Recap from IDF: Hands on with 2 New HP Laptops, the Pavilion d8 and Envy 15, and Intel's Core i7 for Laptops

HP Pavilion dv8 and Envy 15

HP’s Core i7 packing Pavilion dv8 and Envy 15

While at IDF we got to see a bunch of sick new laptops coming to the Best Buy’s and Walmart’s near you very, very soon. We’re talking about some insane new stuff, and HP and Intel really pulled out all the stops here—sleek designs, incredible amount of features, and previously unheard of power for laptops. Wanna learn more? Who we kidding, of course you do—and we got a bunch of pix and more info on both of these major bad boys after the break.

Ok, so let’s begin with some of the new tech Intel announced for laptops called the Core i7 processor, which in my opinion are really going to change laptops the way we know and use them. Everything from transferring things from iTunes to your iPod, playing games, loading pix and video onto your computer and then uploading them to your flickr or Facebook, video chatting– even doing all those and more at the same time, just got a heck of a lot easier.

intel core i7 logo

These are new quad core processors (unlike the now very popular Core 2 Duo where there are 2 cores), that will give you a whole lot better performance. These processors aren’t just raw power– Intel also showed off some new tech called Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading (which actually has been around for a little while, though is really put to use here), and they really do take your laptop to the next level. Turbo Boost for example, something that I find really cool, actually makes your processor run faster when the proper space is available. Think of this as a sort of smart-overclocking: say, for example, you buy an HP with a 2 GHZ Core i7 inside– not a bad choice at all — the processor will, at times, bump itself up to a faster-running 3 GHZ if you you have enough cores available and your computer is in a condition to withstand the heat produced (so your computer doesn’t fry). Basically, your laptop will now run faster and more efficiently, without you even lifting a finger. While Core i7  has been out for regular desktops for a couple of months now, you now will get all this power in a laptop design as well, giving it to you on the go, wherever you are.

Oh and best part about this news? As you’ll see in these HP laptops and many others we’ll be writing about soon, this stuff is already ready to go and is coming out to new computers as we speak.

Now on to two new HP laptops ready to take full advantage of this new tech. First let’s start with the Pavilion dv8. While it may not be a system to take with you to school everyday (it has an 18 inch screen—so unless you got a massive desk and a huge bag, I don’t think anyone can take it to school), if your looking for a lot of power and want at least a little bit of the portability in a laptop, then listen up as this may be the system for you.

pavilion dv8 1

HP’s monster Pavilion dv8

Specs? Oh, wow is this loaded. 18 inch FULL HD screen (1920x1080p resolution—so yeah, your getting real HD), Blu-Ray drive (you got the HD screen so why not watch your movies on it in HD), webcam, fingerprint reader, Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor mentioned above, and a 1 GB Nvidia graphics card all standard. You can also customize this up to 8 GB of RAM, a faster Core i7 processor, up to 1 TB (1000 GB’s, or a whole lot of storage for your music movies and pix), and you can also can get TV, and Bluetooth thrown in for good measure. It even comes with surround sound Altec Lansing Speakers with a Subwoofer which should really give you incredible sound.

Now in our brief hands-on with this guy we can definitely attest to a couple of things: 1. It’s really, really fast—like wow fast, 2. It’s screen is gorgeous—watching movies on this, be it on DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu, YouTube…— should be an awesome experience. Heck, even opening things like Internet Explorer looked great. 3. It’s HUGE! Now this was intentional by HP, and when we say HUGE, we don’t mean it’s thick (it actually isn’t that bad in terms of thinness. It’s no MacBook Air but it still ain’t bad), just obviously with an 18 inch widescreen you can’t expect this to be tiny. There are plusses to it being so big, for example the ability to add a subwoofer, and hey, it even has a touch control next to all the normal play/pause, fast forward, rewind and volume controls that lets you easily control the Treble and Bass. That’s the first time I personally ever saw this on a laptop, and die hard music lovers should be really excited about this.

It’s said to ship the day Windows 7 launches—October 22nd (two days from now)— though you can preorder and customize it to your heart’s desire (and wallet’s– it starts at $1,299– which does give you a lot like a Core i7 processor 3 GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Home Premium.Just a note– customizing a lot of things can become very expensive very quickly) at HP’s site.

Now let’s go to a much thinner but by no means less powerful system the Envy 15.

HP Envy 15 1

HP’s sick new Envy 15

When I was talking with the HP rep at the booth, he actually told me this was more powerful than the Pavilion dv8, something I immediately responded with a “your kidding right?” He wasn’t. This thing is loaded—and in a much more portable design which I could definitely see taking to school everyday. The design really looked to me like a MacBook Pro—aluminum casing, similar keyboard design, no buttons on the trackpad (though the whole trackpad isn’t one button like on the MacBook Pro, instead the right and left corners are your right and left click and individual buttons), and a very thin design. It even has some cooler design features than the MacBook—with an eteched in design seen on the back of the screen and along the bottom toward the right and left of the trackpad. I like this and thinks its pretty cool.

hp envy 15 pic 2

The etched design of the Envy 15

Now here we go—specs time. 15 inch FULL HD screen (again, like the Pavilion, this looked like a very good screen as I briefly checked out to PC), Intel Core i7 processor (seeing it in this design made me think it was some kind of joke. But trust me– this was definitely real!), Blu-Ray drive, Beats by Dr. Dre sound output technology—unlike the Pavilion, you don’t get the subwoofer here (way too thin for it), but HP does add something new here. They teamed with Dr. Dre to make the sound much clearer when listening on headphones or when hooked up to some speakers. Another very nice touch in my opinion. You also can  get up to 16 GB of RAM (comes with 6 GB standard), and an even faster Core i7 processor like with the Pavilion d8. It also comes standard with a 500 GB hard drive, Bluetooth, 1 GB dedicated ATI graphics card, Windows 7 Home Premium, and a 6 cell battery (which can be upped to a 9 cell– you can get an amazing 7.25 hrs of battery on this beast!).

Sadly, all this power and sickness comes at a price– the base model starts at $1799.99 (though along the lines of a 15 inch MacBook Pro), so this is not for the budget minded among us.

The Envy is ready for pre-order now, and will too be shipping on the 22nd when Windows 7 launches.

We got more coming still from our time at IDF, so stay tuned…

Posted on October 20, 2009, in Computers, IDF and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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