Review HP ProBook 6465b LY433EA Notebook
HP's ProBook range is no longer the good old business it used to be. The business qualities have been weakened in favor of bigger sales volumes, as can be seen in the ProBook 4730s. This is supposed to make ProBooks interesting also for consumers. But that doesn't apply to the ProBook B series to which our ProBook 6465b belongs. It relies consistently on the tried and tested measures and provides some exclusivity, such as a port for an external battery.
The ProBook 6465b is identical to its related ProBook 6460b for the most part. However, a second generation Sandy Bridge from Intel works in the latter, whereas quad core processor from AMD is built into our test sample.
Unlike the ProBook 6460b we tested, the AMD laptop has the latest 128 GB SSD from Samsung. That justifies the fairly high price of about €900. Is this combination worth its money?
The design of the ProBook 6465b is absolutely identical to its Intel brother, ProBook 6460b. It is also completely gray and stands out with resistant, matt surfaces. The display lid is made of aluminum but dents very easily. A rubber lip has been placed around the display. It is supposed to prevent dust from penetrating the notebook. However, it isn't quite flush with the base unit in a closed state and a small gap remains which allows dust to penetrate the device.
The base unit's upper side is made of gray, brushed metal. The ProBook proves to be very robust here and hardly dents. The matt, black plastic bottom also does well. The plastic only yields evidently underneath the DVD drive and emits a baneful creaking sound.
The hinges have a firm hold on the display, but can't completely prevent it from teetering. The notebook stays down because of its own weight when opened and doesn't lift along. The opening angle is about 180° and is thus suitable for all conceivable scenarios. The ProBook 6465b has two hooks at the front for transportation. They keep the display firmly attached to the base unit in a closed state.
At first glance, the ProBook looks a bit bulky because of its rather angular build. However, it only has a height of 38 mm. The laptop isn't a lightweight with 2.4 kg, but can score in material quality and stability.
The notebook is well equipped and has a lot of interfaces. On the left, we find the power socket and FireWire 400 besides two of three USB 2.0 ports. They slightly conceal the card reader (SD, MMC, Sony Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, xD Picture card) located beneath them. The DVD burner and the ExpressCard 54 slot are on the front left side. Besides the battery, Gigabit LAN, VGA and a cover with a telephone symbol, where a modem is installed in selected models, are placed on the rear.
The mandatory Kensington lock is on the right beside the vents. A DisplayPort, USB 2.0 and a combo port for eSATA and USB 2.0 follow further to the front. Besides that, a headphone out and microphone in are located at the front right corner. Unfortunately, USB 3.0 isn't installed. There is also a docking port and a connector for an external battery.
The laptop is equipped with WLAN b/g/n, Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth 2.1. An internal modem can be purchased optionally for the other models of the ProBook 6465b range, as can be seen in our review of the Intel counterpart, 6460b.
As customary nowadays, the ProBook is delivered with many company own programs that partly aren't capable of more than the functions in Windows 7. However, they are more clearly arranged - even if a bit more unsightly. HP's ProtectTools Security Manager is one of the more useful tools. It's fairly easy to add fingerprints for logging-in on the system via the fingerprint reader. Moreover, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Roxio Burn and Norton Security 60 day trial have also been installed.
Being a business device, the ProBook has quite a bit of accessories available. The device can be expanded by four USB 2.0 ports, up to 2 DVI and display ports via the docking port. A 100 Wh battery can be inserted into the compartment in place of the included 55 Wh battery. However, it protrudes a bit at the rear. Besides that, an additional battery can be connected at the bottom, which optionally covers one half (Battery ST09, 77 Wh) or the entire (Battery BB09, 100 Wh) bottom. The larger battery option should easily supply a runtime of 24 hours. Apart from that, the external battery on the bottom can easily be replaced with a full unit.
The basic warranty adds up to a 1 year bring-in service. The warranty can be extended to a worldwide on-site service for the next business day, including accidental damage protection for five years, for up to €600 (Care Packs).
The keyboard consists of concave, rectangular keys in a chiclet design. The feedback is acceptable and the pressure point is pleasant. The layout needs getting used to: The "DEL" and the "Enter" keys are unusually small and thus can't be struck directly without looking. The arrow up and down keys have been reduced to one row and the wrong key is frequently hit.
Three shortcut keys are located between the keyboard and the display. One enables/disables the WLAN module, the second opens the Internet browser and the third controls the speakers (mute/volume).
Touchpad and Trackpoint
The touchpad has a sufficient size and support the common multi-touch functions. It can be easily adapted to the user's preferences in the Synaptics settings. It responds accurately to inputs and is palpably delimited to all sides. The touchpad can be disabled by double clicking a small white point in its upper left corner, which then lights up orange. This point also reactivates the touchpad.
For the first time in a ProBook, the cursor can alternatively be moved with a Trackpoint. It has a pleasantly rough surface and controls the cursor accurately.
