HP Compaq 2710p laptop - First Look review

0 out of 5
TBA

For

Size, battery life, QuickLook

Against

DVD extra, extended battery life exta, no touchpad

Being called a lightweight is not want you want to hear in the drinking dens of London, however that's exactly what HP newly announced HP Compaq 2710p laptop is - lightweight.

We got our hands on one at the HP Making Connections summit in Shanghai, so should you be packing this in your bag? We getting tapping to find out.

At 1.65kg or 3.6lbs its one of the lightest laptops around, and sports a 12.1 touchscreen that swivels so you can use it as a tablet PC. We say use, because HP is keen not for this laptop to be branded as one, moreover it prefers the name "convertible".

Tablet or convertible, what we do know from our brief play is that it looks like a very nice laptop to use, stow or travel with. The brushed aluminium casing gives it a tough outer shell against damage and there are lots of nice features that will appeal to the business traveller.

Those looking to video conference will be pleased with the offering. The 2710p includes a built-in camera and microphone, and those keen to work in the dark will enjoy the rather gimmicky, but none the less working Nightlight which at the press of a button ejects a light that then steals some of the light from the display and shines it down on the keyboard. What is wrong with illuminated keys we aren't sure, but HP does offer them here.

But the camera has another trick up its sleeve - a business card scanner. No you don't have to hold the camera still, but after simple turning the device to macro mode and then closing the lid until the laptop beeps at you, you can then slip a business card into the holder built into the case and scan away. The included software then scans the card and depending on the design does its best to give you the details. In our brief test it faired average in scanning our details, however we just know this is going to be one of those "hey look at this" features for users wanting to show off at a sales meeting.

No slouch when it comes to connectivity, the laptop includes Wi-Fi and Blutooth with the option of HP's HSDPA module as well so you can connect to the Internet when there appears to be no other option. The 2710p also comes with network ports and a 56k modem if you prefer the wired option.

What it doesn't come with however is a DVD drive. This has been lost in that weight shifting exercise and if you do want to have the ability to play CDs or DVDs then you'll need to opt for the optional docking station, that gives you this and plenty more ports.

Also worth a look is the optional battery pack for business travellers or those who hate having to find a plug. Plugging in, in addition to the regular battery, HP has designed the module to be a thin sheet that sits under the laptop. Once connected its virtually seemless, but and here's the great bit it will offer you a further 6 hours of charge giving you an overall total of 10 hours. Long enough for most long-haul flights.

Other features include QuickLook, which allows users to check calendars, email and other personal information within 10 seconds of the PC coming out of its hibernation mode.

Verdict

At a first glance we really like the HP Compaq 2710p. The design, although lacking a touchpad for a mouse nipple, is small, compact, but certainly stylish enough to give Sony Vaio a run for its money.

Likewise it might not have a disc drive but with that 10 hour battery life (with the optional battery) and a host of other tech including an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up to 2048MB of memory and a 100GB hard drive there is plenty here, before you even start to consider the tablet functionality.

Expect a full review later this year. The HP Compaq 2710p is due out in July.