can rest easier when a drink is within an arm’s reach. Paris said that Phi is meant to be “progressive harmonious and iconic” and you are starting to see it come together in the ProBook’s design where there the unity between design and function is readily apparent.

So how much will something from the ProBook 400 series cost you and when will they be available? At the time of writing Canadian pricing and availability wasn’t yet available but American pricing for the ProBooks start at $499 with the American release window being sometime this month.

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