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HP Elitebook 8560p review

Discussion in 'HP Business Class Notebooks' started by Yoshimeow, May 1, 2011.

  1. Yoshimeow

    Yoshimeow Notebook Consultant

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    HP Elitebook 8560p Review

    * It is obvious I am not a professional reviewer. The intent of this review is to provide information to those interested in the HP 8560p from a real user. There is not a lot of information out for the new elitebook and unfortunately you can not view it in a store before purchasing so I will try to shed some light for those of you on the border. I will be doing some comparisons to the Macbook Pro 15 since most of you know and have seen one. Also sorry for the low quality pics they were taken with my iPhone :)

    System Configuration
    HP Elitebook 8560p
    Intel Core i7 2620m 2.7GHz, 4MB L3 Cache
    15.6-inch diagonal LED-backlit HD+ anti-glare (1600 x 900)
    AMD Radeon™ HD 6470M (1 GB gDDR3)
    8GB 1333MHz DDR
    250GB Samsung SSD Series 470
    6 cell battery

    Build Quality/Design/Quality/Form Factor
    The 8560p is definitely not a thin and light notebook. I would not recommend it for anyone who travels on a regular basis. It is about the same size as its main competitors from Dell and Lenovo (W520, T520). With that being said it is no larger or smaller than the standard 15 inch business notebook.

    The build quality of the 8560p is where this notebook really shines. The majority of PC notebooks have flimsy plastic and are pieced together. Compared to a Thinkpad the Elitebook definitely feels more rigid and of higher quality. There is no flex anywhere and the notebook is very solid. The buttons are well built and provide a solid click when pushed. The hinge is also very solid and holds the screen solidly in place with no wobbling what so ever. However with that said part of this review is to compare this notebook with the Macbook Pro 15. Knock Apple all you want but they do know how to design and build high quality notebooks. While the Elitebook might feel solid compared to other PC notebooks out on the market it still does not compare to the Macbook Pro's in design and quality. Even though the 8560p is solid but it is still pieced together with various parts and materials (plastic, aluminum, magnesium). Even the non plastic parts feel a bit plastic like when you hold it next to the MBP.

    On to design the 8560p as stated earlier is not a portable notebook. It is fairly thick at 1.3". You can clearly see just how much thicker it is compared to the MBP from the pictures below. I won't go into design too much since its very subjective. I personally like the clean retro look of the Elitebook. One of my main reasons for not getting a Thinkpad W520 or T520 is I personally find Thinkapds very ugly and unattractive. The Elitebook looks very elegant compared to a Thinkpad or a Dell.

    One negative on the design is the DVD drive. The button to eject is very slim and small and is on the bottom half of the 8560p where it angles in. It is very hard to press and locate. Not a big deal since I rarely use the DVD drive.

    One more thing since I see this question all the time on this forum. How much does it actually weigh? I popped both the MBP and 8560p on the scale. The MBP 15 is 5.4 pounds while the 8560p is 6.4 pounds

    Overall Design, Quality, Form Factor Rating: 8/10 where I think the MBP is a 10

    Here are some photos of the 8560p compared to the MBP 15

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Keyboard
    The keyboard is a macbook island style keyboard. The buttons feel a bit more rubbery compared to the MBP. Again the quality of the keyboard is excellent and pressing a key provides plenty of travel/feed back. This is definitely one of the nicer keyboards I have used and is pretty close in terms of quality to the MBP. However if I had a choice I would eliminate the numpad and center the keyboard. I think it will just take time to get use to it but I find myself hitting the numlock key a few times when trying to hit back space. Same thing for the "Enter" button. I have accidentally hit "4" instead of "enter". Another annoyance is the using the direction pad since I always default the bottom right corner of the keyboard which is replaced by the numpad. It's not a huge deal since I am sure it just takes time to get use to. This issue applies to all the key's that most users are use to having at the right edge of a keyboard. Still the keyboard quality is excellent and still one of the best I have used on a notebook

    Keyboard Rating: 8/10

    Touchpad
    The touchpad is a huge improvement over my previous Dell D830. It's fairly large and very easy and accurate to navigate. The buttons are also large and the overall feel is excellent with the chemically strengthened glass touch pad. The functionality of the larger touch pad is to provide multi-gestures like the MBP (two finger scrolling, pinch to zoom, etc). I must say this is where the touch pad falls a bit short. The two finger scrolling is very irratic. It sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Even when it does work it does not feel as natural and smooth as the MBP. On my MBP it comes so natural that I do not even have to think about it. It just works! Same thing goes for the pinch to zoom. On the MBP it just works and zoom effect is very smooth where on the 8560p its more of a step effect. Think about it as frame per second. Where the MBP might zoom at 30fps the 8560p zoom at 5fps. You get the idea. I have only used it for less than a few hours so hopefully there
    will be a software update that fixes this.

