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HP’s Windows 7 PC Extravaganza

HP LogoWe’re a little over a month away from the launch of Windows 7–which means that a lot of new PCs are also imminent. Tonight, HP is announcing a bunch of new laptops, along with one desktop. I had a chance to see them recently; herewith, some thoughts.

I was most taken with two new notebooks called the Envy13 and Envy15. These 13- and 15-inch models are the successors to the Envy 133, an extremely slick machine from HP subsidiary Voodoo PC, and their appearance presumably marks the end of Voodoo as a separate brand. The new Envys are unquestionably aimed at the sort of  well-heeled, style-conscious computer buyers who might otherwise buy MacBook Pros–they’ve got cases that combine aluminum and magnesium (which HP says provides a better balance of lightness and strength than Apple’s all-aluminum unibody design), touchpads with integrated buttons (yes, like Apple’s), bright screens, function keys that (unlike most on Windows PCs) don’t make you press the Fn key, and “slice” extended batteries that make them a bit thicker . (HP says that the Envy13’s extended battery will power it for 18 hours.)

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