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Review HP ProBook 4510s Notebook

CrisesBook

Not only are saturated profits in the wallet gone for the time being, but the business laptops are obviously no longer earning so much as some years ago. This indeed might please the consumers, who can profit from the falling prices and new low-cost models. The just-released ProBooks from the laptop giant Hewlett-Packard are part of the bargain. How the low-priced business beginner performs, you'll find out in the following review.

HP ProBook 4510s

HP currently has three different models with the denomination "ProBook". These are identified as HP ProBook 4710s, 4510s (which we reviewed) and 4515s. The second digit describes the display size, that is to say the 4710s is equipped with a 17-inch panel, whilst in the other two models a 15.6" display comes into play. The main difference between the two compact models is the hardware platform. The 4510s utilises Intel hardware, whilst the 4515s is equipped with components from AMD/ATI. With a retail price of under 400.- Euro, this is also the cheapest available variant. Regarding the case and other equipment both devices are however almost identical.

Case

"B(l)ack in Black" would have arguably been a fitting title for the ProBook 4510s at hand, as, amongst potential customers, Gothic fans really get their money's worth with this laptop. It really is rare that effectively any dash of colour on a laptop is avoided. In the case of the 4510s the use of colour is limited to the easily removable sticker on the left next to the touchpad as well as the Intel and Windows stickers on the right. Should this be too much for you - with appropriately long fingernails these adhesive labels can become history very quickly. You will only have to put up with the Windows Vista certificate together with the serial number on the underside of the laptop, which you should leave there in any case.

Despite the unsophisticated, thoroughly business-like colouring and design, for our taste HP has actually reached too deep into the consumer sector. This is recognisable in the form of the high gloss display lid as well as the borders of the keyboard. It is precisely this component that quickly proves to be a complete mistake. Already after a few hours of typing work the surface is strewn with numerous fingerprints between and around the keys. Cleaning the keyboard proves to be extremely laborious because of the small gaps between the keys.

When it comes to the display lid it doesn't look quite so appetizing after a few days of use. Interestingly this point of criticism also applies for the matte wrist rests. Even here smears and fingerprints swiftly collect. It's only the case hub with coarsely structured plastic surfaces that holds up well in the fight against dirt.
Of course, a case that's susceptible to dirt is surely not the "be all and end all" for a business laptop, but in a meeting with business partners or your boss (except when that's you) a "greasy" case is probably not so good…

So how is the case stability of the HP ProBook 4510s? Well, let's say the price of the laptop is clearly reflected here. Both the base unit and the display clearly give way partly under compressive stress. On the base unit this is regrettably the case above all in the area of the keyboard. The distortion resistance is however OK for both units. The laptop can therefore be lifted without hesitation from the leading edge.

The display hinges were clearly based on the design of the multimedia laptops, which shift the display behind the base unit and so take the rear of the laptop out of play when it comes to any connections. You will have to do without a security clamp for transportation with the lid closed. Indeed the closed display lid is rounded off cleanly with the base unit and is only minimally left ajar.

Connectivity

Our expectations were not so high for the entry-level laptop of just over 400.- Euro, where it features in the ranks of low-price netbooks. To an extent the offered ports are OK:  4x USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI!, LAN and a 34mm ExpressCard slot. Above all the digital image output was a surprise, which facilitates connection of an external monitor with first class picture quality, and is not the norm in this price class.

We were less pleased with the placement of the connections, in particular the USB ports. These are in pairs of two on the left and right on the lateral edge in the foremost area. Every USB-connected device therefore causes an immediate impairment of the workspace alongside the laptop.

Front: cardreader, headphones, microphone
Front: cardreader, headphones, microphone
Left: Kensington Lock, LAN, VGA, HDMI, 2xUSB, 34mm Express Card
Left: Kensington Lock, LAN, VGA, HDMI, 2xUSB, 34mm Express Card
Rear: no connections
Rear: no connections
Right: 2xUSB, modem, optical drive, power supply
Right: 2xUSB, modem, optical drive, power supply

When it comes to communications equipment you'll even find Gigabit Ethernet (Marvell Yukon 88E8072 in our test device) as well as a Wireless LAN module from Broadcom (802.11 b/g) in the low-price versions. Even Bluetooth is built-in in the lower ex works price sectors.
It's possible, albeit with an additional charge, to configure the laptop with an integrated mobile broadband module (HP un2400 EV-DO/HSPA – according to HP).  On first look through several online shops in German-speaking Europe we could not, however, find any accordingly equipped models.

