Are laptops doomed by tablets? Of course not. HP’s EliteBook is a solid and secure answer
You might think – with all the excitement about tablets – that laptops are doomed. That is not the case – but laptop makers are having to work very hard right now. PC shipments have dropped because companies are short of money – and also any laptop refresh has to compete with trying out tablets.
Laptops still win on many fronts, and Hewlett-Packard is pushing its EliteBook series hard, as a workhorse for the people in the company who are “information producers” as opposed to tablet-toting “information consumers”.
A tough-looking beast
HP hasn’t cut any corners in the building, and it hasn’t rounded any off either, or made efforts to build a thin device. The EliteBook 8460p is hefty square-cornered block, 3.18cm thick and weighing 2kg.
I like the solid feel of the magnesium-aluminium casing, which HP describes as “business-rugged”, however, and I would not quibble with carrying this on a trip – as it feels like it would last the journey.
The laptop comes with a list of tough features, such as a shock-absorbing internal DisplaySafe rubber frame around the screen, chemically strengthened touchpad, and a spill-resistant keyboard with drain holes to deal with minor spillages (a popular feature on high-end laptops).
It also has alloy hinges, and solid latches.
The laptop has all the ports you would expect and one or two more – who uses an RJ-11 POTS modem any more? – as well as Express card reader. Next to the 720p HD webcam on the lid, there is a built-in LED light which pops out to illuminate the keyboard very effectively.
The number of buttons is minimised compared with earlier HP laptops, but nothing is missed out, and it is nice to have the “mouse” keys duplicated at the top and bottom of the touchpad. There’s also a track-button or “pointstick” in the middle of the keypad, an option I have always liked.
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