Saturday, June 18, 2011

HP EliteBook 8560p

The HP EliteBook 8560p is the latest generation of 15-inch premium business notebooks from Hewlett-Packard. This aluminum-clad workhorse is designed to serve as a mobile desktop replacement for business professionals who need cutting-edge technology wrapped inside a durable shell. Keep reading to find out if the new EliteBook is as "elite" as it looks.

HP EliteBook 8560p Specifications:

* Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
* Intel Core i7-2620M (2.70GHz, 4MB L3 cache)
* 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
* 500GB 7200 rpm SATA II Hard Drive
* DVD+/-RW SuperMulti drive with LightScribe
* 15.6-inch diagonal LED-backlit HD+ WVA anti-glare (1600 x 900)
* AMD Radeon HD 6470M with 1 GB dedicated DDR3 video memory
* 720p HD webcam
* 10/100/1000 Ethernet
* Intel Centrino 802.11a/b/g/n wireless
* Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
* 90W Smart AC adapter with HP Fast Charge
* 6-cell (62 WHr) Li-Ion battery
* Weight: 6.05 lb
* Dimensions (w x d x h): 14.72 x 9.86 x 1.34 inches
* MSRP: $1,499.00 (starting price: $1,099.00)

Build and Design
In recent years the HP EliteBooks have distinguished themselves in the business world thanks to an exterior design featuring brushed-metal cladding and an interior chassis made of durable magnesium alloy. In short, the EliteBooks look cool and are built tough. The latest generation of HP EliteBooks takes that heritage a few steps further with what HP calls its "FORGE" design philosophy. FORGE is actually an acronym for the words, "Form, Optimization, Richness, Green and Enduring." If you want to overlook that marketing fluff for a moment, what HP is trying to say is that these notebooks are stylish, offer excellent performance, deliver a premium feel, provide efficient power management for long battery life, and are very well built to survive the rigors of business use.

Those might sound like bold claims but, based on what we've seen from the previous generation of EliteBooks, those marketing claims have a very real basis in fact.

One of the first things you'll notice when you pick up the new 15-inch EliteBook 8560p is that the notebook feels like it's made of very thick chunks of aluminum. You won't feel the "flex" that you normally see in cheaper plastic laptops. The 8560p notebook features a completely redesigned HP DuraCase that meets the MIL-STD 8710G military-standard testing specifications, meaning these notebooks withstand greater wear and tear than a typical laptop. Despite the rugged build quality this notebook should be easy to carry thanks to a starting weight of just over six pounds.

Six pounds might sound heavy for a 15-inch notebook when there are many 17-inch consumer laptops that tip the scales at about the same weight. That said, I challenge anyone to build a metal-encased business notebook with high-end CPU, a discrete graphics card, and a built-in optical drive that weighs less than five pounds. The extra pound or so of weight comes from all that metal armor covering the notebook.

The EliteBook p-series is available with second-generation (Sandy Bridge) Intel Core i7 quad-core processors and Core i7, i5 and i3 dual-core processors, with your choice of integrated graphics or AMD Radeon HD 6470M discrete graphics. The notebook also feature USB 3.0 ports and a USB 2.0 charging port, in addition to a variety of wireless options and either hard disk drive or solid-state disk drives for storage.

The bottom of the 8560p is quite strong (no flex or creaks under pressure) and features a single massive access panel for making upgrades or replacing components. It should be extremely easy for an IT manager or even a lone small business owner to upgrade the RAM or replace a hard drive. You'll also notice the docking station connector on the bottom of the notebook in case you need to plug the 8560p into multiple external displays or you need additional ports.
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