HP ProBook 4530s review
HP’s ProBook range sits between the business-focused EliteBook series and the more consumer oriented Pavilion laptops. The 4530s is a good example: its brushed-metal finish, simple yet sleek design and high performance components won’t look out of place in the boardroom, but the dedicated graphics card, DVD optical drive and spacious 640GB hard disk make it a potential multimedia powerhouse too.
Powered by an Intel Core i5-2410m running at 2.3GHz and paired with 4GB of RAM, the 4530s is about what we would expect from a mid-range laptop. The processor can use Turbo Boost to speed up to 2.9GHz when running intensive applications such as our multimedia benchmarks. An overall score of 52 is slightly lower than other Core i5 laptops we’ve seen, but still more than enough for everyday tasks such as web browsing, word processing and image editing.
Because it has 1GB of dedicated video memory, the AMD HD 6390M graphics card is a welcome step up from the processor's integrated chip. Both can handle high definition video, either at 720p on the laptop or 1080p on an external display, but only the AMD chip could manage games. A stable 26fps in our Dirt 3 test proves most games should be playable at 720p as long as you’re sensible with the detail options. Thankfully, the dedicated graphics don’t impact significantly on battery life and five-and-a-half hours in our light-use test is respectable for a 15in laptop.
We had no trouble using the 4530s in direct sunlight thanks to the matt finish on the 15.6in display. The 1,366x768 resolution is just about large enough for working on two documents side-by-side, but we would have liked to have seen a slightly higher resolution at this price. Brightness was reasonable, but colours hardly popped off the screen without a glossy finish. There was ample screen tilt, but viewing angles were only average.
The downward-firing speakers produced reasonably loud audio of average quality. Although mid-range notes were clear, the high-end was overly tinny and there was no audible bass. Although this is fine for watching streaming internet video, we would still recommend connecting a set of speakers when watching a movie.
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