Those in the market for a business-class convertible laptop have a new and powerful option in the new HP EliteBook 2760p. The 12.1-inch pen- and touch-enabled tablet sports Intel’s second generation chipset, better known as Sandy Bridge. We’ve seen the performance boost the new Intel chips bring to tablets and notebooks, so in terms of benchmarks, the EliteBook 2760p should blow away the competition from 2010.
The new EliteBook also promises to be more than speedy. HP claims the 2760p meets military standards (810G) for drop, vibration, dust, temperature, shock, altitude and high temperature. That doesn’t mean the new EliteBook is a rugged tablet, but it does mean it should easily shrug off the wear and tear of everyday business use.
With a base price of $1,599, users have the right to expect a quality build and superb performance. Does the EliteBook 2760p live up to its promise?
BUILD & DESIGN
EliteBooks have a reputation for toughness, and the 2760p is no different. At a glance, it resembles last year’s model, the HP EliteBook 2740p, complete with the same silver and black color scheme. HP refers to the chassis as a magnesium-aluminum hybrid as it features both materials. The magnesium elements include the back of the display and bottom, while the brushed aluminum can be found surrounding the keyboard and touchpad, as well as on the sturdy display hinge.
The black bottom half is slightly rubberized and easy to grip. The display panel is also grip friendly, with a segmented chunk of the back sporting a slighter coarser grain than the border. The aforementioned screen hinge protrudes slightly from the rear of the device, but not enough to function as a comfortable grip point.
The display rotates 180-degrees to the right and folds back over the keyboard to engage its tablet mode. One slight design flaw is that while the display snaps into place, there is a small amount of space between the keyboard and the screen’s back panel. It should be flush and the 2760p should function as one solid unit when in tablet mode, instead the display slightly “bounces” when pressed.
Overall, the 2760p feels solid, and though I didn’t test it, I gather it can withstand a few drops. In fact, HP claims it was tested to withstand 26 drops from 30 inches. The body displays very little creak or flex when stressed, with only the screen panel lid giving in slightly when pressed.
Turn the EliteBook 2760p over and you’ll see a flush battery and large access panel secured with three screws, which remain attached when the panel is removed. Underneath is the hard drive, RAM slot, and the Wi-Fi and WAN card. My review unit only had one accessible RAM slot, though there is another, factory-set RAM slot under the keyboad. Access is easy (though one screw securing the hard drive case was extremely tough to budge). Those looking to upgrade shouldn’t have any issues. In addition, the attached screws are a nice touch considering they are very small and easy to lose.
Ports and Features
The HP EliteBook 2760p has a similar port selection as the 2740p, which was fine in 2010, but a bit disappointing in 2011. While all the standard inputs are there, the most glaring omission is USB 3.0, which is nowhere to be found on the device.
Front: Power switch, indicator lights, speakers, display release switch
Rear: AC-power, LAN, VGA Out
Display: Scroll knob, esc button, orientation button, ctrl+alt+del button
Left: Pen slot, fan, SD/MMC card slot, ExpressCard/34 slot, wireless switch, 1394a port, USB 2.0 charging port
Right: Browser quick launch button, 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack, SmartCard reader, USB 2.0 ports x2, modem, security lock slot
Display: Fingerprint scanner
There are a few features on the 2760 display, including a pop-out wireless antenna extender, scroll knob for navigating and selecting items in Windows, esc button, orientation button, fingerprint scanner and a recessed ctrl+alt+del button that requires a pin or paperclip to push. Also, atop the display sits a small pop-out reading light that illuminates the keyboard. It’s a great feature for planes, and a good alternative to a backlit keyboard.
The only issue present with the display features is that there is no indication on the front of the display as to the location of the fingerprint scanner. I know it’s on the right and toward the bottom, but too often I found myself swiping blindly at the panel. I suppose I could have placed a little sticker on the display myself, but it’s still a small oversight on HP’s part.
That said, the fingerprint scanner was a breeze to set up and it was very responsive, often requiring one quick and correctly placed swipe to register.
HP also offers a thin optical drive expansion base that seems to be the same offered for the 2740p. With it comes a VGA port, Ethernet port, eSATA, USB 2.0 x 3, DisplayPort, audio in, audio out, power connector, notebook lock slot, and an optical drive.
Our review unit of the HP EliteBook 2760p features the following specifications:
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