Until now, Macs, particularly big screen ones like this, have seemed to be the platform of choice for creative professionals. HP's 17-inch EliteBook 8740, announced today, scores one for team PC with a display that recognizes an impressive 1 billion colors.
HP's DreamColor display (named after DreamWorks, the animation studio that helped develop and test this technology) isn't new. In fact, the last generation EliteBook 8730w workstation has it, but its display "only" recognized 15 million colors. Whereas HP's DreamColor laptops used to support fewer colors than its standalone monitor (precisely the kind DreamColor's animators use), they now recognize the same staggering number.
In addition to an even more brilliant display, the 874w bumps up its processor options in a predictable way, offering Core i5 and i7 CPUs. Users can choose graphics by either ATI or Nvidia, but in either case 1GB of dedicated video memory comes standard. You can also opt for either a 256GB solid-state drive or a 7,200 rpm drive ranging in size from 250GB to 500GB. It can accept up to 16GB of RAM. Among its ports are four USB ports, two of which are USB 3.0. The largest battery option is an 8-cell, but with a starting weight of 7.8 pounds, we're guessing you're not going to want to travel far with it.
Like other EliteBooks, the 8740w is made of durable magnesium alloy and has a spill-resistant keyboard with HP's DuraKey finish, which is designed to ward off scratches. Other security and durability measures include a fingerprint reader and hard drive accelerometer. Its Instant On OS, another feature borrowed from other EliteBooks, lets users peek at their e-mail, calendar, and a browser while the computer is booting up.
The EliteBook 8740w will be available worldwide in April with a starting price of $1,999 (this does not include the DreamColor display, an upgrade that will set you back hundreds of additional dollars).