November 2, 2011
- Added-security features
- Lots of connectivity
- Outstanding performance
- Display size is too small for 1080p
The HP EliteBook 8560w is a 15.6-inch laptop that offers performance that excels to the top of its category because of its Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a speedy 750GB hard drive. It offers lots of connectivity and ports as well as discrete graphics, but we found the display to be a little small for the 1080p full HD resolution.
The HP EliteBook 8560w has a rather boxy design and size that puts in squarely in the desktop replacement category. In total, it measures 6.7 x 10.1 x 1.4-inches (wdh) and weighs almost 7-pounds, so you won't want to be lugging it around too much if you do use it while on-the-go. The lid has a black matte finish and the chassis of the 8560w feels quite sturdy and tough.
HP includes a full-sized keyboard with numeric keypad off to the right side. Both sets of keys are well-designed and nicely spaced for maximum comfort. The keys gave good tactile feedback with no noticeable flex. The keyboard is also backlit and spill-resistant, but we didn't dare test that claim. The touchpad is deeply recessed into the keyboard deck centered under the Space bar. We felt that the touchpad was too recessed into the body, but this is only a minor complaint. There's also a eraser head pointing stick embedded in the keyboard for users who like that "old-school" method of moving the mouse.
The 15.6-inch display has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080-pixels, which makes it full HD quality. While this might sound great, we felt that it should've only been 720p quality due to the smaller screen size than most other 1080p laptop displays. As a result, text was small and difficult to read even on occasions, especially while Web surfing. Other than that, the screen has good color quality and extremely wide viewing angles thanks to it being an IPS display.
HP puts an emphasis on security with this laptop, which also might explain why they market it toward small business users (but home users aren't left out either). There is a built-in fingerprint reader for secure login and password management as well as Intel's anti-theft technology that uses the wireless broadband card to disable the computer if missing or stolen and can also be used to track it via GPS capabilities.
In terms of connectivity, HP has left nothing out. The HP EliteBook 8560w has two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports (one is an eSATA combo port), VGA-out, a DisplayPort, the usual audio ports, an Expresscard/54 slot, gigabit Ethernet and an SD card reader. Wireless connectivity is also plentiful as there is 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 & 5GHz), Bluetooth and an integrated wireless broadband modem.
Specifications of the HP EliteBook 8560w include a quad-core Intel i7-2720QM CPU (2.2GHz), 16GB of memory, a 7200RPM 750GB hard drive and Nvidia Quadro 2000M graphics with 2GB of dedicated video memory. There is also a LightScribe-capable DVD+/-RW optical disc drive.
Performance with this laptop was top of the category in our tests. It is one of the best performing desktop replacement notebooks that we have tested. Users will find no issue mutlitasking, watching HD video or doing intensive tasks, like video encoding, because the 8560w handles it with ease.
Because of the discrete Nvidia graphics with 2GB of dedicated video memory, you can use this computer for 3D gaming, but don't set the game's graphics settings to full 1080p HD as the video card isn't quite strong enough for that, but the settings just below that work great.
With the 8-cell battery expect to get about 2.5-3 hours of battery life, which isn't great but considering what this computer offers in terms of performance, it's fairly decent.