Hands-On: HP EliteBook 8460p / ProBook 4530s

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Martina Osztovits), 04/03/2011

Commercial Update. HP reveal technical data and look and feel of some new Probook and EliteBook series: Brand new cases and Sandy Bridge inside. Here is our first impression from the 15.6 inch sized 4530s and the 14-inch sized 8460p.

Hewlett Packard add models with Sandy Bridge and a puristic style to their line-up.
Hewlett Packard add models with Sandy Bridge and a puristic style to their line-up.

At least to a small part, Hewlett Packard disclose the secret of their business notebook series of 2011. Notebookcheck could take a closer look at a EliteBook (p series) and a ProBook (m series). Besides refreshed design and many changes in detail, all laptops are of course equipped with Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs. 

All information and pictures of the new EliteBooks (w & p series), ProBooks (b & m/s series), and the entry-level models (600 Serie) will be available at Notebookcheck.net by May.

The ProBook 4530s and the EliteBook 8460p are business laptops designed for different customers. The ProBooks with an "s" in their name have a short product cycle of 9 to 12 month and only 12 month warranty. In return the price is usually low. They cost between 550 to 800 euro. The 4530s is available for 549 euro.

The EliteBook 8460p costs at least 1.115 Euro (it is already listed in shops). Here the product cycle is about 18 month and 36 month warranty is standard.

Case & Design

ProBook 4530s: HP emphasize that it has a durable design and made the palm rests from brushed aluminium. Office worker will like the matte surrounding of the keyboard, which was high-gloss black in the predecessors (m/s series). The case has a plastic bezel. There are also most of the interfaces. The hinges are not completely made from aluminium. They just have a cover from silvery material. The case is not that flexural rigid as the one of the Elitebook. It can be twisted a little bit.

EliteBook 8460p: HP call the new look Platinum Design. Outside is anodized aluminium, the inner frame is still made from magnesium. According to HP the design is aerospace-inspired. So, the design is simple without any unnecessary ornaments. The power switch is just a small bar now and the touch sensitive bar for WLAN, volume control etc. is gone. There are just three spartan buttons with inconspicuous light. The rubber rests on the display frame disappeared too (rests of the closed lid). Instead a small rubber slice frames the display bezel. This way, the case is closed without gaps. 

The case meets US-military standard MIL SPEC 810G. We hold a "stiff board" in our hands. The stably connected hinges are completely from metal. The surface of the lid is surprisingly pressure-resistant. The bottom cover can be removed without screws by two latches. In case your working place is unsafe, you can secure the hard drive with a screw, which is inside in the state of delivery.

ProBook 4530s
ProBook 4530s
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
ProBook 4530s
ProBook 4530s
ProBook 4530s
ProBook 4530s
ProBook 4530s
ProBook 4530s
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p

Connectivity

ProBook 4530s: USB 3.0, a 720p HD web cam, and Bluetooth 3.0 (Ralink 802.11b/g/n WiFi and BT 3.0 + HS combi adapter) are new in the model. Some models can be equipped with an HP lc2010 HSPA Mobile Broadband adapter, something only available in the smaller and lighter Probook m series so far. A RJ-11 (modem) is on board in some models. The ExpressCard34 slot is still there, but, unfortunately this is not true for the eSATA port. So, only USB 3.0 can be used for fast data transfers.

EliteBook 8460p: USB 3.0 inclusive ChargingPort feature is again new. But, Bluetooth 2.1 is still the old standard. eSATA, RJ-11 Modem, Display Port and FireWire enhance the typical connectivity. In addition the 15.6-incher also houses a serial port. The ExpressCard/54 slot, which is also available in the 14-incher, is seldom seen. The ports at the rear (RJ-11, VGA, LAN) are useful if no docking station is at hand. However, you can solve the cable problem, if you use one. (compatible to HP 90W docking stations and HP 120W Advanced Docking). 

ProBook 4530s
Gepolstertes Rückenteil
ProBook 4530s
Angenehmer Tragekomfort
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p

Input Devices

ProBook 4530s: The spill-resistant keyboard with number block and drain gives way around the Enter-key. As it is a prototype, this will be hopefully improved. The feedback is clear and the stroke firm. The concave key heads help hitting the right key.

