HP ProBook 6560b (LW954PA) business laptop

HP ProBook 6560b review: A solid 15.6in business laptop, but it's not without its problems

HP ProBook 6560b (LW954PA)
  • HP ProBook 6560b (LW954PA)
  • HP ProBook 6560b (LW954PA)
  • HP ProBook 6560b (LW954PA)
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Build quality
  • Performance
  • Security

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Keyboard
  • 32-bit Windows

Bottom Line

With great build quality and lots of features, the ProBook 6560b should be a winner. However, it's let down by a couple of configuration issues, it's noisy and it's keyboard and touchpad could be better.

Would you buy this?

The HP ProBook 6560b isn't flashy or as refined as an HP EliteBook and it's aimed at small business users rather than corporate types. It's not perfect by any means, but there are lots of things to like about it: good performance, solid build quality and plenty security features. However, there are also many things to dislike: it's heavy, it's noisy, it doesn't make use of switchable graphics, it could use a better keyboard and touchpad, and our review model came with the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Pro installed by default.

HP ProBook 6560b: Build quality and user comfort

The HP ProBook 6560b is a bulky and square-looking 15.6in notebook that weighs just over 2.8kg. It's heavy to lug around and not an ideal unit for anyone who values mobility. It feels quite strong though: it has a magnesium-reinforced chassis, metal hinges and an aluminium lid, but it doesn't shun plastic. The screen's bezel and parts of the chassis are still made from ABS plastics. It feels rigid overall and it will withstand many accidental knocks.

The HP ProBook 6560b's keyboard is spill resistant and it has drainage points that allow spilled liquid to escape. It's a good keyboard, but it's far from great. The keys feel a little too resistive and they could offer slightly better response. Another drawback is the lack of a backlight or a screen-mounted keyboard light. Nevertheless, it's a reasonably comfortable keyboard with a proper number pad. Its layout is standard, but the up and down arrow keys are cramped and hard to distinguish by feel.

A large touchpad (110x55mm) is present and it supports multi-finger gestures. It wasn't perfect during our tests and we often had to repeat a gesture (such as flicking to go back in a Web browser) in order for it to work properly. It felt a little too 'grippy' in our tests and nowhere near as good as the glass touchpad in the EliteBook 8460p, for example. Its left- and right-click buttons also felt a little too squishy for our liking — we'd like them to feel crisper when pressed.

One thing we noticed with our test model of the HP ProBook 6560b was a lot of noise. Apart from the cooling fan, we noticed a consistent and annoying whirring sound coming from the chassis, which we presume was from the hard drive. We weren't able to narrow down the cause of this extra noise, but a similar noise was also very noticeable it on the Dell Latitude E6420, which we also tested with the 32-bit version of Windows 7.

Servicing the HP ProBook 6560b is very easy. As was the case with the latest EliteBook, all you have to do is release the cover and slide it off. It doesn't come off as easily as the EliteBook's cover, though. The laptop looks well put together, with nary a cable out of place — every thing looks neat and tidy and all the major components are easy to access.

HP ProBook 6560b: Other features

The ProBook 6560b's matte screen has a native resolution of 1600x900, which is better than the standard resolution on most mainstream 15.6in notebooks (1366x768), and it provides adequate space for lining up two documents side by side using Windows 7's Aero Snap feature. It has good brightness and contrast for the most part, but you have to get the vertical viewing angle just right, otherwise text can look muddy. We also noticed a lot of automatic, dynamic brightness changes when running on battery power, which was due to the Vari-Bright feature in the Radeon graphics driver. Going from a dark background to a white background made the screen brightness increase gradually, and vice versa. This was a little off-putting.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?