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HP Refreshes SMB ProBook Notebooks With Skylake, Carrizo

The launch of a new Intel platform is also the time when every OEM refreshes its product line. Last week saw the announcement of a number of consumer-focused hardware using Skylake chips, and this week HP is the first out of the gate to announce some new business class notebooks using the same.

Keep in mind that the models announced today are SMB focused ProBook G3 machines and therefore use the same consumer Skylake chips that launched last week. Intel has not announced the enterprise-grade vPro-enabled chips yet (that announcement is expected to be later this month), which is the silicon found in higher-end enterprise hardware.

The four models being announced are the 13-inch ProBook 430 G3, the 14-inch ProBook 440 G3 and the 15-inch 450 G3 and 455 G3.

The Skylake U-series CPUs in these new models aren't going to offer a big jump in CPU performance or power-efficiency over the Broadwell chips in the previous generation. However, the GPUs in these new chips are substantially better, and are more able to compete with entry-level discrete offerings, and also the GPUs found in AMD's APUs.

Speaking of AMD, HP hasn't left them out completely, even though Skylake is in the spotlight. It will still offer an AMD-powered 15-inch 455 G3 model, but as of now if you want a smaller 13-inch or 14-inch machine, you'll have to go with Intel. The AMD model uses the new Carrizo APUs launched earlier this summer.

For those still needing discrete graphics, the AMD model will still be able to be optionally configured with AMD Radeon Switchable Graphics technology. Oddly, even though you get a dedicated graphics card with the 455 G3, HP is not offering this model with an SSD or an FHD display.

