HP Compaq 2510p notebook

HP is currently the best selling notebook manufacturer in the world, largely due to its diverse range of corporate machines. The Compaq 2510p is aimed at business users looking for a fully-featured but lightweight notebook.

The look is very much in keeping with HP’s other business machines, with the bezel around the screen and the keyboard being black but the rest of the body is a slate-grey colour that is fairly uniform and understated. However, the overall design and build is tougher than we were expecting and feels reassuringly solid in the hand.

The Compaq weighs in at 1.5kg, which is certainly portable and we found carry it around was easy, even when commuting with it for a couple of days. Sadly, battery life didn't live up to expectations as we only managed to run this notebook for a little over 2 hours before needing to recharge it.

The screen is a standard 12.1-inch TFT panel, which helps cut down on reflections when using it outside but it does mean colours tend to look a little flat when watching movies or trying to edit photos. Graphics are handled by an integrated Intel X3100 chip, which is fine for basic tasks and will run video and presentations with a fair degree of speed.

Below the screen sits the keyboard, which is of a good size and certainly up to HP's current high standard for build quality. The keys are nearly full size and being firmly attached proved responsive and comfortable to use. With both a touchpad and pointing stick for moving the cursor around the screen you can use whichever is more practical.

When it comes to performance, HP has opted to use the Intel 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo U7600 processor, which is an ultra-low voltage CPU designed for battery life rather than straight performance. However, it is dual-core, so you'll find the system can run multiple applications at the same time.

However, with just 1024MB of memory, you'll find performance is rather sluggish, largely due to the use of Windows Vista Business sapping most of the resources. The main specification is rounded out by an 80GB hard drive. This drive is shock protected, so should you drop the notebook, the read heads automatically park, so reducing potential damage to the system.

We were hoping its battery life would suit its portable design. However, with a battery life of less than 3 hours, it is fine for using around the office but you'll find it less than ideal when using out and about.

When it comes to extra features you'll find a DVD rewriter is built-in, as is a card reader. Sadly, this is only compatible with the SD card format. To help keep your data secure, there is also a biometric fingerprint scanner built into the device.

Verdict

The HP Compaq 2510p is a fairly average machine for the asking price. Sure, its light weight and the build quality are highly impressive but we were let down by the rather average battery life.