The touchpad still has scroll areas (vertical/horizontal). It can also be used with two to three fingers (Multi-Touch). Its buttons have a short travel and are loud.

EliteBook 8460p: The keys are in a recess separated from the case at all sides. The 14-inches does not have a number block. In return, the gaps between the keys are quite big (isolation keyboard). The cursor keys, which are often shrinked and squeezed below the shift key, have a comfortable size. The concave key heads help hitting the right key. The keys have a rough, but firm surface.

The point stick is still there. The touchpad has a hardened glass surface. Nevertheless, the surface is not smooth as glass, but slightly roughened. The buttons work still very smooth and quiet. They are clearly rubberized and have a soft stroke and move easily.

 

ProBook 4530s
ProBook 4530s
ProBook 4530s
ProBook 4530s
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p
EliteBook 8460p

Display

ProBook 4530s: The test sample has a reflection-free, i.e., matte 15.6-inch display. However, models with glossy BrightView LED display will also be available (multimedia claim). Besides the standard HD-resolution (1.366 x 768), you can also go for a HD+ (1.600 x 900). 

EliteBook 8460p: HD (1366x768) or HD+ resolution (1600x900) can be selected for the 14-inch display. The WUXGA option is only available for the 15.6-incher, 8560p. Regarding color space, brightness and viewing angles please refer to our review to come.

ProBook 4530s: bis HD+ (1.600 x 900)
ProBook 4530s: bis HD+ (1.600 x 900)
EliteBook 8460p: bis HD+ (1.600 x 900)
EliteBook 8460p: bis HD+ (1.600 x 900)

Performance

ProBook 4530s: The new Sandy Bridge processors are in the best case an Intel Core i3-2310M (2.10 GHz, 3 MB L3-Cache), or in the most expensive case a quad-core i7-2630QM (2.00 GHz, 6 MB L3-Cache). The later ensures a top mobile performance. We  already reviewed this CPU quite often: Schenker XMG P501, Asus G73SW or Acer Aspire 7750G

The graphics is either an Intel HD Graphics 3000 incorporated in the CPU, or an AMD Radeon HD 6470M with 512MB VRAM. It is an entry-level AMD graphics card, whose main purpose is to support the CPU (UVD3 video decoder). As the HD Graphics 3000 is about on par, the dedicated GPU is not necessarily required (3DMark06: 4.336 vs. 4.465 Punkte, Radeon/Intel, source: our database). 

EliteBook 8460p: Regardless whether 14- or 15.6-incher, it can be equipped with Sandy Bridge processors up to a quad-core i7-2630QM. The standard GPU is a Intel HD Graphics 3000 (UMA), optionally an AMD Radeon HD 6470M. Higher-priced models can come with a 128 GB SSD.

Battery Life

EliteBook 8460p: The manufacturer promises a battery life of up to 32 hours. This is realized via a power battery plus a battery slice. If you demand much mobility you should choose a 9-cell battery instead of a 6-cell one and use a battery slice in addition. The later is connected via a separate port on base plate.The docking solution is capable of charging the battery slice even without laptop. This way, the 8460p can be used on battery for weeks, because the slice is discharged first and can also be connected while the laptop is on. The laptop weighs just 2.07 kg with 6-cell battery and without slice.

Verdict

ProBook 4530s: A step into the right the direction. The input area is no longer made from sensible high-gloss surfaces and the concave keys can be more easily hit. The Sandy Bridge processors already proved to be powerful in a couple of reviews. The buyer can't to anything wrong by selecting one of the offered Core i3, i5, or i7 CPUs from 2011.

The Radeon HD 6470 is not absolutely necessary, because the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 is about as weak. The ProBook 4530s will by available by May starting at 549 euro. The 4730s will be launched by June and will cost  a minimum of 699 euro (recommended retail price). 