ModelHP Probook430 G3HP Probook440 G3HP Probook450 G3HP Probook455 G3
CPUIntelCore i7-6500U (2.5 GHz/3.1 GHz) IntelCore i5-6300U (2.4 GHz/3.0 GHz)IntelCore i5-6200U (2.3 GHz/2.8 GHz) IntelCore i3-6100U (2.3 GHz)IntelCore i7-6500U(2.5 GHz/3.1 GHz) IntelCore i5-6300U(2.4 GHz/3.0 GHz) IntelCore i5-6200U(2.3 GHz/2.8 GHz) IntelCore i3-6100U(2.3 GHz)IntelCore i7-6500U(2.5 GHz/3.1 GHz) IntelCore i5-6200U(2.3 GHz/2.8 GHz) IntelCore i3-6100U(2.3 GHz)AMDA10-8700P APU(1.8 GHz/3.2 GHz)AMDA8-7410 APU(2.2 GHz/2.5 GHz)AMDA4-7210 APU(1.8 GHz/2.2 GHz)
GPUIntegrated: IntelHD Graphics 520Integrated: IntelHD Graphics 520Integrated: IntelHD Graphics 520Integrated:AMD Radeon R6;AMD Radeon R5;AMD Radeon R3Optional Discrete:AMD Radeon R7M340 (2 GB);AMD Radeon R8M350DX (2 GB)
MemoryUp to 16 GBDDR3L-1600SDRAMUp to 16 GBDDR3L-1600SDRAMUp to 16 GBDDR3L-1600SDRAMUp to 16 GBDDR3L-1600SDRAM
Storageup to 500 GBSATA HD(7200 RPM)up to 1 TBSATA HD(5400 RPM)128 GB up to256 GB M.2SATA TLC SSDup to 500 GBSATA SSHD(5400 RPM)up to 500 GBSATA HD(7200 RPM)up to 1 TBSATA HD(5400 RPM)128 GB up to256 GB M.2SATA TLC SSDup to 500 GBSATA SSHD(5400 RPM)up to 500 GBSATA HD(7200 RPM)up to 1 TBSATA HD(5400 RPM)128 GB up to256 GB M.2SATA TLC SSDup to 500 GBSATA SSHD(5400 RPM)up to 500 GBSATA HD(7200 RPM)up to 1 TBSATA HD(5400 RPM)
Optical DriveNoNoYesYes
Display13.3" HDanti-glareLED-backlit(1366 x 768)13.3" HDanti-glareLED-backlittouch screen(1366 x 768)14" HDanti-glareLED-backlit(1366 x 768)14" HD+anti-glareLED-backlit(1600 x 900)14" HDanti-glareLED-backlittouch screen(1366 x 768)15.6" HDanti-glareLED-backlit(1366 x 768)15.6" FHDanti-glareLED-backlit(1920 x 1080)15.6" HDanti-glareLED-backlittouch screen(1366 x 768)15.6" HDanti-glareLED-backlit(1366 x 768)
WirelessUp to IntelDual Band Wireless-AC 8260802.11a/b/g/n/ac(2x2) Wi-Fi andBluetooth 4.2Up to IntelDual Band Wireless-AC 8260802.11a/b/g/n/ac(2x2) Wi-Fi andBluetooth 4.2Up to IntelDual Band Wireless-AC 8260802.11a/b/g/n/ac(2x2) Wi-Fi andBluetooth 4.2Up to Broadcom802.11a/b/g/n(2x2) Wi-Fi andBluetooth 4.0
Ports2 USB 3.0; 1 USB2.0; 1 HDMI; 1 headphone/microphonecombo; 1 ACpower; 1 RJ-45;1 VGA; SDXCcard reader2 USB 3.0; 1 USB2.0; 1 HDMI; 1 headphone/microphonecombo; 1 ACpower; 1 RJ-45;1 VGA; SDXCcard reader2 USB 3.0; 2 USB2.0; 1 HDMI; 1 headphone/microphonecombo; 1 ACpower; 1 RJ-45;1 VGA; SDXCcard reader2 USB 3.0; 2 USB2.0; 1 HDMI; 1 headphone/microphonecombo; 1 ACpower; 1 RJ-45;1 VGA; SDXCcard reader
InputHP PremiumKeyboard,full-sized,spill resistantoptional backlit keyboardHP PremiumKeyboard,full-sized,spill resistantoptional backlit keyboardHP PremiumKeyboard,full-sized,spill resistantwithnumeric keypadoptional backlit keyboardHP PremiumKeyboard,full-sized,spill resistantwithnumeric keypadoptional backlit keyboard
SecurityHP ClientSecurity, DriveEncryption,HP BIOSProtection,Security lock slot,TPM Optional:HPFingerprintReaderHP ClientSecurity, DriveEncryption,HP BIOSProtection,Security lock slot,TPM Optional:HPFingerprintReaderHP ClientSecurity, DriveEncryption,HP BIOSProtection,Security lock slot,TPM Optional:HPFingerprintReaderHP ClientSecurity, DriveEncryption,HP BIOSProtection,Security lock slot,TPM Optional:HPFingerprintReader
Power 45 W Smart AC adapter 4-cell, 44WHr Li-ion;6-cell, Long Life55 WHr Li-ion45 W Smart AC adapter; 65 WSmart ACadapter 4-cell, 44WHr Li-ion;6-cell, Long Life55 WHr Li-ion45 W Smart AC adapter; 65 WSmart ACadapter 4-cell, 44WHr Li-ion;6-cell, Long Life55 WHr Li-ion45 W Smart AC adapter; 65 WSmart ACadapter 4-cell, 44WHr Li-ion;6-cell, Long Life55 WHr Li-ion
Size12.83 x 9.19x 0.78 to 0.83 in(non-touch);12.83 x 9.2x 0.84 to 0.88 in(touch)32.6 x 23.35x 1.99 to 2.09 cm(non-touch);32.6 x 23.37x 2.14 to 2.24 cm(touch)13.35 x 9.61x 0.78 to 0.83 in(non-touch);13.35 x 9.61x 0.85 to 0.89 in(touch)33.92 x 24.4x 1.99 to 2.09 cm(non-touch);33.92 x 24.42x 2.15 to 2.25 cm(touch)14.88 x 10.41x 0.94 to 0.98 in(non-touch);14.88 x 10.42x 1 to 1.04 in(touch)37.8 x 26.43x 2.38 to 2.48 cm(non-touch);37.8 x 26.46x 2.55 to 2.65 cm(touch)14.88 x 10.41x 0.94 to 0.98 in37.8 x 26.43x 2.38 to 2.48 cm
WeightStarting at3.31 lbStarting at1.5 kgStarting at3.69 lbStarting at1.68 kgStarting at4.74 lbStarting at2.15 kgStarting at4.74 lbStarting at2.15 kg

Other than the change in CPUs, you won't see a huge difference between this third generation of ProBooks and the current G2's. They are still silver and black and constructed mostly from plastic to keep costs down. HP has said that the back of the display on these new models has a more "refined" soft touch Gravity Black finish that matches that of its high-end EliteBook range.

Despite the material compromises, these are still business-grade notebooks, and thus they are a step above the average consumer machines that often find their way onto the desks of small business users. The keyboard desk is reinforced with aluminum for less flex and a better typing experience, and the keyboards are spill resistant and are optionally backlit, but these features are not new to this generation.

