HP ProBook 4510s laptop review

HP's latest business focussed notebooks have a new name and a new look. With plenty of power and a good price, are these the best machines for your business?

Hp ProBook 4510
Price
£621

With a new naming convention and a new aesthetic HP for its notebooks, HP is clearly trying to reinvent itself for the business market and judging by this first look at a final production sample ProBook 4510s, it's not doing a bad job.

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As far as looks are concerned the ProBook is a certainly a success. It's finished in glossy black plastic, and the keys are the "Scrabble-tile" arrangement (HP calls it a "chiclet" keyboard) by now familiar on Apple and Sony's notebooks. The keys have a decent amount of travel and the base feels solid: it's easy to get a full head of steam when touch-typing. It's also pleasing to see HP using the whole width of the notebook's base, with the right hand side given to a full number pad, which makes spreadsheets easier to work on. The only downside to the glossy lid is that fingerprints stick all too easily.

Surprisingly, given the consumer-friendly gloss finish on the lid, the screen itself has a matte finish. It's big and readable - the 15.6in panel is bright and sharp, although some will lament the lack of resolution. HP markets the panel as "HD", which is technically true but not actually a big deal for a screen this size at 1,366 x 768, the desktop can feel constrained at times.

Even browsing the web it gets cramped, and we wouldn't recommend this to anyone looking to get any work done in applications such as Photoshop. HP offers arrange of different ProBook models, but none of the 15.6in ones offers greater resolution. For a more accommodating screen you'll need to opt for the 17.3in version. These offer a similar range of specifications as this one but have larger, 1,600 x 900 screens. On the plus side there's a 2-megapixel webcam integrated into the top of the bezel an unusual but welcome inclusion on a business laptop.

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The lack of resolution is a shame, as the ProBook has a huge amount of power on tap. The processor is a Core 2 Duo P7370 running at 2GHZ, and there's 3GB of RAM to keep everything running smoothly, spread across two SODIMM slots. In our benchmarks it returned an overall score of 1.13, more than enough for everyday office jobs, and sufficient for more creative applications, if only the low screen resolution allowed for it.

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