    Touchpad Rating: 6/10 would get a 9 if they fix the multi-gestures
    I don't use the pointing eraser thing so no comment there. It works as well as any I suppose.

    [​IMG]

    Display:
    On to every one's favorite topic and what a lot of users are concerned about. The display quality. Again I am not a professional reviewer and I do not have any tools to measure the actual quality. Everything is my opinion and from my personal experience. The main reason I canceled my order for the 8460p is the display quality. For the most part my notebook is a secondary display to my 24inch HP IPS display so I do not need a the top of the line Dreamcolor displays. But when I am not at work I also do not want to work and look at display that makes my eyes hurt. I am happy to say the 1600 x 900 display will not do the later.

    The manufacturer of my particular display is LG. (I believe HP uses several suppliers so your experience may vary) The display when viewed on its own looks beautiful. It is plenty bright, color and contrast looks good and sharp. I have taken several pictures below to compare it to the MBP screen which is one of the best displays (not counting IPS screens). It is very hard to take accurate pictures of a display so I'll add some commentary. The MBP dispaly is absolutely superior to the the 8560p. This should be no surprise since if you go to your local Best Buy the Mac screens look better than 99% of the PC notebooks out on the market. I was just hoping the screen would be 80% as good as the MBP and I happy to state that in my opinion it is.

    When not viewed side by side to the MBP the display looks wonderful. The brightness and color is a step up from my previous Dell and the display looks more vibrant than a lot of the Dells and Thinkpads in the office (not counting the FHD high gamut Thinkpad display because that thing is gorgeous).

    Viewing angles are also acceptable. Again no better or worse than most displays. It is definitely not plagued by the problem on the 8460p of the poor vertical viewing angles.

    So overall I am very happy with this display. It's not going to make you go WOW and blow you socks off but at the same time it is not going to make you want to stab your eyes out by looking at it. It's a very pretty display actually but the colors just doesn't pop and look as vibrant when compared next to a MBP. Also I prefer the aspect ratio of the MBP. If you look at the pics the MBP 15 actually has a larger screen due to the aspect ratio.

    Display Rating: 7/10

    *Another member on this forum mentioned the displayed look "dirty" when running on battery power. I have confirmed this that the quality degrades when the notebook is unplugged. This is due to a ATI power saver function. I would recommend disabling this.

    Here are some pics of the display using the MBP as a reference. The pictures do not show the differences between the MBP and 8560p screen as clearly in person.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Performance:
    I am not going to spend time and run benchmarks but just wanted to give a quick comment on performance. This thing is blazing fast!!!! I definitely recommend a high quality SSD for anyone looking for a extra performance gain. I hit the power button and within a few seconds windows has completey booted and I am ready to go. While I was updating my drivers and windows prompted me to restart within a few seconds I am back in windows again. Restarting windows is faster than restarting outlook or word on my old Dell!! I definitely noticed a difference with the SSD. This is where I am defintiely the most excited about my new notebook. The SSD I installed is the 250GB Samsung series 470. It has a lot better reviews and is faster and more stable than the intel SSD as a HP option. My windows harddrive performance score went from 5.9 to 7.8!

    Performance Rating: 10/10!

    My samsung SSD. I wonder why they made it so pretty since no one will ever see it once its installed
    [​IMG]


    Ports, connections, etc..
    This laptop has just about every port you could need except for HDMI. Why HP decided to use display port instead of a HDMI connector is beyond me. None of the TV's, projectors, etc have a display port connector. Another thing is the inclusion of a VGA, Serial port and a MODEM!?. Come on HP! Who uses those anymore? A modem? really? Are we back to the 90's? Would have been nice if they just got rid of these ports if it meant making the laptop thinner or replaced them with a HDMI port. I am just complaining here and I am sure the 1% of the population that actually uses these ports will appreciate it but it seems like some of the technology behind the ports is dated and very few people will ever use them. I guess I am just happy they didnt include a parallel port. Other than that and the missing HDMI port it has everything you need with plenty of USB ports.


    Overall:
    So overall I am very happy with my new notebook. I highly recommend this to anyone in the market for a 15inch notebook. The only notebook I would get over this one is the MBP 15. Otherwise I think overall the Elitebook is a better product than comparable offerings from Dell or Lenovo. It is definitely the most attractive in my opinion over the boring Thinkpads and the cheaper feeling Dells. The display is adequate and actually quite nice. If you are expecting something awesome that will blow you away and you have really high standards then I recommend you wait for the Dreamcolor displays but otherwise this display is perfectly fine. Overall build quality is excellent and the performance so far is amazing. I have only used it for a few hours so I can't comment on long term use. The fan is always running but its fairly quiet. So far it seems to run pretty cool and actually a lot cooler than the MBP on my lap. I guess overall I just wish it was a bit thinner :) otherwise I highly recommend the 8560p and if you are on the fence get off because I don’t think you will be disappointed.