Due to comparatively strong price pressure the manufacturer has also gladly reduced the guarantee length, in the case of the HP 4510s has a guarantee of merely 12 months which is actually very short, even for an entry-level business device. Like all business laptops HP indeed offers an extended guarantee for the ProBook in the form of the HP Care Pack. You can have your laptop protected for up to 5 years, if necessary with service on the next working day. However, costing at a maximum more than 500.- Euro this accident and breakdown cover already costs nearly as much as the device itself…

Input Devices

As mentioned at the outset, the deployed keyboard stands out above all through its unusually varnished gaps. What might look quite nifty in unused, brand new condition emerges after some time of use as a useless design gimmick, which soon appears nasty rather than attractive. Also cleaning isn't quite as easy as you would think, as it is even necessary to clean the narrow gaps between the individual keys.

Apart from this one artistic faux pas, we have a thoroughly generous keyboard with a separate numberpad before us. This is possible despite the 15-inch form factor, due to the 16:9 widescreen format of the laptop. For this reason the display doesn't only become wider but also the case, which allows the positioning of such a numberpad without limiting the standard keypad.

The individual keys have a rather short stroke length with a very distinct pressure point, which manifests itself in an almost bumpy typing feel. Furthermore the hardly rounded edges of the individual keys stood out in the course of the review, which when using the keyboard doesn't necessarily make for a pleasant typing feel. As the case gives way somewhat under pressure in the area of the keyboard, it can lead to springy feedback when typing when the keys are being energetically pressed.

The deployed touchpad has a pleasant surface with good gliding qualities. Indeed this was positioned away from the center because of the numberpad, which could need some getting used to for one user or another. Regarding the responsiveness of the pad as well as that of the associated keys the ProBook 4510s cannot be criticized. For mobile use the in-built mouse substitute is thoroughly fitting.

When it comes to additional keys these are completely done without apart from a small button next to the on/off key. On Vista this starts the HP Info Center, which provides some assistance by means of various user guides, but also helps in the configuration of a wireless network (HP Wireless Assistant). When turned off, the key activates HP QuickLook 2, as long as it is configured. In this way stored data in Outlook (contacts, calendar, mail) could be called up within seconds without starting the operating system.
However, in this state the fan stood out as it constantly ran at maximum speed, and the laptop became unpleasantly loud.

Keyboard
HP ProBook 4510s keyboard
Touchpad
HP ProBook 4510s touchpad

Display

One thing that all model variants of the HP ProBook 4510s and 4515s have in common is the 16:9 HD resolution of 1366x768 pixels. However, you have a choice when it comes to display surface. According to HP a glossy variant (BrightView) as well as a matte display (anti-glare) are available. To our dissatisfaction our test sample unfortunately has the reflective display variant, which isn't recommendable for planned use of the laptop as a device for work due to ergonomic reasons.

Indeed the maximum brightness of the display  (CMO1571) turned out surprisingly high throughout the course of our measurements. The panel reached a maximum of 282 cd/m² in the central area – very good. Also the average brightness at around 250 cd/m² is completely in order.
Even though the illumination at just 78.4% turns out to be below average, looking at the display subjectively there are no shadowing effects to be seen, because the minimum measured brightness of 221 cd/m² is too high.

279
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
257
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
225
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 282 cd/m²
Average: 251.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 78 %
Black: 1.42 cd/m²
Contrast: 199:1

The maximum possible contrast of the panel is placed in the average region. the established black value of 1.42 cd/m² determines a maximum contrast ratio of up to 199.1. Subjectively the colours produced can be described as strong and very bright, although blues are weighted rather too strongly.

Inconvenient for daily use: glare panel in the 4510s
Inconvenient for daily use: glare panel in the 4510s

As for the laptop's suitability to outside use, we have the rather unfavourable variant of the HP ProBook 4510s at hand with the glare panel. Indeed the good brightness offers an extensive image contrast even in high surrounding brightness, however the reflections that appear make working with the laptop difficult. In this regard the variant with a matte panel is preferable in every case. We can only hope that the brightness of this display comes close to the good results of the glare version.

The deployed display does not convince when it comes to the viewing angle stability. Even from slight departures from an ideal vertical viewing angle, colour changes are evident. Strong reflections in unfavourable surrounding light conditions add to this.

Viewing angles HP ProBook 4510s
Viewing angles HP ProBook 4510s

Performance

You can expect very large differences in the range of configuration variants for the chipset, CPU and GPU. In the 4510s model (Intel) the possibilities range from a Celeron dual-core CPU to clearly stronger Core 2 Duo chips running at up to 2.1 GHz. On the other hand AMD/ATI (in the 4515s model) employs a  Sempron CPU in the low-price configurations variant and respectively offers Turion X2 Chips up to 2.3 GHz as stronger processor variants.

