Computer Review: HP EliteBook 6930pIt might not soar like a bird, but the EliteBook offers a similar scratch-resistant anodized aluminum body similar to aircraft skins. Internally, the lid hides a honeycombed magnesium frame which explains why it doesn't buckle when stressed. Plying a brushed-metal coat, the semi-rugged EliteBook is definitely elegant enough to warrant some looks. Starting from 2.1kg, the EliteBook is comparable to Lenovo ThinkPad T400 which weighs in at 2.13kg. As a professional laptop geared for mobility, the 6930p is still a shade lighter than some of its adversaries, like Toshibas Tecra M10, for example, which tips the scale at 2.44kg.
As the cream of HP's business crop, the EliteBook's pointstick and touchpad are generally responsive. Additionally, the Synaptics-driven touch pad is fashioned with a matte surface, making it easy to maneuver with even with clammy fingers. Characteristically, we have no grouse with the keyboard, whose keys offer adequate travel and subdued clicks.
Software-wise, the EliteBook comes bundled with HP's regular ProtectTools Security Manager software package. It provides the usual safety measures like disk encryption as well as data backups for the busy executive. There's also a nifty business card reader application in Presto!'s BizCard 5 for organizing stacks of name cards. Just use the webcam to snap one and you're done. On the hardware front, if you're prone to mishaps, the EliteBook also offers shock protection for its hard disk (3D DriveGuard) and a spill-resistant keyboard. Physically, our review unit came adorned with a Core 2 Duo P8600 2.40GHz CPU, 3GB RAM, an 80GB SSD and an integrated Mobile GMA 4500MHD GPU, making it more than sufficient to undertake conventional business applications. Carting a 141-inch display with a 1280 x 800 pixel native resolution, the 6930p continues the lineage of most business notebooks with its matte screen surface. Observably, the widescreen panel managed to reduce a healthy amount of glare and offers liberal viewing angles. While the Ambient Light Sensor feature may mute the brightness levels by a fair bit, its screen is still a joy to use. Connectivity-wise, the 6930p is no sluggard with its Draft-N WiFi adapter and Gigabit Ethernet port.
With great batteries comes greater endurance. That's mostly true with the EliteBook's 6-cell (55 WHr) battery which lasted an enduring minutes on our DVD playback test. For this specific model, HP has thrown in an extended battery pack, and the mammoth 12-cell did go the distance with over fifteen hours of mileage.
In the end, the HP EliteBook might not sprout wings and fly, but you should rest easy knowing that your money's well spent especially in the ranks of resilience and performance.