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  • GeorgeH - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    They got rid of the middle mouse buttons!? It probably sounds silly, but for that reason alone I won't even be considering upgrading my current EliteBook to a new one. I've gotten used to the idea that 16x9 is inevitably in my future, but you can have my middle mouse button when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    Kudos to them for making the fan easily accessible for cleaning, though; cleaning it is a major PITA in the older models. Also the "p" EliteBooks have always had lousy graphics; the main selling point of the "w" models is the much better GPU.
    Reply
  • oshogg - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    My first thoughts exactly. No middle mouse buttons!!! How am I supposed to paste when I VNC into a remote X server session? Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    For my setup, I think it's a double, double-click (pressing the L/R mouse button synchronously, twice).

    I think people that really rely on this feature might consider getting an actual mouse (corded or bluetooth).
    Reply
  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    See there's this thing, I'm not sure if you heard of it. Called a mouse? It must be difficult, so I will post a link for you:

    http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&s...
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Gosh, I never knew that. How silly of me to expect a premium laptop marketed for business and power users to be fully featured when you can plug in an external device that'll provide the same functionality.

    You can also get external keyboards, hard drives, optical drives, screens, and networking cards. So let's do away with the 'ctrl' and 'alt' keys, more than 8GB HDDs, optical drives (OK, I actually agree with that one,) color screens, and anything faster than 802.11g. All of those deficiencies can be trivially fixed with external accessories, so what's the big deal?
    Reply
  • ionis - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Even if it did have a middle mouse button, I don't see why you wouldn't use an external mouse. They are extremely cumbersome to use. The only time you can't use one is if you're using your laptop while standing. Otherwise, plug in any laser mouse and you can use just about anything that isn't glass as a mousepad. Reply
  • GeorgeH - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I do use external mice; I've actually got 3 (1 fullsize USB, 1 fullsize BT, 1 travel size BT) that I use regularly with my laptop.

    The thing is my laptop spends a lot of its time being used as a laptop, not a portable desktop. If I'm using the laptop away from a convenient desk-like area with lots of room or am just not going to be somewhere for very long, breaking out a mouse can be impractical and annoying. Even when I'm at a desk with a mouse plugged in, I still sometimes use the touchpad simply because it's closer to the keyboard, which means I can select whatever I need to and get back to typing more quickly.

    I understand that many people can't use touchpads effectively, but if you've been forced to use one regularly for years they can be almost as good as real mice. For example, I can play Mass Effect on the hardest difficulty using a touchpad with no issues at all. I'm a little better with a mouse and twitchier (or MP) games widen the touchpad/mouse gulf considerably, but with enough practice touchpads can be very useful.

    That should at least give you some idea why I'd be upset at losing a valuable button on a touchpad, especially when there's absolutely no good reason for it not to be there. HP might be saving a couple of dollars by omitting it, but when I pay a premium for a laptop I expect premium design features, not cost-cutting ones.
    Reply
  • DanaG - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Here's why I actually 100% prefer touchpad: mice and trackballs give me repetitive strai, and make my hand hurt.

    These new EliteBooks are no longer worthy of being called Elite -- they're fugly, have weaksauce GPUs, and have lost the middle button.
    Apparently their designers must have fingers > 1.5 inches wide.
    Reply
  • DanaG - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Repetitive strain injury... Carpal tunnel is what you get when that gets too severe.
    God, HP, why do you need (what looks like) 2-inch wide buttons? The 3/4 inch wide buttons on my 8530w are wide enough!
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I too love the middle mouse button for "open in new tab" and "close tab".

    MrS
    Reply
  • misuspita - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Thank you sir, I didn't knew that function until now (close tab with middle button) :)) Reply
  • Ben90 - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I use the middle mouse button on my laptops religiously.

    I hate where new laptops are heading. 16:10 and 16:9 are absolutely horrible laptop form factors. 4:3 is insanely better. Are there any business class 4:3 laptops anymore?

    Also touch sensitives buttons suck balls. There are NO tangible advantages to having those over tactile switches.

    I honestly think the T60 is the best laptop ever created. Sandy Bridge notebooks can suck my 4:3 nuts.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I'm a Linux user, but I've been clicking left+right mouse button simultaneously to middle click for 15 years now.

