OVER THE PAST couple of days we’ve seen both Dell and Acer notebooks featuring AMD’s upcoming mobile Phenom II X4 and X3 processors, but we’ve yet to see any official announcements. Well, that was until today when HP unveiled its range of AMD powered notebooks which also includes the yet to be announced by AMD Phenom II dual-core N620 processor. Things sure are starting to look a little bit strange, as AMD is keeping mum for now, despite all of its partners seemingly announcing new products featuring its chips left right and center.
HP’s new notebooks with AMD processors are fairly limited compared to its Intel range, but it’s interesting to note that HP is even adding AMD processors to some of its business notebooks, more specifically the HP ProBook series and its budget range, which just carries the HP name and a number. The models in question are the ProBook 4325s, the 4425s and the 4525s as well as the HP 426 and 625 notebooks.
Not all of these models will get Phenom II processors though. and the press release (PDF) mentions only the dual core N620 and the fact that it offers up to 69 percent better performance than the previous generation of HP notebooks with AMD processors, as well as a fairly respectable 24 percent better battery life. The new ProBook models are said to be “cost-effective”, and as far as screen size is concerned, the 4325s has a 13.3-inch screen, the 4425s has a 14-inch screen and the 4525s has a 15.6-inch screen. All models come with “a choice of processor technology from AMD” and a choice of integrated or discrete graphics.
The HP 425 is a 14-inch model while the 625 is a 15.6-inch model. Both feature “VISION Pro Technology from AMD” with a choice of Phenom II, Turion II, Athlon II and AMD V-series processors. All models appear to have integrated graphics courtesy of the RS880M chipset, although HP has at least in its wisdom added HDMI ports to these “budget” notebooks. The 425 is the only model that’s made an appearance on HP’s website, though details are still scarce.
What we can tell you is that it will come with up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, a choice of 160GB to 500GB hard drives, a built-in optical drive, an ExpressCard 34 slot, an SD card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, the aforementioned HDMI port, a D-sub connector, a pair of audio jacks, built-in Ethernet and, oddly enough, a modem as well. A two megapixel webcam, various WiFi options and Bluetooth 2.1 are also available. HP also offers two battery options, a standard 6-cell 47Watt-hour Li-Ion pack, or the optional high capacity 9-cell 93Watt-hour battery pack. The HP 425 measures 336x228x27mm and weighs 2.26kg.
The ProBook 4425s will be available later this month with a starting price of $619, while the HP 425 will be available in June from an even more affordable $549. You can’t really complain too much with prices like these, however we still feel that AMD is getting the rough end of the stick from the manufacturers, as most of the AMD powered models are lacking in terms of both features and, more importantly, design. We hope that the AMD mobile Phenom II processors will be the break that AMD needs to get in the notebook PC market space, as AMD can really do with one.S|A
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