PC makers can’t wait to test AMD’s mysterious Zen chip in laptops. For now, HP and other manufacturers are making the best out of AMD’s current chip offerings, the latest of which target professional users.
HP has announced the EliteBook 705 family of laptops with AMD’s Pro chips, which were released last month. Starting at $769, the laptops seem pricey for AMD-based systems.
The EliteBook 705 family includes the 12.5-inch 725, the 14-inch 745 and the 15.6-inch 755 models. These systems can be configured with full-HD screens, up to 500GB of storage and 16GB of RAM.
The laptops are targeted at business users, which may explain the price. Most high-priced laptops have Intel chips, but AMD wants a share of that market as it tries to squeak more profit out of chip sales.
The fastest chip option is the dual-core AMD Pro A12-9800B, which draws 65 watts of power and has a clock frequency up to 4.2GHz. For AMD, the chip is comparable to an Intel Core i5 chip based on the Skylake architecture.
Notable features in the laptops include AMD’s system management and security controls. AMD has a secure processor in which to store cryptographic data like fingerprints. In addition, system administrators can manage remote systems and deploy software updates to remote PCs.
However, AMD Pro isn’t as rich on security or manageability features as Intel’s vPro. For example, vPro has better remote support or shutdown features.
But the EliteBook 705 family is more affordable than HP’s vPro-based Skylake laptops, which start at over $900.
Other features include 802.11ac wireless, an SD card slot, a micro SIM slot, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C slot, a DisplayPort slot and an optional webcam.