    Does Windows STILL not behave the same way??
    Reply
  • peterfares - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    It's up to the mousepad drivers to support the feature.
    I don't know why, but the Synaptics (the best touch pad manufacture) disables the feature in most of their drivers. None of the laptops I have owned after 2006 support the feature. It remains in the drivers though, and all that you need to do to enable it is add one registry entry.
    DWORD 'HasBothButtonFeature' and set to 1 in
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Synaptics\SynTP\Defaults\
    Then log out and back in. Clicking both buttons for middle will with then work.
    Reply
  • Hallucinogen775 - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    "The bottom panel of the notebook is a single large piece that can be removed by simply squeezing a latch and sliding it off, allowing for easy access to all of the internals. It's such a smart idea that one wonders why it hasn't been seen before."

    Well, it has been seen before. With the introduction of the DELL Latitude E-Series they implemented pretty much the same thing. Remove one scre only and pull off the entire bottom panel.

    Official removal instructions:
    # Close the display and turn the computer upside down.
    # Loosen the captive screw.
    # Slide the bottom of the base assembly away from the hinge covers, and lift to remove the bottom of the base assembly.

    So... this is nothing new... it's a pity that the review says it would be (kind of).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the comment. We're aware that similar designs have been around, but they're rare. I've edited the text to reflect the intended meaning. Reply
  • davepermen - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    the 2550p and 2750p.. I hope the 2750p is out soon, I'm eager to replace my 2730p. Reply
  • flashbacck - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    any info on the dimensions of these laptops? Reply
  • John Smith - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    No W series? No IPS? Reply
  • mackintire - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    No class 2 graphics? Radeon 6750 mobility or Geforce 540M?

    Then I am not upgrading from my older Elitebook with its Radeon 2600XT

    At least consider giving it a a Raedon 6500 or something equalivent
    Reply
  • oshogg - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I would like to know more about the W series and IPS display possibility as well. Reply
  • oshogg - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I wonder why HP doesn't provide an option similar to Thinkpad's bay battery. The amount of space used by a CD/DVD drive is a big waste for many business users. Pretty much all of file I/O is done via USB thumb drives. Most software installations are done via network (including the OS install in many corporate environments).

    Osho
    Reply
  • peterfares - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    +1. Or just have some models which omit the drive to make the computer smaller, with the option of a slice battery which will make it the normal size while extending the battery life.
    This isn't 4 years ago where omitting the optical drive was a big deal. No one uses them anymore.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    "Sales of ultraportables out here are fairly low while the Asian markets tend to eat them up and forego the larger desktop replacement models."

    LOL - that's probably because the average US-citizen weights about twice as much as the average Asian. Well.. sorry, just kidding.
    Actually I've recently been to Sydney and seen an absolutely amazing amount of huge cars with V6 and V8 engines. But apparently they're not driving them because they'd be so fat - no, it's because the city is built like one huge suburb with plenty of space everywhere.

    MrS
    Reply
  • YpoCaramel - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    Token Asian reporting in here: I in fact do use a 12" Asian Probook 5220, replaced an eeePC with it and it's a good machine, I welcome the extra power. That said, it's very slightly bigger and I would prefer something even more 'ultraportable' haha Reply
  • jah1subs - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    As a business user looking at these new notebook computers, my first consideration, assuming adequate specifications is: are the displays matte or glossy.

    I am using a Dell Vostro 1500 and the display bothers my eyes for reading almost anything.

    Are these displays going to be easy on the eyes?

    Or, do we even know enough to guess whether or not they have a chance of being easy on the eyes?

    Since these are more expensive than consumer notebooks, I am hoping this is the case.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Unless something changed since the last iteration, ProBook and EliteBook are all matte (thank goodness!) It baffles me how the whole business world generally goes with matte, but then somehow the consumer market is 99% glossy. Businesses - that actually use their systems for work - prefer glossy. And no one seems to think that some consumers would prefer matte as well? Of course, the latest matte LCDs are horrible on contrast and color (like 200:1 contrast at best), unless you get a really expensive display (Dell RGB LED, HP DreamColor, etc.) Reply
  • Justin Time - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    "somehow the consumer market is 99% glossy"

    Mfgs have done their homework, and they know that consumers prefer to buy glossy and shiny baubles over dull and practical.... New + Shiny = Better.
    Reply
  • VJ - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    Consumers in a shop will typically always prefer the glossy item when it's been setup next to the matte item. I actually prefer less contrast and feel that many of these 'objective' measurements found in tests are misleading. My HP with it's 1680x1050 (purchased in 2008 for 710 euro incl. VAT) may not score as high in these tests but the screen looks like paper with colors which I prefer to many Mac Books and the likes I see around me. Then again, I used to turn down contrast and brightness on my TV, especially when viewing for longer periods of time.

