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Security, innovation, mobility: New HP EliteBook notebooks make serious business statement

ITProPortal was this week invited to beautiful Barcelona, to witness the launch of HP's latest line-up of business products.

The overall theme of the autumn event was 'The new style of IT' and the company made it clear from the outset that its new devices were built with four very clear themes – or "megatrends" – in mind: cloud, security, big data and mobility.

As HP correctly pointed out, the world of business has transformed over the last few years, and is still undergoing massive changes, which solutions providers need to adapt to.

"We want to make our customers successful in their business," said Herbert Koek, senior vice president of printing and personal systems at the EMEA branch of HP. Though the firm showed off a vast number of design and hardware changes, it time and time again stressed that there have been no compromises with regards to security.

And for good reason too, it seems. According to HP, on average, information theft costs corporations a staggering $5.5 million per incident. While innovation, design, durability, experience and the creation of new form factors to enable "working in different ways" are important to staying up-to-date, security, HP claims, is absolutely paramount.

The undoubted stars of the big show were the business notebooks that make up the new EliteBook 800 series. These computers come in three different sizes: the 12.5in EliteBook 820, the 14in 840 and the 15.6in 850, which can offer up to 33 hours of battery life. The machines, which are encased in a tough magnesium unibody chassis, are up to 40 per cent thinner and 28 per cent lighter than their predecessors, the EliteBook 8000 series, and all three models run Windows 8 as standard.

HP says the computers are intended to bring an "Ultrabook experience" to the office. The entire series is available across the EMEA now, from a basic price of £899.

"IT decision makers today are faced with history's most diverse and technically savvy workforce, and their demands for devices that reflect personal style and productivity preferences present a unique business challenge," said Enrique Lores, senior vice president and general manager of commercial PCs at HP.

We managed to get our hands on all three of the new EliteBook notebooks. Follow the link above to find out what they're like in practice.

What was perhaps even more interesting, however, was the unveiling of HP's new Sure Start technology, which features on the 800 series notebooks. This is a hardware-based security solution which "detects and remedies malware and security attacks to the BIOS."

HP says the system can sense the effects of an attack and replace "the corrupted BIOS Boot Block with a clean copy from the secure memory," thus keeping downtime to a minimum.

Also on the menu was an interesting little product called the Security Smart Jacket for ElitePad (pictured above). As the name suggests, this is a lightweight outer cover built for HP's ElitePad tablet, designed to make it one the safest professional slates on the market.

It offers multi-factor authentication, via an inbuilt smart card reader and fingerprint sensor, meaning that only employees pre-approved for tablet access can get inside the ElitePad's system.

"HP is leading the transformation of the workplace with innovative and mobile business PCs designed for style, but built for security and reliability," added Lores.