(Updated with German launch date and price)
Just a day ago HP has announced (press release) the launch of the first Montevina based Tablet PC, named 2730p, a 12 inch display Convertible (1.280 x 800 Pixel), “coming early September”. HP Germany will deliver in October. The first? Well, Fujitsu Siemens has already announced its new 13 inch Montevina convertibles Lifebook T1010 (in white, to compete with HP TX2500 as it will cost around the same, touchscreen) and Lifebook T5010 (active digitizer, integrated 3G, US PDF spec sheet here), weighing around 2 kilo, 300 gramm more than the 2730p – but they are not yet available. Not sure for how long the 44 WHr 6-zell-battery lasts.
Attractive Pricing (U)
The price should be around 1670 US-$, depending on your configuration. NICE: Other than e.g. Toshiba normally does with its European customers, the EURO price will not be significantly higher compare to US-Dollar. We will see very, very affordable 1.399 Euro in Germany (incl. tax), as HP tells today in the new German press release. I’ll write a seperate article on Tablet pricing soon (yes, really soon).
As you knew from my news report back in June, HP had to wait for availability of the Montevina (ultra) light version processors. Indeed, in the US you have three (Ultra) Low Voltage CPU choices: the ULV SU9300 (1.2 GHz ULV CPU, TDP 10 Watt) and the more powerful and more power consuming SL9300 and SL9400 running at 1.60 resp. 1.83 GHz, TDP 17 Watt). Display is an "Illumi-Lite LED" anti-glare 12-inch. , n-WLAN (optional) and Bluetooth on board. An integrated 2 Megapixel web cam is optional. Downside: only two USB 2.0 ports. Specs here (PDF).
At least the SL9400 support support VT-x features which significantly improves speed of virtual machines.
Notebooks.com has already posted a video which shows the 2730p in action.
You will see a lot of reports saying that the 2730p would be kind of "ruggedized" and fullfill the military standard MIL-STD 810F. Well, HP puts their Elitebook series (the 2730p belongs to that family) into a "full magnesium alloy chassis". Also, the chassis and keyboard should resist water splashes and dust. Unfortunatly there is no official certification for that standard, only guidelines. So, until we see a review testing the dust, humidity and shock resistence, we simply have to believe HP, which, of course, we do :-). Or, to put it into HP’s words: The 2730p "has been tested and meets the military standard MIL-STD 810F for tests including dust, altitude and high temperature. Testing was not intended to demonstrate fitness for DOD contracts requirements or for military use" (from the spec sheet). All in all it seems like a Toughbook light or midi.
– Accessories from previous model 2710p are compatible (no need to buy a new docking station if you want to upgrade);
– up to 8 Gig of RAM officially supported by the Montevina chipset, though HP does not officially support 64-Bit Windows, according to the spec sheed.;
– free to downgrade from Vista Business to XP Tablet 2005 if you need it for compatibility reasons. Not sure if the XP Tablet CD is delivered together (FSC does that with P1620 so that you can freely choose and later change your mind and switch to the other OS);
– SSD as a choice, or faster hard drive with 5.400 instead of 4200 rpm with a capacity of 120 or 80 GB (SATA).
Specsheet (PDF) US and German
Drivers for Vista 32bit, Vista x64 bit, XP 32bit (to be added when available)