HP's Upgraded EliteBook Laptops Mean Business With AMD Ryzen Pro 6000 CPUs
Despite CES being a consumer-oriented show—it's right in the name, after all—HP's taking the chance to announce that its "Elite" lineup of business laptops is getting an AMD-powered adjunct. Its extant EliteBook 8xx series and ProBook 4xx series laptops will be refreshed with the latest Ryzen hardware, while the company is introducing an EliteBook 605 series to slot in between the higher-end and entry-level machines.
As usual, we'll start right from the top. The EliteBook 805 Series comprises three individual laptop models: the 835, 845, and 865. The primary difference in the three is the screen size: the 865 has a 16" screen, the 845 has a 14" screen, and the 835 uses a 13.3" screen. Despite the different dimensions, all three screens are IPS displays in 1920x1200 resolution, which is sure to please the folks who love the 8:5 aspect ratio.
Aside from the different form factors, the three laptops are extremely similar. All will come with "the latest AMD Ryzen multi-core Processors," which in this case apparently means the Ryzen Pro 6000 series, mobile APUs based on Zen 3+ with RDNA 2 graphics. They'll also use DDR5 memory; up to 64GB on the 865 and 845, while the 835 will be limited to 16GB of soldered-down RAM.
The EliteBook 805 series will accept a single PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD; all three models will be available with up to 2TB of storage. You could always connect external storage, of course, to one of the two USB 3.1 Type-A ports or either of the two USB 4.0 Type-C ports. Wi-Fi 6E in 2x2 format comes standard, as does Bluetooth 5.2. You can optionally add a 4G LTE WWAN modem as well. Display I/O happens via USB-C (using DisplayPort 1.4 alternate mode) or HDMI 2.0 connection, and there's a 3.5mm combo audio jack.
The EliteBook 605 series gives up some performance in exchange for a bit of versatility. Rather than the brand-new Ryzen 6000 series, the 605s comes with Ryzen Pro 5000 chips, and as a result they use DDR4 memory instead of DDR5. Both the 645 and 655 are user-upgradeable to 64GB of RAM, and you get a pair of M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs, though one is only 30mm long.
The displays on the EliteBook 605s are a decided step down from the 805s, anyway. Whether you're looking at the 15.6" EliteBook 655 or the 14" EliteBook 645, you have your option of an IPS LCD in 1920×1080 or a TN LCD in "HD" resolution—likely 1366×768, as shocking as it is to see that in 2022. Both models also have a touchscreen option, and the 645 has an available ultra-bright display with up to 1000 cd/m² peak brightness.
The EliteBook 605s also come with arguably-superior external connectivity compared to the 805 series. You keep the two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, but trade both of the USB 4.0 ports for a single Type-C that supports Thunderbolt 4. You keep the HDMI 2.0 connection, the Wi-Fi 6E, and the Bluetooth 5.2, but the EliteBook 605s also have a compact RJ-45 jack for Gigabit Ethernet. There's still the 3.5mm combo audio jack, too.
Thirdly, there's the ProBook 405 series, which actually encompasses the ProBook 445 and 455 models as well as the Pro x360 435. We'll take a gander at the Pro x360 in a bit; first, let's check out the ProBooks. As with the 605 series, the 455 model sports a 15.6" display, while the 445 comes with a 14" display. The display options are the same, too, right down to that 1000 cd/m² option on the 14" model and available touchscreens for either.
These systems will be powered by AMD's as-yet-unreleased Barcelo processors, which are essentially a refresh of Cezanne. That means they'll sport Zen 3 cores and Vega-based integrated graphics, so performance should be solid. Again like the EliteBook 605 models, the ProBook 445 and 455 have one M.2-2280 slot and one M.2-2230 slot for SSDs, although these laptops are limited to 32GB of DDR4 memory running at up to 3200 MT/s.
External connectivity on the ProBook 445 and 455 consists of three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a single USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, a compact RJ-45 jack, and the familiar 3.5mm combo audio jack. As with the other models, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 are standard, with options for Wi-Fi 6E and 4G LTE WWAN connectivity.
Finally, the Pro x360 435. This machine is fundamentally quite similar to its ProBook siblings, with the standout feature being the fold-over-type reversible screen. The 13.3" display comes in three forms; all are IPS LCDs in 1920×1080 resolution, but you have your choice of backlight brightness, between 250 cd/m², 400 cd/m², and an eye-searing 1000 cd/m². Curiously, HP doesn't note any touch functionality in the display, but we have to assume it is there because otherwise the "x360" bit of this product becomes a bit silly.
The Pro x360 435 will also be powered by AMD's new Barcelo processors, and being smaller than the ProBooks, it drops the second M.2 slot. You can still pick it up with 2TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD installed. It also trades one of the USB 3.1 Type-A ports for a built-in MicroSD reader. Besides those changes, it's pretty similar the other two ProBooks above.
HP says that the ProBook 405 series and Elitebook 605 series machines will show up in "late January." The Probookx will start at $849 USD, while the EliteBooks will start at $1149 USD. The company didn't offer pricing on the Pro x360 435, nor for the EliteBook 805 series, but said that such details will be available closer to their April launch date.