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The no-touching variety

The Elite 7000 business desktop PC is a tower PC based on Intel's latest Core i5 and i7 processors, and the machine can not only be loaded with the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Home or Professional edition, but if you want Linux, it can also be preloaded with Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11. The Elite 7000 is based on Intel's P55 Express chipset, and it has four DDR3 memory slots, for a maximum of 8 GB of memory.

The PC comes with a SATA drives that range in capacity from 160 GB to 1 TB, and it can be equipped with a 64 GB solid state disk. The system board has three PCI-Express slots, and the tower has two internal disk bays (not including all the media bays). HP is supporting a variety of PCI-Express x16 video cards for this tower PC, including Nvidia's GeForce GT210 and GT230 and ATI's Radeon HD 4550 and 4650. This machine is also being configured with Intel's IT Director management tool (which is not related to vPro, oddly enough). The base Elite 7000 PC will sell for $789.

HP has also come up with two more business laptops that feature wide screens and an integrated number pad on the keyboard, which will be the envy of all the bean counters out there lugging around laptops and USB keypads.

The ProBook 6445b notebook has a 14-inch backlit LED screen (with a 1366x768 resolution, because at least someone at HP knows how to write a datasheet) and it can have Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 in Professional, Home Premium, or Home Basic editions preinstalled; Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate are supported but not preinstalled, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 has been certified on the machine but is not technically supported.

The ProBook 6445 is based on AMD's M880G chipset, and supports 2 GHz Sempron, 2.1 GHz and 2.3 GHz dual-core Turion II, and 2.4 GHz Turion II Ultra chips (all of which but the Sempron have two processor cores). The machine has two DDR2 memory slots, supporting up to 8 GB, and has room for one SATA disk (160 GB through 500 GB) and either a second SATA drive or one of a variety of optical drives. The ProBook 6445b comes with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 graphics card, and it has wireless and wired LAN support and a dual-microphone array, but no Webcam. The base machine weighs 5.9 pounds, and costs $799.

HP Elite ProBook PCs

HP's Elite 7000 desktop PC and ProBook 6545b notebook (Click to Enlarge)

The ProBook 6545b notebook is the same basic electronics, but it comes with a 15.6-inch screen with the same 1366x768 resolution. There is a variant of this ProBook 6545b machine that comes with a 15.6-unch screen that can handle 1600x900 resolution. Pricing for this machine was not announced.

One funny feature about the ProBook b series laptops: They include a "spill resistant" keyboard that includes a drain. So if you are on the airplane and someone - like you - spills a beer on your keyboard, it will pass through the keys, collect briefly in a mini holding tank, and then piss out all over your lap. Which is a lot better than losing the machine. Water-proof keyboards are apparently not in the works at HP, but I did ask.

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