HP 8730w, 8530w & 8530p Mobile Workstations with DreamColor option

Chris Davies - Aug 11, 2008, 2:42 pm CDT

HP have unveiled a set of new mobile workstations, the 8530w and 8730w, with options including Blu-ray, up to 8GB of RAM and the company’s WUXGA DreamColor display.  Both notebooks have a choice of Intel Core2 Duo  (up to 3.06 GHz, 6 MB L2 cache) or Core2 quad-core mobile processors, military-spec casings and a choice of RAID array HDDs.  As our hands-on pictures show, taken earlier this month in San Francisco, the DreamColor display simply wipes the floor with the standard LCD panel.  There may not be quite the one-billion colors the original DreamColor displays boast, but for a mobile workstation it’s incredible.

The 8530w can ship with either NVIDIA Quadro FX 770M 512MB graphics or ATI Mobitilty FireGL V5700 256MB, driving a 15.4-inch panel at either WSXGA+ (1680 x 1050) or WUXGA+ (1920 x 1200) resolution.  The 8730w has a choice of NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700M with 1GB VRAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX 2700M with 512MB VRAM, or an ATI Mobitilty FireGL V5725 with 256MB VRAM.  It’s 17-inch panel is available in WSXGA+ WVA (1680 x 1050), WUXGA WVA (1920 x 1200) or WUXGA RGB LED WVA (1920 x 1200) resolutions, the latter being the DreamColor display and only available with NVIDIA graphics.

Supported RAM is as much as 8GB courtesy of two DDR2 SDRAM, 800 MHz slots.  Each has a choice of 160/250GB 5400rpm SATA HDDs or 160/250/320GB 7200rpm SATA HDDs, together with an upgrade bay capable of taking a choice of Blu-ray R/RE, DVD+/–RW SuperMulti DL, DVD+/–RW SuperMulti DL LightScribe, DVD-ROM, or either a 250GB 5400rpm HDD or 320GB 7200rpm HDD.  Choose a second hard-drive and you can set up RAID 1 mirroring or RAID 0 striping.

Both have WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0, gigabit ethernet and an ExpressCard slot, together with four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, eSATA, VGA and FireWire.  A 2-megapixel webcam with business card reader software is optional, but a fingerprint scanner comes as standard.

The DuraCase chassis – a honeycomb magnesium layer bonded to aluminum – is built to military standards, including dust and altitude, and the keyboard is coated with a special layer that is apparently 50x more resistant to letter-fade than standard keys.  HP’s 3D DriveGuard uses accelerometers to protect the hard-drives in case of falls or sudden jolts.

The photo below shows the DreamColor display (L) and standard display (R), both set to full-brightness and with no flash used or image editing performed afterwards:

Another mobile workstation, the 8530p, will be similar to the 8530w but not support the quad-core CPU.

The 8730w will be available this month, priced from $1,699 (HP tell us that DreamColor is a roughly $400 option), while the two 8530 models will be available in September, priced from $1,499.

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