So I have been doing my homework on laptops over the past month-ish because I wanted to replace my “desktop replacement” laptop (17” HP DV9418CA) with a more portable yet still functional for what I really use it for laptop. Don’t get me wrong my current lappy is a fine machine (when running XP pro) and has a lot of bells and whistles but portable it isn’t and lacks in the memory dept (max 2GB).
I have owned 3 laptops over the last 5-6 years; all have been HP and never had any issues to date. Because of this HP was top of the list for a replacement but unfortunately their latest line based on my research has had some cooling issues along with some lackluster components (LCD display, HDs) (this based on the chatter of various user forums I used for research not actual defects).
Some of my requirements were:
2.0 GHz or higher dual core CPU
Supports over 4GB RAM
Supports Wireless B, G, N
Supports 10/100/1000 GB LAN
15.4” (or less) LCD (matte finish) (supports 1280 x 800 or higher)
I ended up dropping the consumer grade and moving into the business class machines which are more expensive but it is all relative since the features you would pay for on a consumer machine you get automatically in a business machine for example a basic 3 year warranty.
In the end I picked the HP EliteBook 8530p, it had all of the requirements, was a name I trusted based on previous experience, was given better than average reviews on various sites that review laptops and had lots of satisfied users on the various user forums. Also I was impressed by the actual technology that went into the design and structure of the 2008 models as seen here in this breakdown video made by HP. Now maybe it’s all FUD but none the less I have had the laptop for a week and so far it has gone above and beyond my expectations (knock on wood).
The laptop came with no applications installed other than the HP software and the drivers which was cool; no other crappy trial-ware garbage to remove, packaging was very simple yet effective. The machine came with Vista Business SP1 (x64) and a downgrade license for XP (x86), I stuck with Vista. I also purchased Office 2007 Pro and bit the bullet; a 4GB PC6400 memory module from Crucial bringing the total memory to 6GB.
Note: I purchased the memory through TigerDirect.ca by calling one of the sales team directly. Even though they don't list the memory they can purchase anything from their suppliers at a discounted cost. The memory module ended up costing less going this route (pricing for this item on CAN sites was often over $500 bills if you could find it) than it would have buying it directly from Crucial w/exchange w/shipping w/brokerage fees, plus I got 2 day delivery on the memory for the price of ground shipping FTW!!!