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HP's Elitebook feels oddly anachronistic. Perhaps it's the black keys on the plastic faux aluminium design, with the darker grey touch-pad that makes it feel oh-so '80s. It could be the round buttons at the top right that toggle the Wi-Fi, load the browser or mute the volume, or the slimline button at the top left that harkens back to an age when VCRs were king.
Or maybe it's the incredible thickness of the machine when laptops are meant to be getting thinner. Chunky is the word we're searching for here.
It's not heavy, though, and HP's made sure the extra height has been taken advantage of; stuffing in two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 (one including an eSATA port), a DVD drive, ExpressCard 54 slot, FireWire, SD/MMC card reader, DisplayPort, VGA, a SecureCard reader, headphone and microphone jacks, gigabit Ethernet and a good ol' 56Kbps modem.
The 14-inch, 1600x900 matte screen is LED backlit, and seems muted in its brightness and saturation — but we'd wager this would be a much more comfortable monitor to look at throughout the whole day as a result. There's a button next to the webcam, which when pressed pops out an LED to illuminate the keyboard. However, it's quite low intensity, and even in a completely black room was effectively useless. We'd much prefer a backlit keyboard.
As is the way with many business notebooks it's dual-input, with both a touch pad and a track stick, with mouse buttons above and below the pad.