We quite like the look and feel of the HP ProBook line when we reviewed it in December. The newly-announced versions of the HP ProBook, available this month, don't reinvent the equation so much as refine some features and add a few new wrinkles to match the style of the Mini 5101 Pro Netbook, particularly in its brushed-metal look.
Of course, one might expect the new ProBooks to come with Intel's new Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, and they do. Starting at $719 and going up as far as you'd like many configurations and screen sizes to take you, the new ProBook line includes 13.3, 14, 15.6 and 17.3-inch models (4320s, 4420s, 4520s and 4720s respectively), with brushed aluminum finishes in bordeaux or caviar (a.k.a. burgundy and black). While the chiclet keyboards remain as nice as we remember, the touch pads have been updated with clickable zones instead of discrete buttons beneath, continuing the MacBook-esque style similarities we'd noticed previously.
ArcSoft media and video-editing software packages are now included in all models, which is vaguely interesting. More eye-opening was HP's new DayStarter, a feature included on the ProBooks and EliteBooks that brings up the current day's Outlook calendar page while booting Windows 7. It's a smart idea, but a shame to lock out poor souls who didn't go whole hog on a "pro" HP laptop model.
The new ProBooks also have optional ATI Mobility Radeon 4350 graphics.