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September 1, 2010

See it, hear it, touch it: HP adds new 3D, Beats Audio, and Touch laptops to its lineup

Technology moves at an unrelenting sprint, and HP is keeping pace with the introduction of several new laptops that take advantage of cutting-edge features like 3D, multi-touch, and their signature “Beats Audio” sound setup.

On the netbook front, HP introduced a new member to its venerable Mini 210 lineup (the Vivienne Tam – which I love – is part of this line) with new optional HD screens, optional GPS, and the option to power up with the Intel’s new Atom N550 processor.  It’s in a slick new chassis that’s less than an inch thick and weighs just a hair over 3lbs, and you can get one starting at $329.  HP also introduced the Mini 5103, which is HP’s first mini-notebook with a multi-touch screen.  It comes in a beautiful all-metal “espresso” colored case, and its available today starting at $399.  I’m really looking forward to getting a Mini 5103 so I can try out multi-touch.  Overall, HP does a great job with touch – just look at the wildly successful TouchSmart line – and I’m excited to see how they miniaturized the experience for the Mini 5103’s 10.1” screen.

HP Mini 210%2c all colors in pinwheel composition

The shiny new Mini 210s

Want something bigger?  HP’s got you covered.  Today they announced the ENVY 17 3D, the first 17” laptop in the world to pump out 3D graphics on a 1080p display.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds amazing!  Couple that with monster specs, like an available ATI Radeon 5850 DirectX 11 GPU, 2 terrabytes of storage, an Intel Core i7 processor, and ATI Eyefinity to support multiple external displays, and the ENVY 17 3D is shaping up to be one of the baddest boxes on the market. 

ENVY 17 3D_with_3D_Glasses__FrontLeft_Open

HP rounds out today’s announcement with the ENVY 14 Beats Edition. This is a special edition of the standard ENVY 14 that’s packed with Beats Audio, which HP touts as “A unique, high-performance technology developed by HP and Beats by Dr. Dre™ to provide the optimal sound experience – the way the artist intended it – when playing music or audio through headphones or external speakers.”  I just got one of these laptops into my office and I’ve been playing with Beats Audio and the Beats Audio Solo noise-cancelling headphones and I can attest to how incredible its makes music sound.  Bass is deep, mids are solid, and highs are crisp and clear.  It’s an impressive combo and something that I highly recommend to music lovers.  I’ll be reviewing the ENVY 14 in more depth in the next week or so, so keep an eye out.

HP ENVY 14 Beats Edition%2c rear left open

It’s always nice to see a leading PC company like HP staying ahead of the game by making cutting-edge technology available in mainstream laptops.  Hopefully we’ll see more PCs with technologies like this coming soon.   Speaking of what’s next – what do you think is the next big thing in PC tech? 

Have a question about this or any other PC?  Post a comment, hit me on Twitter or Ask Ben Anything via email.  Your question might appear in my monthly Ask Ben Anything Q&A column.