There are also differences when it comes to the graphics chip. According to HP graphics solutions from Intel as well as ATI come into play. In our test model, contrary to information on HP's homepage, there was no ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics card but an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M. Also in the other models partly incorrect data could have crept in at HP, as the specified integrated Intel GMA X4500 HD Chip is to be found exclusively in desktop computers.

The correct nomenclature should be paid attention to also in our test device with the built-in 4500M graphics chip. Namely, this is not identical to the 4500M HD Chip, which clearly has better performance due to a higher clock speed. More on this topic is to be found in our comparison of mobile graphics cards.

For whatever configuration you choose, you can't get away from the positioning of the laptop in the entry-level sector. This is true for the CPU as well as the deployed graphics chip. Nevertheless, basic office applications like Word, Excel, Outlook and of course film playback and surfing the internet are no problem for all variants, even the lowest-price system.

For further demands, such as picture editing or diverse computation-intensive user programs, you should indeed take a more performance-oriented CPU or respectively GPU into consideration. The best performing CPU available according to information from HP would be in every case the Intel T6570 processor at 2.1 GHz, 800 MHz FSB and 2MB L2 cache. The AMD equivalent, the Turion X2 ZM-84 chip (AMD Puma platform) remains behind the Intel chip in terms of performance despite a higher clock speed (2.3 GHz). For detailed information see our comparison of mobile processors.

The deployed dual-core CPU in our test device settles in the lower region with lukewarm performance. The T1600 Celeron dual-core chip is still based on the somewhat older Merom architecture (65nm) but indeed offers the fundamental advantage of a dual-core processor, namely a formidable performance increase when multi-tasking. Regarding performance, this chip is to be preferred for this reason over the cheaper AMD variant, the Sempron SI-32 processor, which only has one core. The benchmarks of the tested configuration cause little enthusiasm, indeed it is also far from the identification of HP ProBooks as low-priced office computers.

World of Warcraft

This is potentially a note for all WoW Fans among those interested in the device at hand: at the most minimal possible details (800x600, everything off/min), an average framerate of 29.44 fps could be observed when played. This should suffice for undemanding gaming. Higher demands should be met by a model with ATI Radeon 4330 graphics and a stronger dual-core CPU. For this reason a few additional effects should be possible with a good framerate.

Sims 3

The HP 4510s also tried the new release from EA in the course of our test: Sims 3. At the lowest possible settings (800x600, everything out/min) Fraps recorded an average framerate of 33.9 fps. Nevertheless we noticed partly strong jaggies, especially when scrolling out of the distance. Verdict: it's indeed possible with the basic version of the 4510s, but some more power would be thoroughly preferable in order to be able to really have fun playing the game.

Hdd und RAM

Another word for the standard configuration of the laptop. With 2GB DDR2 RAM and a 250GB/5400rpm hard disk HP completes the entry packet of the ProBook 4510s. Both components can be described as extensive for basic applications. The RAM can be considered positively as only one slot with a 2GB module is occupied, which facilities a future upgrade to the maximum of 4GB.

Systeminfo CPU
Systeminfo CPU
Systeminfo chipset
Systeminfo Ram
Systeminfo Ram
Systeminfo GPU
Systeminfo GPU
Systeminfo Hdd
System Information HP ProBook 4510s
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE3517 points
3DMark 031474 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
515 points
Help
PC Mark
PCMark 053419 points
Help
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
1589
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
2963
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
687
Help
WDC Scorpio Blue WD2500BEVT-60ZCT1
Transfer Rate Minimum: 33.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 68.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 53.6 MB/s
Access Time: 17.1 ms
Burst Rate: 92.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.7 %

Emissions

System Noise

The background noise doesn't really belong to the strengths of the HP ProBook 4510s. Even when idle without a load we could observe a constantly active and very audible fan. At 36.8 dB(A) the laptop is counted as one of the loudest of its class. Interestingly the fan fell silent immediately after removing the mains plug, so running from the battery, even though the demanded low office performance stayed the same. Here, an improvement to the fan controller is thoroughly conceivable.

Under load the laptop reached a system noise of up to 45.2 dB(A), in the same way this is comparatively high for a  cheaply equipped office laptop. As a general rule you will just have to put up with the constant office level.

