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HP unveils new ProBook laptops for SMBs

HP has released word of its new small to medium business (SMB) oriented laptop PCs. Following in the footsteps of recent business systems like the ElitePad 900, the new ProBook 200 and ProBook 400 notebook PCs give the SMB buyer various screen sizes and components from which to choose. Starting at $249 (£160), the new ProBook notebooks from HP have the potential to bring Windows 8 to the business users that have, until now, been avoiding the switch.

The ProBook 200 notebooks are HP's value line for SMB users. The HP 240 notebook PC starts the line with a 14in, 1,366-by-768 display, Intel Celeron through second- and third-generation Intel Core i3 and i5 processors, up to 6GB of memory, 320-750GB hard drives, and 803.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Options include AMD Radeon HD 7450M discrete graphics, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, plus Unbuntu Linux configurations.

The HP 250 is similar to the HP 240 line, with a larger, 15.6in display, also at 1,366-by-768 resolution. HP 250 only supports Intel integrated graphics. The HP 255 line has a 15.6in display as well, but instead comes with AMD processors and integrated graphics from the AMD E1 and E2 processors up to AMD A4 and A6 processors. All three ProBook 200 lines have options for optical drives, second hard drives, or weight-saver panels. The ProBook 200 notebook PCs will be in the five-pound weight range.

The ProBook 400 notebook PCs are HP's more mainstream line. The ProBook 400 notebooks will share HP's latest design ID with their consumer laptop systems. HP ProBook 430 is the 13in, Intel-powered ultraportable line. ProBook 430 will have Intel's fourth-generation Core i3, i5, and i7 processors. High-end ProBook 430 systems will support up to 16GB of memory, 320-500GB hard drive or 120-128GB SSD. Other options include HSPA+ or LTE WWAN with the ability to turn the system into a wireless hotspot. ProBook 430 is in the 3.5-pound weight range.

The HP ProBook 440 (Intel) and ProBook 445 (AMD) are up next, with a 14in screen. The ProBook 440/445 are the mid-size systems, with a few more options like Windows 7 support, discrete AMD Radeon HD 8750M graphics, and WWAN for the Intel ProBook 440 systems. HP ProBook 450 is the 15.6in big brother to the 440, with similar third-generation Intel Core processors, 320GB-1TB hard drives or 128GB SSD, and WWAN options. The ProBook 450 is over 5 pounds in weight.

Last, but far from least, the ProBook 470 is HP's desktop replacement SMB laptop with a 17in 1,600-by-900-resolution screen. The ProBook 470 also has third-generation Intel Core processors, a variety of hard drive options, and optional AMD Radeon HD 8750M discrete graphics. The ProBook 470 is Wi-Fi only, and tips the scales at 6-7 pounds. The ProBook 400 notebook PCs offer levels

Both ProBook 200 and ProBook 400 notebook PCs will be available later this month. ProBook 200 will start at approximately $249 (£160), with ProBook 400 lines starting at $499 (£320).