HP EliteBook 2530p notebook
HP's EliteBook 2530p is a small and sturdy notebook with long battery life.
- Small, sturdy build quality, long battery life, plenty of features
- Fingerprint reader gets in the way of typing, has trialware installed
Small, strong and well-featured, HP's EliteBook 2530p is an ideal choice for business users who want something that will withstand the rigours of travel and last a long time away from a power outlet.
Price$ 3,299.00 (AUD)
HP's EliteBook 2530p is a 12in laptop that weighs 1.7kg, yet packs in a lot of features. It's aimed squarely at business users and has a tough exterior that protects it from knocks and scratches while on long business trips. However, it's not perfect, and could still use some refinement in its design.
In particular, we don't like the placement of the fingerprint reader, which sits on the right side of the palm rest. Your palm can inadvertently hit this as you type, which summons a dialogue box on the screen that can take the focus away from your work. The fingerprint reader would benefit from a cover or even relocation to the touchpad area.
That quibble aside, the HP EliteBook 2530p is portable and offers good processing speed for office applications and basic multimedia work (such as photo editing, simple audio editing and creating presentations); it even has enough grunt to perform media encoding and more advanced photo editing. It has 2GB of RAM, integrated Intel GMA X4500 HD graphics, a 120GB hard drive, and a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SL9400 low-voltage CPU.
It recorded a time of 1min 31sec in the Blender 3D rendering test (where we render a 3D image using both cores, therefore maximising CPU usage), which is a good score considering the CPU is a low-voltage model. For example, it competes well with the Toshiba Satellite A200 (PSAE3A-07M007), which is a bigger, mainstream notebook with a non-low-voltage 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo CPU. Most bigger, mainstream models with faster non-low-voltage Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs can complete this task in 1min 10sec (Sony's VAIO VGN-Z17GN/B is one example).
The notebook has a 1.8in hard drive with a spin speed of 5400rpm. It recorded a transfer rate of 19.03 megabytes per second in our tests. This is on par with other 5400rpm drives we've seen in recent notebooks (such as the Sony VAIO VGN-Z17GN/B). The laptop's graphics performance is slow, however. You won't want to use it for any 3D work (it's not designed for that anyway), as its 3DMark06 score of 654 can attest.
What's great about the HP EliteBook 2530p is its 55Wh (Watt hour) battery, which lasted over four hours when using Microsoft Word, viewing photos and browsing the Web. You'll also be able to watch a full-length DVD on it without it conking out before the ending. The battery life will vary depending on your usage and how CPU-intensive your tasks are. File compression, multiple Web site windows with plenty of Flash advertising, and image editing will drain the battery quicker. Before you take the laptop out on the road, you can press the button on the battery to check its level. This saves you from booting up Windows XP (it comes with XP installed, as well as a licence for Windows Vista Business).
If all you need to do is check an e-mail or access your calendar, you can use the EliteBook 2530p's built-in QuickLook feature. This can be invoked as the laptop boots, and instead of booting into Windows it will boot into QuickLook to let you access Outlook for your e-mail, calendar and contacts' details. It's a good time and power saver when you're on the road.
The build quality of the HP EliteBook 2530p is one of the highlights. It has a very strong lid and chassis design. It's built using anodised aluminium and has metal hinges and a metal latch. Its lid won't scratch, even if you scrub it with steel wool. (It's still a good idea to carry the laptop in a protective bag!) The inside of the lid has a honeycomb design that maintains structural integrity but cuts down on the notebook's weight.
The HP EliteBook 2530p is a comfortable laptop to use. Its keyboard has full-sized keys except for the tilde, arrow and function keys. However the keys could be firmer; they feel a little sponge-like when pressed. The touchpad is smooth and responsive and has soft, silent buttons. There is also a TrackPoint device installed, which you can use instead of the touchpad.
There's a vent on the right side of the laptop that does a good job of extracting warm air, but you need to make sure you don't obscure it while conducting CPU-intensive tasks such as MP3 encoding or graphics processing. The right side of the laptop does get warm after a while, which can be uncomfortable when you use it on your lap.
The HP EliteBook 2530p offers ample connectivity: you get two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, an ExpressCard/54 slot, an SD card slot, a 56Kbps modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n wireless networking, a D-Sub port, and microphone and headphone ports. There are a lot of other features, too, such as hard drive encryption, a keyboard light built into the screen, dynamic brightness control (which changes the brightness level depending on the light in your environment), and a slew of other utilities. We wish it didn't come with a trial version of Microsoft Office 2007, but this can be easily uninstalled (or upgraded to the full version, if you wish).
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10's power-throttling feature will benefit battery-hungry laptops
- Microsoft's next Surface may be a Chromebook competitor for schools
- US says laptop ban may expand to more airports
- Intel's Cannonlake PC chip shipments may slip into next year
- Razer’s updated Blade Pro is the first ever THX-certified laptop
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior Software Developer (C#.Net and VB.Net)SA
- TPBI Report Developer - SSRS SSIS SSASNSW
- FTScrum Coach / Agile CoachACT
- FTSenior Solutions Architect - Network & Unified ComunicationsACT
- CCChange / Communications AnalystNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsSA
- FTApplication Support Analyst - SMSF solutions - www.class.com.auNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSystem AnalystSA
- FTTesting and Quality Assurance AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Linux AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Technical & FunctionalACT
- FTSCOM Monitoring and Alerting SpecialistNSW
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsWA
- CCJava Developer IntegrationQLD
- TPIT Infrastructure Software Licence SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCNP/CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- FTPMO CoordinatorSA
- FTLevel 2 Software & Hardware Support position.VIC
- CCSenior Java Web DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Infrastructure Business AnalystVIC
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)SA
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Business Analyst - GISQLD