Noise Level

Idle 36.8 / 36.8 / 37.4 dB(A)
DVD 39.4 / 49.0 dB(A)
Load 41.2 / 45.2 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The heating up of the case on the upper side of the base unit really stays within limits and reaches a maximum of just 32.8°C even after several hours of load on the laptop. Indeed the underside of the case warms up more strongly, reaching a maximum of 42.8°C but similarly is still an harmless level. Use on the thighs should be possible at all times, not least because the underside was designed without a single ventilation slot. For this reason the laptop can be run regardless of what is underneath it, as there is no danger of impairing the cooling of the system.

Max. Load
 28.4 °C27.6 °C28.9 °C 
 32.8 °C29.7 °C25.8 °C 
 28.6 °C27.6 °C26.8 °C 
Maximum: 32.8 °C
Average: 28.5 °C
31.4 °C29.4 °C37.9 °C
29.7 °C33.7 °C42.8 °C
26.2 °C36.2 °C38.8 °C
Maximum: 42.8 °C
Average: 34 °C
Room Temperature 21.0 °C

Loudspeakers

Both of the built-in loudspeakers above the keyboard sound very troublesome in the high notes and thin. On the other hand the weakness in middle and deep pitches becomes noticeable. It looks essentially better when it comes to sound playback via the headphone jack on the leading edge of the laptop. With good quality headphones you can enjoy full tones worth listening to.

Battery Life

Readers Test
Maximum battery life (BatteryEater Readers Test)
Classic Test
Minimum battery life (BatteryEater Classic Test)

Our test sample was equipped with a 47 Wh (6-cell) Lithium ion battery. According to HP a larger 8-cell battery with a capacity of 63 Wh should be available. With this configuration the HP ProBook 4510s reached a maximum battery life of 262 minutes (BatteryEater Readers Test, min. brightness, WLAN off, energy saving mode). In the worst case scenario, meaning under load with maximum brightness and network connections on, the laptop achieved a battery lie of 83 minutes.

The battery life test for WLAN surfing turned out to be consistently tolerable. At around 200 minutes (max. brightness, energy saving mode) the laptop can be run away from a power supply for a rather usefully long time.
It looks clearly worse for DVD playback. At around 125 minutes (max. brightness, balanced profile) it is really rather short for a somewhat long film and battery dies around a potentially very exciting ending…

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.2 / 0.2 Watt
Idle 9.7 / 14.3 / 16.7 Watt
Load 31.5 / 44.8 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 22min
WiFi Surfing
3h 20min
DVD
2h 05min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 23min

Verdict

HP ProBook 4510s

Above all the low entry-level price of just over 400.- Euro (depending on variant) makes the HP ProBook 4510s and respectively the 4515s very interesting as well as in the first instance the option of a matte and fit-for-work display, which in these price regions is only rarely to be found. It's all the more disappointing that only the glare version is currently offered in the low-price models.

In light of the price you can put up with smears on the case, where above all the components in high gloss are in places met with incomprehension. In favour you'll find four rather inconveniently placed USB ports, as well as an HDMI interface. Also the optionally available HSPA broadband module could be interesting for some users.

The performance reserves turn out to be comparatively low in the low-cost entry-level variants. For basic applications in office use however, even the cheapest configuration suffices. It's only through greater demands on performance and graphics that you might want to look at the more expensive configurations.

Presumably one of the biggest disadvantages in the identification as an office laptop is the constantly and clearly audible fan, even without load when idle. When it comes to the rather weak hardware components and the observation of the silencing of the fan when using the battery, the fan controller should be remedied.
The battery life on the other hand is OK, even in the low-price configuration with a 6-cell battery. The 8-cell model should offer a marginal advantage, although here somewhat weaker components come into play as far as performance is concerned, which could completely devour the possible advantage.

For the office user hoping to save the HP ProBook 4510s is thoroughly worth a closer look. For intensive use a matte display is advisable at all costs. This is also true for planned outdoors use of the laptop, which is thoroughly realistic through the useful battery life.

HP ProBook 4510s
HP ProBook 4510s
HP ProBook 4510s
HP ProBook 4510s
HP ProBook 4510s
HP ProBook 4510s

Many thanks to the company Notebook.de which kindly provided us with the test device. You can configure and also buy the device here.

