HP EliteBook 8540p Review, Rugged Meets Business (1)Jul 06
A business-oriented and rugged laptop launched by HP is the 8540p which is aimed to rival the Dell Latitude and Lenovo ThinkPad models. It has a very good build quality and an appealing brushed metal finish. When it came out, a $1,299 configuration of this model with a three-year onsite warranty included the following hardware components.
A first-gen Intel Core i5-520M processor working at 2.40 GHz with 2GB of DDR3 memory clocked at 1,333 MHz (up to 16GB supported). In the storage department it has a 320GB SATA HDD rotating at 7,200 rpm while the GPU is a dedicated Nvidia NVS 5100M with 1GB of DDR3 memory. The laptop comes with an Intel Ultimate-N 6300 AGN WiFi card, Bluetooth, 1GB Ethernet and modem. It has a large eight-cell 73WHr battery and runs on Windows 7 Professional (32-bit version).
The HP EliteBook 8540p measures 14.7 x 9.90 x 1.28 inches and it tips the scales at 6 lbs and 7.9 oz. While most of today’s business notebooks look pretty much boring, this model has a stylish and attractive brushed metal exterior which makes it look a little bit more sophisticated. Its metal cladding makes the design eye-catching and it also does a great job at repelling fingerprints and smudges. We also appreciate that the manufacturer decided to install matching silver trim pieces around the hinges of the screen.
Thanks to its great alloy chassis, the HP EliteBook 8540p feels rock solid with minimal signs of flex. The laptop’s thin brushed metal panels benefit from a great support underneath while the keyboard will only show minor flex when you apply hard pressure on it. In addition, the bottom of the notebook is also solid which is nice to hear since most of today’s laptop manufacturers don’t pay that much attention to the rear of a notebook.
It comes with a 15.6-inch HD+ display that has excellent color saturation, deep blacks and above average contrast. The backlight brightness is suitable for viewing the display in a bright office but it’s still not enough for outdoor use. As for the viewing angles, these are better than the average but still narrower when compared to IPS or PVA panels. You should know that the horizontal viewing angles are way better than the vertical ones.
The speakers of the EliteBook 8540p are not that good when compared to what most of consumer notebooks have, but if we have a look at several other business laptops, these speakers are not so bad after all. However, for listening to music or watching a movie, we’d recommend either using some external speakers or plugging in a pair of headphones to get a better audio quality as the speakers provide a tinny and flat sound.
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