HP EliteBook 2530p Notebook Has Enterprise Written All over It

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

With the EliteBook 2530p, HP defines the differences between a consumer notebook and a notebook designed for business use.

Consumer notebooks have become all the rage, especially now that prices have dropped and functionality has increased. Many buyers are discovering that an inexpensive notebook can accomplish everything that they need and are forgoing purchasing a desktop system altogether.

On the other hand, IT departments are finding that consumer-level notebooks are far more hassle than they are worth. Sure, the purchasing department can save a few bucks by going the consumer route, but the real costs start to pile on when it comes to deployment and management of the product.

With the EliteBook series of notebook computers, Hewlett-Packard has heard what the enterprise user has had to say and has designed notebooks that eschew consumer features, while piling on the features a business user needs. Take for example the EliteBook 2530p, an ultraportable notebook that dispenses with most of the bloatware found on consumer systems and offers an operating system meant for use on a network—Windows Vista Business Edition.

Click here for a look at HP's low-cost ProBook line. 

The EliteBook 2530p features a ruggedized design that uses a magnesium frame and a brushed aluminum lid to protect the internals. The unit also features a spill-proof keyboard and rounded edges, adding to its resiliency. Simply put, the 2530p is designed for the road warrior, who will spend more time with the unit untethered, as opposed to locked down to a desktop.

At 3.8 pounds, the 2530p is a little heavier than most other ultraportable notebooks—but that weight gain is a result of the unit's rugged nature.

The system is loaded with features that should please even the most demanding mobile worker. Users will find an Intel Core 2 Duo L9400 CPU (1.87GHz), 3GB of RAM, a 120GB hard drive, integrated DVD R/W Multidrive, Intel GMA4500 chip set, and integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as integrated multicarrier wireless broadband.

Fitting in with its enterprise nature, the unit also offers VPro technology and keeps the add-on software to a minimum, which can save IT workers a great deal of time. HP has also heard another concern of the enterprise IT market—the company makes sure that EliteBooks have a long product cycle, allowing the same unit to be ordered from the manufacturer for as long as 18 months.

In terms of performance, the unit received an overall PassMark score of 582.2 using Performance Test 7.0 from PassMark Software. A pretty decent score considering that the unit uses onboard graphics. Most users will like the touch-sensitive controls located above the keyboard, which allow users to quickly change the volume, mute the speakers, control wireless access and so on. The unit also features an integrated Webcam, which works fine for Skype video conferencing.

A nifty feature is the pop-out keyboard light located on the top bezel. That little LED light can come in handy in darkened rooms. An ambient light sensor brightens or darkens the LED backlight as needed and helps save battery power. The environmentally conscious will appreciate the unit's EPEAT and Energy Star ratings. The unit offers impressive battery life, upward of 8 hours under normal use with all power-saving features enabled.

The diminutive unit offers some surprises: Users will find that the speakers are nice and loud, the keyboard quiet and the touch-pad not overly sensitive. HP offers a docking station that quickly can convert the 2530p into a desktop (with the addition of a monitor, mouse and keyboard).

With its rugged design, impressive feature set and high performance, the EliteBook would make a welcome addition to any corporate traveler's briefcase. Enterprise-level features should keep IT departments happy, while a price point under $1,900 should keep the bean counters at bay. Adding it all up, HP has hit the nail on the head when it comes to a near-perfect design for a corporate ultralight notebook computer.


Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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