In Review: HP ProBook 4510s
HP ProBook 4510s

Specifications

HP ProBook 4510s
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
, DDR2, 1x1024MB, max. 4096MB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, LED Bright View, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel GL40
Harddisk
WDC Scorpio Blue WD2500BEVT-60ZCT1, 250 GB 
5400 rpm
Soundcard
Analog Devices 8280 HD Audio
Connections
1 Express Card 34mm, 4 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphones, microphone, Card Reader: 5in1,
Networking
Marvell Yukon 88E8072 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Broadcom 802.11 b/g (b g ), 2.0 Bluetooth
Optical drive
TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L633M
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 43 x 360 x 267 ( = 1.69 x 14.17 x 10.51 in)
Weight
2.48 kg ( = 87.48 oz) Power Supply: 410 g ( = 14.46 oz)
Battery
47 Wh Lithium-Ion
Price
460 Euro
Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic 32 Bit
Additional features
12 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
You can look for colourful accents in vain on the HP 4510s.
You can look for colourful accents in vain on the HP 4510s.
However the impractical varnishing of the areas between the keys is incomprehensible.
However the impractical varnishing of the areas between the keys is incomprehensible.
The touchpad is a thoroughly usable mobile mouse-substitute.
The touchpad is a thoroughly usable mobile mouse-substitute.
Unfortunately the low priced version with an Intel basis is only available with a glare display.
Unfortunately the low priced version with an Intel basis is only available with a glare display.
Indeed HP offers a matte display in the high cost configuration ranges.
Indeed HP offers a matte display in the high cost configuration ranges.
In terms of technical performance the HP 4520s is clearly positioned in the entry-level segment, regardless of which configuration you choose.
In terms of technical performance the HP 4520s is clearly positioned in the entry-level segment, regardless of which configuration you choose.
Unfortunately the fan ran uninterrupted in the tested low price model even in office use.
Unfortunately the fan ran uninterrupted in the tested low price model even in office use.
The surface temperatures on the other hand remain in an acceptable region.
The surface temperatures on the other hand remain in an acceptable region.
The loudspeakers are barely suited for demanding music playback.
The loudspeakers are barely suited for demanding music playback.
The keyboard turns out to be very generous, and offers its own number pad.
The keyboard turns out to be very generous, and offers its own number pad.
The highlight of the offered interfaces: an HDMI port.
The highlight of the offered interfaces: an HDMI port.
Black plastic and high gloss finished surfaces dominate the whole case.
Black plastic and high gloss finished surfaces dominate the whole case.
The on/off button above the keyboard almost becomes an eye-catcher in the bourgeois surroundings.
The on/off button above the keyboard almost becomes an eye-catcher in the bourgeois surroundings.
Indeed the glossy surfaces look quite nice on first look, but they have a crucial disadvantage:
Indeed the glossy surfaces look quite nice on first look, but they have a crucial disadvantage:
Easily visible dirt and dust particles swiftly accumulate on the surfaces.
Easily visible dirt and dust particles swiftly accumulate on the surfaces.
In places the case clearly gives under pressure.
In places the case clearly gives under pressure.
When it comes to the fundamental workmanship and the resistance to deformations it is indeed clearly much better.
When it comes to the fundamental workmanship and the resistance to deformations it is indeed clearly much better.
The connectivity is thoroughly OK for an entry device in this price class.
The connectivity is thoroughly OK for an entry device in this price class.
However all USB ports on the side edges are rather inconveniently placed towards the front.
However all USB ports on the side edges are rather inconveniently placed towards the front.
However the battery, even in the 6-cell model, guarantees a usable battery life of 3-4 hours.
However the battery, even in the 6-cell model, guarantees a usable battery life of 3-4 hours.

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Compare Prices

HP ProBook 4510s on Ciao

Pro

+Acceptable port facilities
+Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth ex works
+HSPA broadband internet optionally available
+Generous keyboard with separate numberpad
+QuickLook function
+Very bright display, matte variant available
+Reasonable battery life of 3-4 hours
 

Cons

-Case is very susceptible to dirt
-A basic warranty of only a year, an upgrade incurs an additional charge
-Keyboard is difficult to clean
-Low viewing angle stability of the glare display
-Fan is clearly audible even without a load

In ShortCut

What we liked

The price. With just more than 450.- Euro you're there. However the HP ProBook is far removed from a classic business laptop.

What we missed

The equally obtainable matte display variant, yet exclusively available in the higher-priced configuration variants.

What surprised us

The motivation of the designer to place a high gloss surface between the keys.  Obviously these HP workers work on their laptops exclusively with velvet gloves.

The competition

Almost all well-known manufacturers already have a range of low-price business models on offer. For example the Vostro series from Dell, the Thinkpad SL models from Lenovo or even the Extensa series from Acer.

Rating

HP ProBook 4510s
06/24/2009
J. Simon Leitner

Chassis
80%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
84%
Weight
82%
Battery
79%
Display
78%
Games Performance
54%
Application Performance
79%
Temperature
86%
Noise
71%
Add Points
82%
Average
79%
81%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review HP ProBook 4510s Notebook
Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2009-07- 1 (Update: 2012-05-26)