HP Elitebook 2760P review – a top 12 inch enterprise tablet PC

Mark September 22, 2012 Reviews 1 Comment

The professional tablet niche is a tough one to sell, but the newly launched HP 2760P is definitely a worthy contestant. Like always, HP went the extra mile with their Enterprise aimed devices and built a very solid convertible 12.1 inch tablet notebook, which is said to have military degree sturdiness- it actually went through a couple of army tests for shock, drops, temperature, hazardous environment and more.

But there’s a little bit of Thor also under the hood, as the 2760P runs on Intel’s Sandy Bridge platform, which is basically the weapon of choice for most competitive laptops out there- and now you also get it on a tablet. The 2760P has a base price of 1600 bucks, and for those money you should get the ultimate business device, no cutting corners, no excuses. But is HP’s latest tank with a touchscreen all that? Find out from the review for this 12.1 inch convertible laptop tablet.

Specs

The 2760P has a solid hardware configuration, packing an i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM and you can even expand it with an optical drive. Anyway, there a couple of customization options available, including an extra battery slice, but those will also make the price tag go berserk. Specs bellow.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2540M (2.60 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache)
  • Display: 12.1-inch diagonal LED-backlit WXGA UWVA, pen and touch (1280 x 800)
  • Video: Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • System memory: 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage: 320GB 7200 rpm SATA II
  • Operating system: Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
  • Connectivity: Intel Centrino 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Ports and features: 3 USB 2.0 port (one charging), VGA, 1394a, 3.5mm, SD/MMC, Express Card 3/4, Smart Card, Fingerprint reader, HD webcam
  • Battery: 6-cell (44 WHr) li-ion,
  • Dimensions: 11.42 x 8.35 x 1.27 inches
  • Weight: starting at 3.97 lbs

Usually, laptops over 1000 bucks have dedicated video cards, but the 2760P lacks one. It kind of doesn’t need one, considering that it’s a business notebook and a dedicated video card occupies space and harasses the battery. Still, it hurts to see $1600 and Intel HD Graphics 3000 as facts for the same device.

Build and design

Although HP doesn’t name the 2760P a rugged notebook, it kind of is. For a 12 incher, the convertible has a Mr. T profile- it’s basically twiceas thick as the Samsung Series 9 and MBA and heavier than many 13.3 inchers, but we won’t pity the fool owning it. That’s because the aluminum-magnesium alloy used to build this Elitebook feels great and surely does its job when it comes to protecting the device.

The lid cover is made mainly from magnesium, as well as the bottom of the laptop. The finish is top notch when it comes to sturdiness, but it lacks a little finesse. I know that industrial design sells like gold, but something which at least emulates Samsung 9 Series’s look would have been a walk to remember. The area around the keyboard, the palm rest and display hinge are made from aluminum.

Overall, everything feels very solid, including the rotating parts. When swirling the display and morphing into tablet mode, the hinge feels solid and nothing is shaky there. But there is one slight problem- when the display turns and falls over the keyboard to go into tablet mode, there’s a little space between the chassis and the keyboard, like a book that won’t close because of a pen left as a bookmark. It might not bother you too much, but it’s definitely something that takes from the apparent perfection of the notebook.

The rotating mechanism on the 2760P is great and the moving parts feel very solid

The rotating mechanism on the 2760P is great and the moving parts feel very solid

The bottom has a slightly rubberized finish and thus has a great grip. You can access a RAM slot and WAN card via some reasonably large panels, which should prove easy to use by any user. Also, you get some spare screws, which might prove useful, considering they’re small and really easy to loose. Ports wise, the 2760P has almost the setup of the 2740P, which means no USB 3.0 port. It’s a punch we take begrudgingly, considering that this should be a normal feature on any new laptop, especially on an expensive one.

In front you’ve got speakers, power switch, indicator lights, on the back AC power, VGA and LAN, while on the back edge of the display there are a couple of controls for when in tablet mode- ctrl+alt+del button, scroll knob, Esc and orientation button. On the left, you’ve got the pen slot, a fan, SD card slot, ExpressCard slot, wireless switch and a charging USB 2.0 port. On the right there’s a browser quick launch button, headphone jack, SmartCard reader, 2 USB 2.0 ports and a security lock slot.

