HP EliteBook 2540p notebook
HP's EliteBook 2540p is small, strong, fast and expensive!
- Strong chassis, small yet powerful, ships with useful security tools, less than 2kg, integrated optical drive
- Still has some annoying preinstalled software, slow hard disk, expensive
Even though it's a small laptop, the 12in EliteBook 2540p is no mug when it comes to performance. It also doesn't make any compromises when it comes to features. You can think of it as a laptop that has all the mobility benefits of a netbook, yet the performance and features of a mainstream desktop. This combination comes at a high price, but if you can afford it you'll definitely get a lot of out this little notebook.
Price$ 3,549.00 (AUD)
HP's EliteBook 2540p is a small, strong and well-featured 12in business notebook that will run pretty much any office application you throw at it. It has a fast yet power-efficient Core i7 CPU under the hood, as well as plenty of RAM and disk space. However, it’s the exterior of the laptop that immediately impresses everyone who holds it.
Elitebook 2540p: Build quality and design
The Elitebook 2540p has a scratch-proof lid made out of anodised aluminium; its screen is held by metal hinges; and it even meets military specifications (MIL-STD 810G) for vibration, dust, humidity, temperature and altitude. (You'll apparently have no problem using it at 24,300 metres, as long as you're wearing a space suit.)
It looks the same as the HP Elitebook 2530p, but there are some differences in the ventilation and the placement of ports. The right side of the chassis shows the most evolution, as it now has a combined microphone and headphone port (instead of two individual ports), and a USB port has been removed in order to make way for a DisplayPort. Furthermore, the air vents, which used to be located on the underside of the laptop, now stretch all the way up the right side, allowing more air to escape.
There are three USB 2.0 ports on this laptop (up from two on the previous version), and two of these ports are located on the rear where the Kensington lock used to be. The Kensington lock is now located on the right side, but its position is right next to the port replicator slot, which could make it awkward to use both features at the same time.
On the 2530p, the fingerprint reader was located in the centre of the right palm rest and was a nuisance while typing. On the 2540p, it has been moved up a little. Even so, it can still sometimes get in the way when you type (although not as much); if your palm swipes it accidentally, the HP security software will be initiated.
The 2540p weighs 1.8kg, which is slightly heavier than the 2530p's 1.7kg. A built-in DVD burner, decent speakers and a comfortable, spill-resistant keyboard help account for the weight. The notebook actually feels a little heavier than 1.8kg because it's so compact.
We love the screen on the 2540p: it is bright and has a built-in ambient light sensor and a pop-out keyboard light. Both of these features were very useful during our tests; especially the keyboard light, which is great for night-time typing. The only thing we don't like about this laptop is its row of touch buttons across the top. They are constantly lit up and which sometimes take a few seconds to respond when you touch them.
EliteBook 2540p: Preinstalled software
When reviewing an HP product, it's almost customary that we gripe about the preinstalled software. The 2540p does have some annoying software already installed (such as the HP Support Assistant, which initiates pop-ups at the most inconvenient times). However, most of the applications included with the laptop are not installed, and you can launch the HP Software Setup program to add the ones you want. Applications available include HP ProtectTools security software, drive encryption software, and LoJack tracking software. We've talked a bit about HP's ProtectTools and encryption software in our review of HP's ProBook 6540b notebook.
If you want to use the security tools that are supplied with the EliteBook 2540p you'll have to install them yourself.
EliteBook 2540p: Specifications, speed and battery life
Compared to the 2530p, the 2540p has much improved innards. Its 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM is twice as much memory as the older model, it has a faster Intel Core i7-640LM CPU that can simultaneously process up to four threads, and it has a faster integrated Intel HD graphics adapter. The Core i7-640LM CPU is an ultra-low-voltage processor that runs at 2.13GHz and has a Turbo Boost of 2.93GHz, so it is quite zippy despite being power efficient. The notebook has a 1.8in 250GB hard drive that spins at 5400rpm and is energy efficient but quite slow. It recorded an average transfer rate of 18.43 megabytes per second, which is slower than the 19.03MBps achieved by the 2530p.
The 2540p has been built with a minimum of 12 per cent recycled plastic and it's designed to be energy efficient — it even ships with a utility that can show you how much power you're consuming. The 2530p was also an energy-efficient laptop; so much so that it was one of the laptops used by the crew of the Plastiki.
In our Blender 3D rendering and iTunes MP3 encoding tests, the 2540p's CPU proved that, despite being an ultra-low-voltage model, it can still be used for relatively taxing tasks. It completed the Blender and iTunes tests in 61sec and 62sec respectively, and this represents an improvement of approximately 30sec over the 2530p's Intel Core 2 Duo SL9400 CPU. In the 3DMark06 tests, the 2540p scored 1515, which means its graphics adapter is over twice as fast as the 2530p's. It took 1hr 10min to encode a DVD to an Xvid file, and this is on par with what the much bigger Dell Inspiron 15R N5010 achieved in the same test with its 2.4GHz Core i5-520M CPU.
The 6-cell, 55 Watt-hour battery lasted 2hr 47min in our rundown test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise screen brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video. You can get over four hours out of it if you use HP's stringent, built-in power management plans while using the notebook for Web browsing and document creation.
Overall, the 2540p is faster and has more connectivity options than the 2530p. It's also expensive. But if you're in business and you want a strong yet small and fast notebook with good energy-efficiency credentials, then it's worth hassling your financial controller so that can eventually get your hands on it.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTPrincipal ArchitectACT
- FTDatabase AdministraotrOther
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTSAP CRM Functional ConsultantsACT
- FTIT Support officer- Service Desk AP3 & APS4ACT
- CCSystems TesterNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTIT PMO OfficerOther
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTFixed Broadband SMEOther
- FTApplication Security ArchitectOther
- FTManual Test AnalystQLD
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- CCTechnical Delivery Lead - BillingVIC
- FTUser Experience Specialist (UX)ACT
- FTPrincipal Consultant / Account Delivery Executive.Other
- FTSoftware Developer - C#VIC
- FTSenior Full Stack Web DeveloperOther
- FTOrganizational Change ManagerACT
- FTPeopleSoft Technical Campus Solution DeveloperOther
- CCSystems Specialist - Network Systems l Port MacquarieNSW
- FTSenior Applications Security ConsultantOther
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperOther
- FTBusiness Intelligence DesignerOther