Long battery life with extended battery; Durable design; Wide viewing angles; Strong overall performance
Relatively heavy; Small touchpad
The HP EliteBook 2570p combines long battery life with a rock-solid design and smart software, making it a compelling business ultraportable.
HP's Elitebook line of enterprise-friendly notebooks has long offered business users a strong combination of power, durability and flexibility. The 12.5-inch EliteBook 2570p continues this tradition with solid performance, a MILSPEC-tested chassis, HP's powerful ProtectTools security software, a wide variety of ports and an optical drive you don't normally see in a system this size. Is this $829 notebook the right buy for your business?
Design and DurabilityLenovo ThinkPad X230 weighs just 3.4 pounds with its 6-cell battery, though it doesn't have an optical drive option. The HP Elitebook 2170p weighs 3.2 pounds.
Keyboard, Mouse and Touchpad
Like other EliteBooks, the 2570p also has a pointing stick between its G and H keys. While we like pointing sticks in general, because they provide more accurate navigation around the desktop than touchpads, HP's implementation leaves much to be desired. The stick itself is a little too low relative to the keys and its rough, concave surface felt rough on our finger. It also has only left and right click buttons, lacking the middle scroll button found on Lenovo ThinkPads, Dell Latitudes and some larger Elitebooks. However, we still found using the stick more pleasant than moving around on the tiny touchpad.
Display and Audio
The EliteBook 2570p's dual, front-mounted speakers produce audio that's loud enough to fill a large conference room, but a bit too tinny to double as a stereo. When we played bass heavy tunes like Kool and the Gang's "Summer Madness" or Patrice Rushen's "Forget Me Nots," audio was distortion-free and we could even hear a separation of sound between instruments on the left and right side. However, when we played hard rock tunes like Dio's "Holy Diver" or Megadeath's "Symphony of Destruction," the guitar and drums sounded very tinny.
Ports and Webcam
The 720p webcam provided sharp, detailed images even in low light. When we took a photo of our face in a dark area of our living room, fine details like the hair follicles in our beard were clear, though the image suffered from some visual noise. Color quality improved when we enabled Night Mode in the bundled webcam software. Images taken under direct indoor light were both colorful and detailed.
The EliteBook 2570p stayed pleasantly cool throughout our tests. After streaming video at full screen for 15 minutes, the touchpad measured just 80 degrees, the keyboard a mere 81 degrees and the bottom a chilly 82 degrees Fahrenheit. We consider temperatures below 90 degrees Fahrenheit imperceptible to the user.
The EliteBook 2570p's 500GB, 7,200 rpm hard drive booted Windows 7 in a modest 50 seconds, slightly slower than the 43-second category average. The drive took 3 minutes to complete the LAPTOP File Transfer test, which involves copying 4.97GB of mixed media files. That's a rate of 28.3 MBps, about 50 percent slower than the 44.1 MBps category average, but about on par with the hard-drive driven ThinkPad X230 (30.5 MBps) and EliteBook 2170p (32.8 MBps).
The 2570p's Core i5 CPU allowed it to complete the LAPTOP OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro test, in which we match 20,000 names against their addresses, in just 4 minutes and 56 seconds. That's a full minute faster than the 5-minute, 57-second category average, but just a bit slower than the 2.6-GHz Core i5 powered Lenovo ThinkPad X230 (4:29).
The Elitebook also had enough computational power to transcode a 5- minute HD video to iPod touch form in just 19 seconds, less than half the speed of the 44-second category average. However, the ThinkPad X230 was 3 seconds faster.
The EliteBook 2570p is powerful enough to play full HD and even 4K offline videos without dropping any frames. On 3DMark11, a synthetic test that measures graphics prowess, the notebook scored just 587, less than the 725 category average and a few points behind the ThinkPad X230 (618).
When we tried playing "World of Warcraft" at autodetect settings, the Elitebook 2570p managed a barely playable frame rate of 29 fps. However, that rate dropped down to an unplayable 15 fps when we turned the settings and special effects up. Those numbers compare unfavorably to the 50 fps / 24.7 fps category averages.
With its extended, 9-cell battery on board, the EliteBook 2570p weighs an additional 0.4 pounds, but lasted a strong 10 hours and 38 minutes on our test. However, the ThinkPad X230 with 9-cell battery lasted an even-stronger 12 hours and 17 minutes.
Our review unit carries a price of $829. For that price, you get the Core i5-3210M CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB 7,200 rpm hard drive and Windows 7 Professional (64-bit). However, HP also sells versions of the 2570p with faster Intel Core series processors, an SSD option, Windows 8 instead of Windows 7, and an optional modem port. For $1,499, you get the same 500GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM as our review unit, but with a Core i7-3520M processor. Spending $1,449 gets you a version with a 2.6-GHz Core i5-3320M CPU and a 180GB SSD in lieu of a hard drive.
No matter what configuration you buy, you can attach a $199 docking station that lets you connect to stationary peripherals on your desk and charge your notebook -- all with one snap-in connection.
|CPU||2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-3210M|
|Operating System||MS Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)|
|RAM Upgradable to||16GB|
|Hard Drive Size||500GB|
|Hard Drive Speed||7,200rpm|
|Hard Drive Type||SATA Hard Drive|
|Secondary Hard Drive Size|
|Secondary Hard Drive Speed|
|Secondary Hard Drive Type|
|Optical Drive||DVD+/-RW DL|
|Optical Drive Speed|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Wi-Fi Model||Broadcom BCM943228HM4L 802.11a/b/g/n|
|Touchpad Size||3 x 1.4 inches|
|Card Slots||5-1 card reader|
|Warranty/Support||One year standard warranty on parts and labor|
|Size||12 x 8.2 x 1.1 inches|
|Weight||4.2 pounds / 4.6 pounds (with extended battery)|