EliteBook 8460p: HP focuses on a puristic design without ornaments and at the same time on high stability and quality. Already the EliteBook generation from 2009 set standards in terms of quality, performance and features. HP retain the old positive properties (input devices, stability), change few (optical) details (purism) and upgrade the technology (USB 3.0, Intel Core from 2011, Radeon 6000 series). 

The HP EliteBook 8460p (14-inch) will be available by April starting at 1199 euro, the HP EliteBook 8560p (15.6-inch) by mid-April from 1209 euro (recommended retail price).

Configurations

HP ProBook 4530s / 4730s

  • 2nd generation Intel Core i3 and i5 CPUs
  • Mobile Intel HM65 Express chipset
  • RAM: up to 4 GB DDR3, can be upgraded to a maximum of 8 GB
  • hard drive: 250GB/320GB/500/640 GB SATA
  • Grapics: Intel HD Grafik 3000 (DirectX 10.1)
  • or AMD Radeon HD 6470M 1GB GDDR5 VRAM (DirectX 11)
  • 39.6 cm (15.6 inch) AntiGlare display HD (1366 x 768)
  • 43.9 cm (17.3 inch) AntiGlare display HD+ (1600x 900)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit / Windows 7 Professional 64 bit / SuSE Linux
  • Gigabit Ethernet, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n,  Bluetooth 3.0 HS
  • 4 USB 2.0, RJ-11 modem (option), RJ-45 Ethernet, HDMI, VGA, headphones / microphone
  • ExpressCard/34 slot
  • 6-in-1 Media Card Reader SDHC 
  • Audio/Video SRS Premium Sound Stereo
  • Optional HD WebCAM (720p) mit Dual-Array-Mikrofon
  • Size: 28.7mm x 374.9mm x 256.6mm
  • Size: 29.2mm x 413.8mm x 279.5mm
  • from 2.51 kg with optical drive
  • from 3.05 kg iwith optical drive
  • Warranty: 1 year including pick-up and return service
  • Prices: 4530s by May, min. 549 euro 
  • Prices: 4730s by June, min. 699 euro

HP EliteBook 8460p / 8560p

  • 2nd generation Intel Core i7 and i5 Dual-Core CPUs
  • Mobile Intel QM67 chipset
  • RAM: up to 8 GB DDR3 (1333 MHz), can be upgraded up to 16 GB (2 DIMM-slots) 
  • HDD 250/320/500 GB; 320 GB @7200 rpm with hardware encryption
  • SSD 128 GB 
  • Intel HD 3000 DirectX 10.1 or AMD Radeon HD 6470M (1 GB gDDR3; DirectX 11)
  • 35.6cm (14-inch) WXGA/HD (1366 x 768) WSXGA/HD+ (1600 x 900)
  • 39.6 cm (15.6-inch), as the 14" plus 1080p/FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • Windows 7 Professional (32 bit/64 bit) 
  • Gigabit Ethernet: 802.11 b/g/n  or a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1+, Modem 56K, WWAN HSPA+ with GPS (option)
  • 1/2 USB 2.0 (USB Charge Port), 2 USB 3.0, combined eSATA/USB 2.0, RJ-11 modem
  • RJ-45 Ethernet, Display Port, VGA, headphones / microphone, FireWire, 
  • Docking port, supplement battery slot
  • 8560p: serial port
  • ExpressCard/54, SmartCard-Reader, MediaCard-Reader
  • SRS Premium Sound with built-in stereo speakers 
  • optional HD WebCam (720p) with Dual-Array mic
  • Size: 31.8 mm x 338 mm x 231.3 mm 
  • Size: 34.1 mm × 374 mm × 250.5 mm
  • from 2.07 kg, from 2.73 kg
  • Warranty: 3 years including pick-up and return service
  • Prices: 8460p by April, min. 1199 euro 
  • Preise: 8560p by mid of April, min. 1209 Euro
HP EliteBook 8460p auf HP 120W Advanced Docking-Station
HP EliteBook 8460p auf HP 120W Advanced Docking-Station
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Hands-On: HP EliteBook 8460p / ProBook 4530s
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2011-04- 3 (Update: 2013-06- 6)