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HP Announces Envy Sleekbooks and Ultrabooks Starting at $599

Expanding its lineup of ultra-thin ultraportables, HP announced a new line of 14 and 15.6-inch notebooks that are less than 0.8 inches thick, weigh about 4 pounds, and start at $599.

Since not all of configurations will meet Intel's requirements for the "Ultrabook" moniker, those that don't will be called Sleekbooks. Regardless, the systems will come in two sizes, 14 and 15.6 inches, and will include Beats Audio, dual speakers, and a subwoofer. Consumers will be able to choose from a silver deck with a black lid and bottom, or a black deck and lid, and a red underside. Both versions have a soft-touch, slip-resistant coating. Standard to all will be HP CoolSense, ProtectSmart, and HP TruVision HD Webcams.

Also common to all systems is an HP Imagepad with a spun finish design, and a decent spread of ports: Ethernet, two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, an SD card slot, and HDMI. 

Starting configurations for both Ultrabooks will feature 4GB of DDR3 memory, and a 500GB hard drive with a 32GB mSATA cache. Consumers will be able to choose between 2nd or 3rd generation Intel Core processors, although the only screen resolution available is the standard 1366 x 768. All will have Intel Smart Connect, Smart Response, Identity Protection, and Rapid Start. 

The 14-inch Ultrabook will start at $749, and should last up to 8 hours, according to HP. The 15.6-inch Ultrabook starts at $799, and will have 9 hours of endurance. Both will be available on May 9. 

While similar in many respects, the 14-inch Sleekbook will only have a mechanical 500GB hard drive, which means you won't get the fast boot and resume from sleep, as with the Ultrabooks. However, it will also be available with a 2nd or 3rd generation Intel Core processor, 4GB of RAM, and up to 8 hours of battery life. It will start at $699, and will be available on May 9. 

The 15.6-inch Sleekbook, which starts at $599 will feature AMD's second-generation mainstream APU with discrete-class AMD graphics, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. The notebook, which should get up to 9 hours of battery life, will be available on June 20.