Two screen versions are available for the ProBook 6465b. First, there is a matt screen with 1366x768 pixels and second, a HD+ screen with 1600x900 pixels as built into the ProBook 6465b LY433EA. This matt screen has the model name LP140WD1-TLD2 and comes from the manufacturer LG. It has an above average resolution and bids a clearer arrangement for work because of the larger desktop surface.
The screen's maximum brightness of 217 cd/m2 is found in the lower center. It gets a bit darker toward the sides and the top. Nevertheless, the brightness distribution of 91% is still quite good. The average brightness of 207 cd/m2 is absolutely sufficient for indoor use. However, the screen can't compete with the ambient light in sunlight and it's only possible to work in certain angles to the sun.
Fortunately, the AR coated screen prevents annoying reflections on the display. The black value of 1.5 cd/m2 is quite high so that a black pixel still appears slightly gray. This leads to a miserable contrast of 141:1 and pictures consequently look somewhat faint and dull on the screen.
The LG screen neither achieves the AdobeRGB nor the sRGB color spectrum. While the screen doesn't even come close to AdobeRGB, it can almost reproduce the less demanding sRGB color space. However, a proper color reproduction is only relevant for professional photographers and graphic designers.
The viewing angles are absolutely acceptable. Everything still remains very legible from a lateral perspective. The colors fade quickly when looking down and it dims quickly. But the content is still well legible. The screen only fails when looking up. A few colors invert and darken extremely.
The HP ProBook 6465b is available in various configurations. The buyer can opt for either the dual core processor, AMD A4-3310MX with integrated Radeon HD 6480G graphics card, or the stronger quad core processor, A6-3410MX with integrated Radeon HD 6520G graphics card. A dedicated graphics card is not available. The faster quad core processor is built into the ProBook 6465b LY433EA.
A 2 GB or a 4 GB DDR3 RAM with 1333 MHz is used. HP chooses a 320 GB or 500 GB hard disk with fast 7200 rpm for the conventional mass memory. It's possible to alternatively opt for a fast SSD with a 128 GB memory like in our test model.
The new AMD processors are now called Accelerated Processing Unit and fuse a graphics chip, several CPUs and the memory controller on one die. The graphics chip can support the processor in calculations. This can save energy and the communication between the CPU, GPU and RAM is accelerated.
The processor, AMD A6-3410MX, works with four cores at 1.6 GHz each. When only one core is loaded, it can be clocked to 2.3 GHz via the feature TurboCore 2.0.
Cinebench R10 and R11.5 determine the processor's performance by rendering a three dimensional scene. Here we see that the rather unknown AMD quad core processor, A6-3410MX, works on a par with the popular Core i3 2310M from Intel. The Samsung Series 3 305V5A-S01DE, with the same CPU, shows a similar performance. The well-known Intel Core i5 2410M is clearly superior to the AMD processor with 2.5 points in Cinebench R11.5, though.
The laptop's overall application performance is assessed in PCMark. The notebook has an enormous advantage owing to the fast SSD and manages to place itself among gaming laptops, such as the Deviltech Fragbook, with 2420 points in PCMark 7. Of course, that doesn't mean that the notebook can render games in a high resolution. It just doesn't have enough graphics power. However, the SSD can more than just compensate that in other applications, such as the usual office tasks.
|PCMark Vantage Result||7349 points|
|PCMark 7 Score||2420 points|
The mass memory comes from Samsung and has a comparatively low capacity of 128 GB. In return, it's not a rotating disk, but a flash memory that responds a lot faster. The solid state drive with the long name, MZ7PA128HMCD-010H1, is also known as Samsung PM810 or 470 Series. It works quite fast even when compared to others of its kind and manages a sequential read rate of over 250 MB/s and a write rate of still over 200 MB/s in the benchmark, AS SSD. Thus, it slightly beats devices from the same series with a 256 GB memory. On the other hand, its access rates are a bit slower than its bigger brothers with nearly 0.37 ms. More comparisons can be found in our benchmark chart.
The AMD Radeon HD 6520G is integrated in the processor and doesn't let us expect any dramatic results. The performance is located between the HD Graphics 3000 card integrated in the Intel Core i3 2310M and the Intel Core i5 2410M with 1588 points in 3DMark Vantage. However, AMD's graphics card supports the latest DirectX 11 standard, whereas the Intel HD Graphics 3000 can only deal with DirectX 10.1.
|3DMark 03 Standard||9614 points|
|3DMark 05 Standard||6139 points|
|3DMark 06 Standard||3322 points|
|3DMark Vantage P Result||1588 points|
|3DMark 11 Performance||552 points|
The notebook is hardly suitable for playing more complex computer games. It's at most possible to play in the lowest setting due to the integrated, weak graphics solution. This will ruin the fun for most users.
