HP Elitebook 2760p Review: As a Notebook

Offering both tablet and notebook functionality, the convertible HP Elitebook 2760p, in my evaluation, delivers impressively on both fronts. For the laptop-using masses, the 2760p should feel comfortable and familiar, making for a pleasant introduction to the benefits of pen and touch screen input.

This post is one in a multi-post review of the HP Elitebook 2760p. Please click here for more.

Display

At 12.1″ and 1280×800, the 2760p display is on the small end of the laptop market. It’s geared more for portability than productivity. A VGA port is included on the notebook, while the expansion base offers another VGA port and a DisplayPort, providing several options for adding an external monitor.

The screen latch is magnetic with no outward components to slide or break. The hinge is stiff and solid, appearing to be built of the same magnesium alloy as the rest of the frame. It can be made to wiggle, but suffers no unintentional wobbling as a result of being on a swivel hinge.

The top center of the display features a webcam and keyboard light. The light can only point downward and is intended to make up for the lack of backlight in the keyboard, although there’s no reason you couldn’t open up a book on your keyboard and use it for reading. I found it helpful for typing in the dark, but no match for backlit keys. It can’t illuminate keys that my fingers are blocking, and the bright light source is slightly distracting. Webcam performance is shown in a Shortcut video.

At the top outer edge of the display is a pop-up antenna for better mobile broadband connectivity. It is completely flush when down; the ejection latch requires a fingernail to pull.

Keyboard and input

The keyboard arrangement on the 2760p is standard. The keys are square and tightly packed, but each has a recessed border that provides a feeling of space between keys. The springback is firm. While I normally type on larger keyboards, I found myself adapting quickly. The only media buttons are volume control (up, down and mute).

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Both a trackpad and trackpoint are included for cursor with two sets of left and right click buttons. The first set is located below the trackpad; the other is below the spacebar. The buttons offer a soft press, and the upper pair are more springy and clicky than the bottom. The trackpad is small and narrow and lacks a scrolling area (there is a jog dial on the bottom edge of the display, available only in tablet mode). The trackpoint is concave with a pattern of nubs for grip. With the pen + touch input of the display, this gives the user a redundant array of input options.

Performance

The 2760p is a business machine designed for performance. Base processor is Intel Core i5 2.3 GHz. Top end is Intel Core i7 2.7 GHz. An i3 option will be available later. My review unit was second from the top with Intel Core i5 2.6 GHz processor. Starting memory is 4 GB (2 x 2 GB), expandable up to 16 GB.

Storage options mirror this focus. All hard drive options are 2.5″ and 7200 rpm with 250/320/500 GB capacities and a self-encrypting option on 320. Sorry, no 10,000 rpm options. SSD options are 128/160 GB. My eval unit has the 250 GB drive. With Intel HD Graphics 3000, the 2760p provides good video performance, but is not a gaming machine.

Weight and battery life

Weight and battery life were covered in a separate segment that included a Shortcut video on attaching the slim extended battery. To sum up, with extended battery, it weighs in at 5 pounds but should be able to handle an 8-hour day (depending on usage).

Ports and Docking

The 2760p offers an impressive array of ports. There are three USB 2.0 ports, including one sleep charger. Video is VGA. One audio port handles both headphone and mic. Card slots include SD/MMC, Express Card/34, and Smart Card. Mini Firewire, Gigabit Ethernet, and phone modem round out the rest.

I also received the ultra-slim expansion base for evaluation. It adds a few features missing from the notebook, including an eSATA port, a DisplayPort, and a DVD-RW optical drive. In addition, there are a VGA port, three USB 2.0 ports, and an Ethernet port. Finally, there are two separate audio jacks, in and out.

Wireless connectivity

The 2760p features the full array of wireless options: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile broadband. Options include:

HP hs2340 HSPA+ Mobile Broadband
HP un2430 EV-DO/HSPA Mobile Broadband
Intel Centrino 802.11a/b/g/n
Broadcom 4322AGN 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi Adapter
Broadcom 802.11b/g/n
HP Integrated Module with Bluetooth 2.1+EDR Wireless Technology

Software

HP offers several pieces of custom software on their business-class PCs. Covered in other parts of my review are a power management utility, fast-launching OS HP QuickWeb, a connection manager, and security tools.

Specs

Below are the specs on the model I evaluated.

Processor Intel® Core™ i5-2520M (2.50 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000
Display 12.1″ diagonal LED-backlit WXGA UWVA -Pen and Touch (1280 x 800)
Hard Drive 320 GB 7200 rpm SATA II
Optical Drive No
Memory 4 GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n
Webcam HD webcam
Bluetooth module Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Fingerprint Reader Yes
Battery 6-cell (44 WHr) Li-Ion
Adapter 65W Smart AC adapter; HP Fast Charge
Price $1,599.00

 

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Comments

  1. Mary-Take says

    A quick question regarding the VGA outputs on the tablet and the expansion base itself. Would it be possible to hook up 2 displays, each using one VGA port? Creating a possible total of 3 screens?

    • Dale Strauss says

      My research and questions to HP got same response as my current 2740p – two through base VGA and Displayport – will not display on internal screen if two monitors are hooked to expansion base. 2d VGA is not accessible when in expansion base.

    • Sumocat says

      Lined up a spare monitor to test this only to discover the VGA port on the notebook is too blocked by the dock to be used. With the slim battery, it’s in the open but not high enough for a standard plug to fit. No go on two VGA at the same time.

  2. Mary-Take says

    A quick question regarding the VGA outputs on the tablet and the expansion base itself. Would it be possible to hook up 2 displays, each using one VGA port? Creating a possible total of 3 screens?

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