Similarly, the ProBook G3's feature enterprise-grade security features for SMB users, such as optional fingerprint readers and HP's BIOSphere BIOS protection are not new. These features were also found on the previous generation.

The one significant change is that the 14-inch model no longer has an optical drive. In previous generations, it was only the 13-inch model that was missing this legacy storage option. This shouldn't impact many users, and there are always external drive options if necessary. Dropping the optical drive has allowed HP to make the mid-sized model 17 percent thinner and 12 percent lighter. The G3 versions of the smaller and larger models have not really changed in size and weight from their predecessors, although the 15-inch sheds a tiny amount of weight and girth.

Along with all the hardware changes is the move to Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 10, although don't expect to see any pre-configured models with it pre-installed. Most ProBook G3's will still ship with Windows 7 Pro installed through the license downgrade rights of Windows 10 Pro.

It is a little disappointing to see that HP decided against including a USB Type-C port on these new models. We get that as entry-level business machines we shouldn't expect something like a Thunderbolt port, but with Type-C connectivity anointed as the future of USB, it would have been nice to see some forward thinking from HP.

Business notebooks have a longer lifecycle than consumer hardware, so while not having a Type-C port today won't matter too much, in a couple of years' time it will be an inconvenience. We would have also liked to have seen a DisplayPort connector, too, along with the included HDMI and VGA ports.

One model we haven't mentioned is the 17-inch version. Like the previous generation of ProBooks, HP does offer a ProBook G3 with a huge screen, but this is not available in the North American market.

The ProBook G3 series of notebooks will be available this month, starting at $500 for a base configuration, up to approximately $1,000 for a maxed-out model with a Core i7 CPU, SSD drive and Full HD display.

Alex Davies is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware and Tom's IT Pro, covering Smartphones, Tablets, and Virtual Reality. You can follow him on Twitter. Follow Tom's Hardware on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

  • heffeque
    Out of the 3 AMD APUs that are in the list, only the A10 is "Carrizo". The A8 and A4 are both "Carrizo-L" which are very weak APUs in performance AND in features compared to the plain "Carrizo".

    Edit: Also no Wifi-AC and no 1080p display option on the AMD versions. What the heck, HP?
    Reply
  • alex davies
    Out of the 3 AMD APUs that are in the list, only the A10 is "Carrizo". The A8 and A4 are both "Carrizo-L" which are very weak APUs in performance AND in features compared to the plain "Carrizo".

    Edit: Also no Wifi-AC and no 1080p display option on the AMD versions. What the heck, HP?

    It does seem strange that HP would not offer an FHD display, SSD or wireless AC on the AMD model, but that is what was on the datasheet we received.

    If that information changes, we'll be sure to update the post.
    Reply
  • Nintendork
    AMD still don't understand that if they want to have a chance on the mobile market, they need to release notebooks by themselves, maybe create the Fury brand.

    No one give 2 cents about them, in fact most of the models seems to be gimped on purpose just to make AMD look bad.

    We could have a nice notebook with a 1080p IPS/PLS, 500GB SSD FX8800P with optional d.gpu, USB 3.1 for like $800-1000.
    Reply
  • AMD still don't understand that if they want to have a chance on the mobile market, they need to release notebooks by themselves, maybe create the Fury brand.

    No one give 2 cents about them, in fact most of the models seems to be gimped on purpose just to make AMD look bad.

    We could have a nice notebook with a 1080p IPS/PLS, 500GB SSD FX8800P with optional d.gpu, USB 3.1 for like $800-1000.
    nice idea. but they don't have enough capital for that.
    hope people will do some proper purchasing.
    Reply
  • ozicom
    The G2's are horrible notebooks. HP didn't put a window on bottom for HDD change and you have tear everything to change HDD. What kind of a customer don't need to change the HDD of his/her notebook? Please change the design.
    Reply
  • Intel999
    Color me surprised! An OEM that, once again, refuses to put a SSD in an AMD offering! Makes one wonder that if the new Intel "rebate" scheme secretly says nothing about limiting the number of AMD offerings but instead says "your rebate doubles if you only offer competitors with HDDs and crap screens"

    Why would Intel do this? Could it be because the only difference that your average PC user will notice is in boot times. And 85% of those users think it is the processor that causes the extra wait time. Once in the majority of programs one can't tell the difference between an Intel I7 and an AMD A6.

    Reply
  • hst101rox
    Only up to a 1TB hard drive? Unless the supported hard drive form factor is only 2.5" 7mm, it can have a 2TB Samsung M9T 9.5mm laptop drive. I guess HP doesn't like Samsung.
    Reply