    Overall Rating 8/10
     
  2. Duffin

    Duffin Notebook Consultant

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    You get an 9.8/10 for your review! Kudos!

    Couple of questions:
    1) how would you characterize the Windows/Office performance difference between the 8560p and MBP running Bootcamp? Would an SSD in the MBP help make it on par with your 8560p?
    2) Can you describe in more detail about what you meant by the heat difference between 8560p and MBP?
    3) why is your company not allowing you to use MBP/Bootcamp to use the superior notebook?
     
  3. shaq32

    shaq32 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Great job on that review. Thank you very much for very usefull information...
    Please tell more about screen when running on battery... If you disable power saving option, then you drain battery faster?
    Also, I am a bit worried about the fan which is running all the time...
     
  4. Yoshimeow

    Yoshimeow Notebook Consultant

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    1) It's not a fair comparisson since this notebook is a lot more powerful than my MBP 15 specwise. But in terms of functionality boot camp runs windows perfectly on the MBP.

    2) I meant how hot the laptop runs. Using the MBP the bottom gets pretty hot at times. So far the 8560p has only gotten slightly warm. It's a lot thicker so it probably has better heat dissipation.

    3) Well our company usually buys its notebooks through a vendor we have a relationship with already. It's not that they wont allow it but I would have to talk to my boss and they would have to make an exception which I just didnt want to deal with. I believe two people in the company were able to get Macook pros. One is in market for video and media editing purposes. Plus I already have a MBP as my personal laptop so I just decided to try something new for work.
     
  5. Duffin

    Duffin Notebook Consultant

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    I agree you can't compare specs. But, I think you answered my question that Window boot time, snappiness of running Windows and Office apps appears the same, correct?

    So hot that you can't have it on bare thighs?

    Two things that I've read on other forums that stopped me from getting MBP were a) bootcamp is buggy and quirky and b) heat is too hot in the all metal case and c) the Apple tax of $350 for 3-year support.

    Can you comment on your experience?

    I may try the MBP for 14 days and take it back if unhappy with Bootcamp.

    Things that push me towards MBP are better apps for home stuff (pics, videos, etc.), better hardware, better phone support.
     
  6. Yoshimeow

    Yoshimeow Notebook Consultant

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    Did not purchase apple care since I feel it's a ripoff. Love my mbp and had nothing but good experienced. The wireless is a bit flaky though. Just do a search there are a looot of users with wifi issues on their apple computers. Dont want to get off topic and discuss the MacBook here though. I'm sure u can find all the info you need in apple forums

    Yes the mbp can get pretty warm. Not hot enough where it's going to burn you but warm enough where it might be a bit uncomfortable.
     
  7. Duffin

    Duffin Notebook Consultant

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    Can you comment on Bootcamp Windows experience in Office vs 8560p?
     
  8. Yoshimeow

    Yoshimeow Notebook Consultant

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    as i stated earlier this is a 8560p thread not a macbook pro thread so I will not comment further on the MBP. There is no magic to bootcamp it simply is a set of drivers that allows windows to run on mac hardware. As I stated earlier it runs windows flawlessly in my opinion. Everything works including office. However your best bet as I stated earlier is to check out the apple and mac forums for information not here. You can learn a lot more with a quick google search than from me. It sounds like you set on the macbook so do your research for the MBP.
     
  9. shaq32

    shaq32 Notebook Enthusiast

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    @Yoshimeow, could you please give me some feedback on my reply?
    thnx
     
  10. Siorah

    Siorah Beware of Squirrels!

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    what scares me most is how similar it looks to the MBP.

    that really isn't how i see a business workstation.

    give me a proper keyboard :(

    Good review though mate, well done!
     
  11. HolySilence

    HolySilence Newbie

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    Thank you very much for this great review! Well written and helpful.
     
  12. wii

    wii IPS Rules

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    Looks good, too bad that's it's so thick.
     
  13. Yoshimeow

    Yoshimeow Notebook Consultant

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    yeah but you really cant find any business not book out that isnt this thick. It apparently is the standard. Look at dell and lenovo they are also equally thick if not thicker in the Lenovo case. It looks fine on its own. It's only when you put it next to the MBP that makes it look so incredibly thick. Apple realyl made a awesome piece of technology with the MBP's.
     