    You may prefer high contrast air brushed paintings over a van Gogh, like many people prefer Adderall over a balanced life style. Laptop manufactures are like drug dealers.
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    As an IT Architect I've had just about every laptop brand there is issued to me at one time or another. The HP W series are easily the best PC laptops I have ever used. I much prefer Macs but if you must use Windows these are the way to go. On the other hand I think HP's consumer series of laptops are cheap pieces of junk. There is also a huge difference between HP's business support and consumer support. Reply
  • chiddy - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Also very interested if updated line will include W series, IPS, W/Station graphics etc. Reply
  • mschira - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    All very nice but where are simple stats such as weight etc.
    The look nice, but they also look heavy....
    In particular what would the weight of the 14" elitebook with 32h battery be - that's what it all comes down to in my book.

    So no real number here all just noise, moving on nothing to see.
    M.
    Reply
  • AmdInside - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I dunno. These look so ugly compared to dells business laptops. Maybe they look better in person. Reply
  • bigd33ns - Saturday, February 26, 2011 - link

    Have you seen the new line of Lattitude and Precision Laptops that's coming in march?

    They are most ugly. They look like consumer laptop with a much more rounded shape. They look really cheap and makes me think of their Studio lineup. I love their current lineup though.

    On Topic, I was also really disapointed by the lack of GPU power. My 8530P currently has an Radeon 3650 which is 2 years older in design but still manages to be comparable. I understand that they won't put a premium GPU in this P line (Thinking about the W line) but I was maybe looking for a Radeon 6550M with good memory. That would have been much better and versatile.

    Also, the move back to AMD is a good one. Since the G8x and G9x fiasco in laptops during the mid-end 2000's I will never ever buy a mobile Nvidia product again.
    Reply
  • Byte - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Im in the market for an i7 2xxx series. These look pretty decent. Middle mouse button can be done with two buttons if they are implemented in the drivers, just press both buttons at the same time. There are a few laptops where you can just push them both with one thumb. The easiest is my Dell 1705, what a great notebook, they just don't make em like they use to. All the new don't even have physical buttons. The older DVXXXX series at least had buttons that can be thumbable middle buttoned. Also the newer synaptic drivers remove this function all together so you have to find old driver. I use the middle button as much as I use the right button. This makes using the laptop in bed way easier, if i want to use a mouse, i'd go to my desktop.

    The more i look at the new stuff the more i'm thinking maybe I should just find a used 1705 for around $200ish.
    Reply
  • LaptopDoc - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    As a retired IBM engineer with a laptop repair business, I am somewhat puzzled as to why nobody seems concerned about HP's failure rate and warranty/service policies. Over 60% of the laptops that come into my shop (last 3 years) have been HPQ. Grated most of these have been retail models (DV, CQ, and G series), but the internal build quality of HP products has certainly gone to hell....but they sure are pretty. A little less attention on marketing hype (ie..Beats commercial) and a bit more on thermal packaging would be appreciated. Most of them, especially the AMD packages, are little furnaces. Reply
  • Taft12 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    As someone with a laptop repair business and former engineer, how have you not noticed this is true for all low-end consumer laptops for the last few years regardless of brand? They all compete on price only and are equally trash.

    The HP laptops this article is about are nothing like those.
    Reply
  • mike8675309 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Please remind HP when they show stuff off like this to you. Sure, the screen size has some impact but if not a proper resolution, who cares how big or small it is? Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    "It's fair to say the refreshes HP announced for their consumer computers earlier this month seemed fairly lackluster. While nobody can complain about improved notebook speakers and the triumphant return of dedicated mouse buttons, there wasn't anything else remarkably fresh or exciting about their spring line."

