HP ProBook 6540b review
Bulky and dour, but solid performance and battery life make it a reasonable office choice
Review Date: 19 Apr 2010
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £746 (£877 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Next to the aesthetic excesses of its recent Envy range, HP's ProBook line is an altogether more sober affair. Aimed at the small-to-medium business market, the latest addition to the family, the ProBook 6540b, partners an Intel Core i5 processor with a host of business features.
First things first, don't expect any visual excitement for your £746 exc VAT. The HP ProBook 6540b treads the fine line between tailored smartness and bland anonymity, all the while proclaiming its business heritage from every black and silver square inch. Bland, corporate, functional, it makes no attempt to appear anything other than what it is: an office laptop.
The keyboard and trackpad are just as practical. Despite the numeric keypad alongside, the layout is spacious and uncluttered, while the keys have deep travel and recover from each stroke with an eager spring.
The 6540b is a good 43mm thick and feels sturdily built; there's a slight flex in the base of the laptop but it's nothing to get overly concerned about. The chunky lid also feels capable of taking a knock or two, which bodes well for the TFT surviving a busy life both in and out of the office. Bear in mind, though, that its chunky figure and 2.72kg weight might prove frustrating for regular travellers.
Fret not, since HP's choice of Intel's Core i5 processor adds a good measure of portability to the 6540b. Wisely settling for the Intel HD graphics integrated onto the processor die, rather than the power-hungry ATI discrete graphics available on other models in the range, the HP's six-cell battery managed to power the 6540b to just over six hours of light usage.
That longevity needn't come at the expense of performance either. While the Core i5-430M's modest 2.26GHz frequency doesn't sound like it will set the world on fire, Intel's Turbo Boost technology strides into play, dynamically overclocking the two processor cores and eking out every ounce of performance. With 4GB of memory on tap, it's enough to score the 6540b a solid 1.51 in our application benchmarks.
- Swatch Touch smartwatch in development
- Did iCloud flaw lead to celeb photo hack?
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- Intel unveils eight-core Haswell-E CPU
- Forget robot butlers: meet Fuji Xerox's robot printer
- Wing it: Google's drone delivery revealed
- Facebook testing keyword searching in old posts
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office