  14. Yoshimeow

    Yoshimeow Notebook Consultant

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    Yes I assume the battery will drain faster with the power saving option off but I didnt have that feature on my old notebook and the feature is part of ATI's software/driver suite so I don't really miss it when it's turned off. Plus I can manage my own brightness settings if I am away from a outlet for a extended period of time. Haven't used the notebook enough to comment on battery life.

    For the most part the fan is very quiet and I don't hear it in a office environment with my laptop docked. It's only at night when its quiet and I am working in bed where it might be a bit annoying. Otherwise doesnt bother me but everyone is different so it might bother you if you are sensitive to noise. But it is no louder than other laptops and in fact a lot quieter than my Dell D830.
     
  15. antiq

    antiq Newbie

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    Great hands-on review Yoshimeow, it really can help the folks that are still on the fence.

    If I may, I would like one additional semi-objective stat which is quite easy to look up, as You already mentioned the windows (experience) harddrive performance score (good heavens, 7.8! that sammy SSD is a beast!).

    Would you be so kind and please look up the other stats in the Win Experience Index, namely the cpu / RAM / graphics / gaming gfx numbers? I'm especially excited about the gfx score, ever since new Photoshops have the fancy hardware acceleration support thingie.
     
  16. Mique

    Mique Notebook Enthusiast

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    how is possible that a premier notebook from a "leading" manufacturer in the world can be soooo THICK? it's 2011! what a fail...
    would buy immediately it if it would be half the thick it is... so I guess thinkpad t420(s) is the only way to go...
     
  17. Yoshimeow

    Yoshimeow Notebook Consultant

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    It really doesn't look that thick on my desktop docked in right now. It's 1.3" which is the standard in the business market for a 15". In fact 1.3" is about the thickness of most laptops you would find at Frys or Best Buy for consumers. It's just anything looks a bit thick compared next to the Macbook. The T410s and T420s are the only exceptions and those machines you are sacrificing performance. Last I checked they dont have hte i7 processor available. In addition like I stated in the other thread I ruled those out because of the hideous display. Just do a quick google search and you will see the complaints about that display. If you want the ugliest display you have ever seen go pick one up.

    Your statement could read like this for the T420s

    how is possible that the screen on a premier notebook from a "leading" manufacturer in the world can be soooo CRAPPY? it's 2011! what a fail...
     
  18. Mique

    Mique Notebook Enthusiast

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    don't treat me like i'm some lenovo fanboy.... i really don't care about brands
    I'm just looking for the best possible portable machine right now. I've been really looking forward to new elitebooks, but they failed. I just don't know how it's possible for Apple to pack i7, 300 nit display + discreet radeon into a package that's HALF as thick as this elitebook. How can PC manufacturers lag so much behinde Apple (Samsung, Lenovo and maybe Asus are the only ones trying to catch Apple here...). I really admire Apple on how they pull it off, it's just that I totally disagree with their philosophy and will never own an Apple product...
     
  19. Yoshimeow

    Yoshimeow Notebook Consultant

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    how am i treating you like a lenovo fan boy? You are a bit sensitive there arn't you? I am here to provide and contribute useful information. You on the other hand just posted a random rant and ended it with "fail". What a fail :) Again I agree if you are looking for a portable machine you are looking in the wrong place. These notebooks are marketed as workstation/desktop replacement machines.

    Yes it is amazing what Apple has done. Can you name another machine that gives you the performance/power of elitebook in a small thin package like the MBP's? NOPE you cant! it just doesnt exsist. So if you don't care about brands and want the best possible notebook that is portable I am sorry to say you have to get a Apple. I would just swallow whatever lame reason why you have to hate Apple and get a MBP. Trust me you wont be dissapointed. It's a amazing piece of engineering.

    I can tell you will definitely be dissapointed in the Lenovo T420 screen. It's worse than the Elitebook 8460p.
     
  20. Duffin

    Duffin Notebook Consultant

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    I have not been a fan of Apple simply because it's a chore to learn how to navigate a new OS. I went to pick up a 15" MBP last night at a local Apple Store assuming I will return it in 14 days after living with it for a while. Very cool piece of technology!

    I've also ordered the Henge doc under a 30 day trial program.

    Now I am questioning if I can live with Mid-2010 model (duo core) performance or need to spend the extra bucks on the 2011 model when it is rumored Apple is going to use carbon fiber in the 2012 model.

    My challenge tonight is to figure out how to use Dropbox across the two OS's without using up double the disk space. Fun tinkering.

    If all goes well, I can leave behind the Windows 1.3" tall laptops forever - an it is a huge difference on the table next to each other as well as on the lap.

    And I am stating all of this after looking at every laptop in the 8560p range and listening closely to Yoshimeow who actually has the 8560p and MBP side by side.
     

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