    If the refresh includes reliability, it would be fresh and exciting. I've seen far more reliability issues with HP consumer laptops than, say, Dell's consumer products. Overheat issues, solder joins causing power-on or fan-sensor problems, etc. I can't comment for the business line, (see my bottom question).

    "The bottom panel of the notebook is a single large piece that can be removed by simply squeezing a latch and sliding it off, allowing for easy access to all of the internals. It's such a smart idea that one wonders why we don't see it more often—we'd love to get such a feature on more consumer laptops!"

    Dell's been doing it for a bit on their business Latitudes, and possibly some Vostros. Looks to me like HP might just be using the same builder for some of their new designs.

    One question: Is HP's pricing becoming more competitive? My past two business notebook purchases, I've been able to get both equivalent Dell or Lenovo for cheaper, which ruled out HP from the start.
    Reply
  • Scipio Africanus - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    The Elitebook line has been very good but just so pricey. My 8530w is just a great machine. I owned its predecessors as well, the 8510p and the nc8430. I'm not too sure about the Mac-y look myself and the graphics card blows. They'll most likely introduce a 8560w which will have hopefully a way better graphics card. They are built like tanks though and I hope this continues. Reply
  • Jellodyne - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    We picked up a Probook 4250s to evaluate for work as a possible replacement for the Dells we buy, and the big thing I see it's missing is a real dock option -- the USB 2.0 dock is a half solution, requiring you to hook up both a usb cable and a power cord to the laptop to 'dock', and it lacks a power button -- you have to open the laptop to power it on. As far as I can tell the USB 2.0 dock is the standard for the whole line. The only USB ports on the Probook are all located on either side, right by the front of unit, which is frankly awkward to use IMO. What ever happened to ports on the back of laptops? The side of this thing is jam packed with ports, and the back is blank. The USB dock comes with a DVI port, so presumably you're working off some sore of USB video card while you're 'docked' -- it works slick and doesn't seem to be a problem for what we use them for, but if you're looking to do any video intensive work while docked it might be an issue. Or it might not, I don't know, we really didn't stress it.

    Anyway, Dell's docks are awkward to get the laptop into, but at least it's a real dock. But their actual laptops are crap, performance wise. So I suppose we're still looking for their replacement.
    Reply
  • nbrenner72 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    I just started a new job and got a shiny aluminum lid HP EliteBook with a Core i7, so I was thinking I had one these refreshed models that is referenced in the article. Although, I don't have a single piece underbelly and it would appear I only have USB2 based on looking up the Intel 3400 Series chipset info. My model is the 2540p. Hard drive is slow as dirt and graphics are rather poor (Intel HD - or so running dxdiag tells me). Anywho, the article just confused me a bit because it sounded excited to talk about these shiny new aluminum models that are coming out soon (and yes I have the rubber bumpers under the lid too) with Core i7s and what not, and that is what I've had for a month or so now, but without some of the other bells and whistles mentioned (i.e. USB3) Reply
  • HMTK - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    Is nobody bothered by the numeric keypad on the 15" models? IMO a 15" notebook is not wide enough to include such a thing. A decent keyboard isn't even available as an option it seems. Guess it'll be a Vostro or Latitude E5510 for me then even though I can have HP's at resellers price.

    Besides that, I hate most recent laptops because for some idiotic reason, suppliers have switched to 16:9 displays of questionable resolution. As if 16:10 wasn't bad enough...

    As for the article, I can't seem to find any specific model numbers which make the article rather useless. "And in further news, BMW has a announced a new car. It features 4 wheels, an engine and some pedals. A roof is optional."
    Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    can't wait till the review, I may get one of these. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, March 05, 2011 - link

    What is business? Webpages, code, and documents. All of which are portrait. 1050 vertical, whether it's 14.1" 1400x1050 or 15.4" 1680x1050, is a must. (btw, Apple still sells the latter) And look at all that wasted bezel on these HPs. Reply
  • beginner99 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Is there any more info available if the graphics are switchable? The 6470m isn't exactly a powerhouse and if I lose QuickSync for it, I would say I don't really need it. Also how much faster is it than HD-graphics? not much I would say? Reply

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