HP EliteBook 8540p Review, Rugged Meets Business (2)Jul 09
Although it looks pretty much like a traditional keyboard, the one on this HP EliteBook 8540p feels more like a chiclet-style one. The key tops are entirely flat and have a sharp edge that drops off in order to reveal the surrounding border that doubles as a spacer between the keys. The design of the keyboard is very good and it doesn’t show any signs of flex even if you apply pressure. While typing you won’t be bothered by the noise as the keys remain silent most of the times.
Underneath this keyboard is a touchpad from Synaptics that has a moderate size and manages to be easy to use, without any noticeable amount of lag. We like that it has a quick refresh rate which makes it very responsive while the mildly textured surface adopts a matte finish, providing a suitable amount of finger resistance. There’s also a pointing stick interface available which is also quite responsive and you shouldn’t encounter any issues while using it. You will notice that HP has decided to install a middle mouse button which you can use for opening links as new tabs or you can close tabs faster as you won’t have to open the context menu first.
The HP EliteBook 8540p comes with two USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, FireWire 400, VGA out, DisplayPort, as well as the regular audio connections. Also on board are an SDHC card slot, ExpressCard/54 slot and a smart card reader.
As far as the software bundled with this laptop, we should mention the company’s Power Assistant for tweaking the various power configurations. This application can also show you the power usage in watts and you can also analyze a graph in order to see the cost per day. In addition, you’re also able to figure out the carbon footprint bases on the CO2 output. Also on board is SkyRoom which is a video conferencing software that allows users of this software to communicate with video and audio, along with sharing desktops which is a useful feature when collaborating for a project.
This business notebook is powered by an Intel Core i5-520M processor running at 2.40 GHz while the graphics power is provided by the dedicated Nvidia NVS 5100m that has 1GB of VRAM. HP also offered this model with a more powerful Intel Core i7-720QM. As standard, the laptop was sold with a 7,200 rpm but for more money it was available with either a 160GB or a 256GB solid state drive (SSD).
The battery installed in this EliteBook 8540p is capable of lasting for a little over five hours in Windows 7 with the Balanced profile activated, the screen brightness set at 70% and the Wi-Fi connection turned on.
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