Keyboard and touch pad

The 2760P has a chiclet style keyboard, with flat and so and so silent keys. The actual typing experience is pretty good, and the keys are kind of large; still, considering there’s no space between them, some typos might occur, especially if you’re not accustomed with cramped keyboards. On a brighter note, the keys feel solid and don’t flex too much.

As for the touch pad, it’s reasonably accurate, supports two finger gestures and the texture is nice, but it’s very small. The mouse buttons are clearly separated and are easy to use, while for Lenovo nostalgics out there, you have a track point impersonator in the middle of the keyboard.

Display

The convertible has a 12.1 inch, 1280 x 800 display with touch support and an anti glare coating. The later is always a good thing, as glossy displays offers limited usage, which usually excludes outdoors. The matte coating, however, reduces brightness and working for a long period of time might prove tiresome. On the other hand, viewing angles are great, as the screen is visible even from extreme angles and from the sides.

The included Wacom pen works fine, even with the standard calibration. It adheres to the screen easily, and there’s a great synergy between the tip of the pen and the display- it’s neither slippery or sticky and the pen will slide perfectly on the surface. As for touch input, the display is acceptably responsive, but the experience is partially hindered by Windows 7′s sluggishness when it comes to touch input. If possible, you’re better off using the keyboard or the pen.

The display has a matte coating and is fairly responsive, both to touch and pen input

The display has a matte coating and is fairly responsive, both to touch and pen input

Hardware and performance

The convertible comes with a second generation Sandy Bridge Core i5-2540M processor, 4 GB of RAM and a fast 320 GB, 7200 rpm HDD, which is a configuration with enough punch even for a large laptop, not to say for a 12 inch tablet moonlighting as a mini notebook. The performance is great, with the 2760P matching category colleagues, like Lenovo’s ThinkPad X220t, HP Touchsmart tm2t or Fujitsu Lifebook T4410.

The 2760P scored almost 5000 points in 3DMark06, which tests gaming capabilities and over 8000 points in PCMark05, that tests overall system performance. The device can deal with all types of apps, excepting newer games and video editing software; browsing, editing documents and using productivity software all work flawlessly.

Heat, noise and speakers

The convertible is quiet and cool. Most of the time, you won’t even hear the fan kicking in and you’ll know it’s on only if you place your hand in front of the vent. As for heat, the maximum temperature was 98 degrees Fahrenheit, on the bottom, and only during tests, which are way more demanding than normal apps.

Overall, this machine won’t bother you with heat and noise. As for sound, the speakers are great, dare we say some of the best on this class of products. Sound is clear and crisp and can easily fill a large room. This is great especially for conferencing and video calls and will probably be a hit amongst suits that Hangout.

Battery

With WiFi on, brightness at 70%, Windows 7 set on balanced and looping a web page every 60 seconds, the device went on for almost 5 hours. That’s a very decent number and means that it might go on for even longer in normal use conditions. However, you can add an extra slice  battery and get about 10 to 11 hours of autonomy, which is more than even a workaholic might ask for.

The chiclet keyboard is good, but not great

The chiclet keyboard is good, but not great

Prices and availability

The 2760P is available in the US for a price of $1599, and for about 150 bucks more, you can get also the optical expansion base.

In Europe the convertible goes for 1547 euros, directly from HP’s website.

Final thoughts

The 2760P is a very well executed convertible netbook and was built with an eye for detail. The construction is very solid and the screen is both responsive and offers good viewing angles.

The Sandy Bridge platform provides optimal performance with virtually any productivity app, while the battery assures almost all day autonomy.

Still, we were a little disappointed by the lack of a USB 3.0 port and about the little build flaw that doesn’t allow you to hermetically lock the screen over the keyboard when in tablet mode. These are not major problems and are easy to work with, so in the end the 2760P is an admirable Enterprise machine.

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About The Author

Mark is an Editor here at tlbhd.com . He's studying Screenwriting and Production in "sunny" London and in his spare time, he works as an IT editor for a couple of mobile publications, like this one.

1 Comment

  1. Guest January 23, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Thanks, interesting review

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