DIRT 3 can still be played very well and smoothly on the lowest level in a resolution of 800x600 pixels. This isn't much fun on a screen with a resolution of 1600x900 pixels. DIRT 3 can just still be played with the native resolution when the lowest settings are used. The frame rate drops to a maximum of 23 fps, but usually stays over 40 fps. The graphics card fails very fast in higher settings and the game starts to stutter.
In Battlefield Bad Company 2, no usable pictures can be rendered even in the lowest resolution and graphics settings. Although a frame rate of 28 fps still sounds acceptable, it is only the average refresh rate; it drops to 4 fps in demanding scenes. Gaming is no longer an issue then.
The ProBook is pleasantly quiet when idling. It's hardly audible with 32 dB. It also has a big advantage owing to the SSD, which works absolutely noiselessly in contrast to HDDs. However, the DVD drive is very audible and movie enjoyment is disturbed by fairly loud 38.5 dB in quiet scenes. As soon as the processor is put under high load, the fan increases its speed noticeably and reaches up to 43 dB.
31.7 / 31.9 / 35.6 dB(A)
||38.5 / dB(A)|
||39 / 42.8 dB(A)|
min: , med: , max: Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
The ProBook can really show off in terms of temperature. It stays very cool with a maximum of 23°C in idle. It hardly heats up even during load. The top's warmest spot is cool 30°C. It gets a bit warmer on the bottom and we measure 36°C on the bottom's right corner. This however is also still very cool and can be used on the lap .
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 29.3 °C / 85 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 35.6 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 19.6 °C / 67 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 23.4 °C / 74.1 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28 °C / 82.4 F (+4.6 °C / 8.3 F).
The processor and graphics card are loaded to capacity with Furmark and Prime95 for over an hour in the stress test. It is to determine whether the chips heat up strongly or the CPU clock is throttled. Fortunately, both cases didn't arise in this laptop. The ProBook passed this test quite well and could also supply the full performance over the whole time.
As expected, the ProBook doesn't reach its full performance on battery power. The notebook only manages 1.90 rather than 2.01 points in Cinebench R11.5 without the power cable.
The speakers are sufficient for the office and render system sounds satisfactorily. Everything else, like music and videos, sound very tinny on the small speakers. The SRS Audio software, which is to improve the sound, can't remedy that.
As expected, the power consumption is very low. The notebook is very energy efficient with less than 10 watts in idle. This is managed by the efficient CPU and the integrated graphics solution. The SSD is also more energy efficient than a conventional hard disk. It first consume between 35 watts during load, which still acceptable, 55 watts.
|Off / Standby||0.5 / 0.7 Watt|
|Idle|| 8.6 / 13.2 / 14 Watt|
35.9 / 54.6 Watt|
A 55 Wh lithium ion battery is inserted in the ProBook 6465b standardly. However, additional batteries can be connected via the secondary battery port. This can increase the total capacity up to 200 Wh. More information about that can be found under "Accessories".
A maximum battery life of 7 hours is possible with the included battery. This rate was only achieved by using all energy saving options, disabling WLAN and with the darkest brightness level.
Our WLAN test is much closer to reality. Here we surf on the Internet via WLAN with medium brightness. The notebook manages over five and a half hours - a good rate.
A DVD movie is played in the screen's brightest level and full volume in the DVD test The notebook can handle the longest movie with 3:23 hours. A movie night can be started confidently even when the battery isn't completely charged.
We determine the minimum battery life with the BatteryEater Classic test, which renders a 3D object. The CPU and GPU are put under high load here. The ProBook manages almost one and a half hours.
The laptop needs nearly two hours for recharging when it's on.
The HP ProBook 6465b LY433EA with AMD A6-3410MX is a solid work laptop. The case is robust and is elegant with the polished metal. The connectivity is diverse and only lacks USB 3.0. This is counterbalanced by eSATA, DisplayPort and the docking port. Apart from that, the ProBook can be expanded via the ports on the bottom and it can be adapted to meet individual needs.
The input devices are satisfactory. It's easy to type on the keyboard, but the layout needs a lot of getting used to. It's possible to choose between touchpad and trackpoint to control the cursor. The screen has a high resolution, but regrettably only a mediocre brightness. In return, it is AR coated and has absolutely acceptable viewing angles.
The notebook's performance benefits significantly from the installed SSD and makes daily work a lot faster. The AMD A6 processor is only entry level despite four cores, though. It is approximately on a par with the Intel Core i3 2310M. The graphics card is integrated in the processor and isn't suitable for demanding 3D tasks and games.
The emissions are pleasantly discreet because the notebook hardly heats up. The system noise is also acceptable in normal use. The notebook proves to be enduring in the stress test and runs on full capacity even over a longer time. The ProBook is very energy-efficient in power consumption and can thus also present a long battery life.
Overall, a complete package from HP for corporate customers and self-employed who also use the various expansion options. The price is a bit high for private persons, considering that more powerful notebooks are available for less. They just don't have a docking port.