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HP EliteBook 2570p review: HP EliteBook 2570p

Although chunky, the impressive performance and flexibility of this 12.5-inch laptop would make the hardened business road warrior happy.

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Craig Simms
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Craig Simms

Special to CNET News

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

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"Chunky!" was the first thought that entered our brains upon sighting the 2570p. Looking more like Panasonic's Toughbooks than the recent rash of ultrathins, the newest EliteBook's height got us momentarily excited that there might be decent graphics in there. Sadly, no; we still only have the standard HD Graphics 4000.

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8.0

HP EliteBook 2570p

The Good

Fully featured business laptop. Screen can be flipped to lie flat, parallel with body. 3G capability. Good battery life.

The Bad

Features necessitate a chunky design.

The Bottom Line

Although chunky, the impressive performance and flexibility of this 12.5-inch laptop would make the hardened business road warrior happy.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0: 2
  • USB 2.0: 1
  • Optical: DVD&plusm;RW
  • Video: DisplayPort, VGA
  • Ethernet: Gigabit
  • Wireless: Dual-channel 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, WWAN

The reason for the height is simply the business target market, as a mix of legacy and new connectivity dots the sides. Despite wielding the very strange screen size of 12.5 inches, it's packing heat: a full-sized tray-loading DVD drive, gigabit Ethernet, 56k modem, secure card slot and thumb scanner, a docking connector, a combined USB 3.0/eSATA slot, stand-alone USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, VGA and DisplayPort connectors, an SD card reader, a headset jack and an ExpressCard 34 slot. There's even a SIM slot under the battery, and Bluetooth 4.0 is along for the ride, as well as 2.4 and 5GHz 802.11n.

Specs aren't at the extreme high end, but the 2570p is no slouch, either. A Core i7 3520M @ 2.9GHz sits inside, with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD supplied by Micron.

As tends to be the case with old-school business laptops, there are buttons both above and below the Synaptics touch pad, with a track stick in the middle of the keyboard.

The 1366x768 matte screen is passable, although its ability to lie parallel with the body of the laptop makes finding a comfortable viewing angle significantly easier than usual.

Application performance

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)


It's hard to pick out competitors to match the EliteBook in terms of both size and power, as we simply haven't reviewed anything like it. In an attempt to frame the performance, we've pulled out a mid-level ultrabook, Sony's 11.6-inch T series, and Asus' top-specced ultrabook, the UX31A.

Despite featuring a dual-core processor like the others, having a non-ULV part makes a world of difference, with the EliteBook taking pole position each time.

Battery life

Battery life (time)

  • Heavy battery test
  • Light battery test

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


HP continues to show that it does well in the battery stakes as a brand.

Conclusion

The EliteBook 2570p may be chunky, but with good reason — the business market it's aimed at requires all the ports it can get, and a certain level of ruggedness. Add to this the impressive performance of the 12.5-inch laptop, and you have a laptop that would make the hardened business road warrior happy.

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