HP ProBook 6560b (LW954PA) business laptop
HP ProBook 6560b review: A solid 15.6in business laptop, but it's not without its problems
- Build quality
- 32-bit Windows
With great build quality and lots of features, the ProBook 6560b should be a winner. However, it's let down by a couple of configuration issues, it's noisy and it's keyboard and touchpad could be better.
Price$ 1,899.00 (AUD)
The HP ProBook 6560b isn't flashy or as refined as an HP EliteBook and it's aimed at small business users rather than corporate types. It's not perfect by any means, but there are lots of things to like about it: good performance, solid build quality and plenty security features. However, there are also many things to dislike: it's heavy, it's noisy, it doesn't make use of switchable graphics, it could use a better keyboard and touchpad, and our review model came with the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Pro installed by default.
HP ProBook 6560b: Build quality and user comfort
The HP ProBook 6560b is a bulky and square-looking 15.6in notebook that weighs just over 2.8kg. It's heavy to lug around and not an ideal unit for anyone who values mobility. It feels quite strong though: it has a magnesium-reinforced chassis, metal hinges and an aluminium lid, but it doesn't shun plastic. The screen's bezel and parts of the chassis are still made from ABS plastics. It feels rigid overall and it will withstand many accidental knocks.
The HP ProBook 6560b's keyboard is spill resistant and it has drainage points that allow spilled liquid to escape. It's a good keyboard, but it's far from great. The keys feel a little too resistive and they could offer slightly better response. Another drawback is the lack of a backlight or a screen-mounted keyboard light. Nevertheless, it's a reasonably comfortable keyboard with a proper number pad. Its layout is standard, but the up and down arrow keys are cramped and hard to distinguish by feel.
A large touchpad (110x55mm) is present and it supports multi-finger gestures. It wasn't perfect during our tests and we often had to repeat a gesture (such as flicking to go back in a Web browser) in order for it to work properly. It felt a little too 'grippy' in our tests and nowhere near as good as the glass touchpad in the EliteBook 8460p, for example. Its left- and right-click buttons also felt a little too squishy for our liking — we'd like them to feel crisper when pressed.
One thing we noticed with our test model of the HP ProBook 6560b was a lot of noise. Apart from the cooling fan, we noticed a consistent and annoying whirring sound coming from the chassis, which we presume was from the hard drive. We weren't able to narrow down the cause of this extra noise, but a similar noise was also very noticeable it on the Dell Latitude E6420, which we also tested with the 32-bit version of Windows 7.
Servicing the HP ProBook 6560b is very easy. As was the case with the latest EliteBook, all you have to do is release the cover and slide it off. It doesn't come off as easily as the EliteBook's cover, though. The laptop looks well put together, with nary a cable out of place — every thing looks neat and tidy and all the major components are easy to access.
HP ProBook 6560b: Other features
The ProBook 6560b's matte screen has a native resolution of 1600x900, which is better than the standard resolution on most mainstream 15.6in notebooks (1366x768), and it provides adequate space for lining up two documents side by side using Windows 7's Aero Snap feature. It has good brightness and contrast for the most part, but you have to get the vertical viewing angle just right, otherwise text can look muddy. We also noticed a lot of automatic, dynamic brightness changes when running on battery power, which was due to the Vari-Bright feature in the Radeon graphics driver. Going from a dark background to a white background made the screen brightness increase gradually, and vice versa. This was a little off-putting.
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
- Samsung ready to make chips faster than the ones in Galaxy S8
- Rumor suggests the Note8 will be a bigger S8+ that adds a missing feature
- Fear not, early adopters: The Galaxy S8 might not be running Android 7.0 for very long
- Samsung made an even better Galaxy S8+, but you can’t have it
- Samsung's profit soars after recovery from Note7 debacle
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
- FTHelpdesk AnalystNSW
- FTScrum Coach / Agile CoachACT
- CCOracle CCB DesignerVIC
- TPAgile Project Manager. Lean ProductivityNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)WA
- CCNetwork Solution Architect - PresalesNSW
- FTTest AnalystNSW
- FTSenior IT Domain SpecialistVIC
- FTPMO LeadNSW
- FTPMO And Governance ManagerNSW
- TPIT Business AnalystNSW
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsQLD
- CCServer SOE EngineerACT
- FTSystem AnalystsACT
- CCPerl Developer l Port Macquarie or QueanbeyanQLD
- CCAutomation TesterNSW
- CCDigital Project ManagerVIC
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD
- FTMid-Level .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTTechnical Lead - FrontendNSW
- FTProject Coordinator ($280-$300 per day)NSW
- FTSenior PHP Developer / ArchitectQLD
- FTHelp Desk/ Desktop SupportSA
- CCNetwork Security Engineer - Finance - Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsNSW