LOS ANGELES--This week's Siggraph conference attracted a diverse crowd of graphic designers, animators, and industrial designers, and both HP and Lenovo were on-site to show off their new mobile workstations for graphics professionals. I had a chance to meet with both companies at the show to talk about some of the key features of these new models.
HP started the week by announcing the 17-inch EliteBook 8730w and 15.4-inch EliteBook 8530w, both of which support Intel's not-yet-official quad-core Core 2 Extreme processors, 8GB of RAM, and Nvidia's next-generation Quadro FX cards with up to 1GB of VRAM. In addition, these latest EliteBooks feature a few small design enhancements, such as a new latch designed to reduce stress on the display and a special coating on the keys and touch pad to help prevent wear. Even cooler is the VGA camera on the display bezel, which pairs with included software to double as a business card reader.
The EliteBook 8730w is also the first workstation on the market to include an HP DreamColor display option. The RGB backlit-LED screen can display millions of colors and displays true color even when the screen is dimmed. I got a quick demo of the EliteBook 8730w and I was impressed with not only the stunning color quality but also the ease of switching back and forth between sRGB and Adobe RGB on the display.
Also remarkable: both the 15- and 17-inch EliteBooks were quite thin and sleek, especially for such high-powered machines.
After HP I moved on to get a glance at Lenovo's ThinkPad W700 workstation, which was announced Tuesday. The beast was even larger than I'd imagined; after all, Lenovo representatives have emphasized that it's a workstation first, and mobile computer second. It's obviously larger than HP's 17-inch workstation, but the ThinkPad W700 also packs some bonus features: a built-in color calibrator and an integrated digitizer pad next to the touch pad. … Read more