HP EliteBook 6930p review
14 in 1,280x800 display, 2.4kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 2.00GB RAM, 160GB disk, Windows Vista Business
HP's EliteBook 6930p is clearly a business laptop, but it's an attractive one, partly thanks to its brushed metal lid.
It's aimed squarely at business users so it has a smartcard slot and, unusually, a webcam that can also be used to scan and digitise your business cards. You have to angle the screen at a card, which rests in a slot beneath the touchpad. It works fairly well for most cards, but like any OCR software, you'll have to make a few corrections as it's not 100 per cent accurate.
There are other features that will appeal to everyone, though, such as its lengthy three-year collect-and-return warranty. The battery lasted an impressive five-and-a-half hours, but at 2.4kg the EliteBook is a little heavier than we'd like for regular travel.
The EliteBook has both a touchstick and touchpad. The touchpad is small but accurate, but the buttons are a bit spongy. The keyboard has an odd grainy texture, but the keys feel responsive with just the right amount of travel; it's a good keyboard overall. A small pop-out light sits above the screen. It's nowhere near as bright as Apple's or Asus's illuminated keyboards, but it still lights up the keys enough so you can work in dim conditions.
The 14in widescreen display has a matt finish, reducing glare caused by reflections. Unfortunately, it's the dimmest screen here, with colours that look particularly washed out. The lid feels rigid and tilts back until it lies almost parallel with the keyboard, unlike others that have limited tilt.
The 6930p has only 2GB of RAM, which is a little stingy at this price, but its 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo P8600 processor performed well in our Windows benchmarks. As we would have expected, the integrated Intel graphics chip isn't powerful enough for 3D gaming. The 160GB hard disk is disappointingly small - we'd expect more storage at this price - but it's enough for office documents.
It may have a long three-year warranty, but this is the most expensive laptop here. Unless you need its business features or portability, the HP EliteBook isn't great value.