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May 1, 2009, 3:30 pm

I'm currently typing this on an Elitebook 8710W- pretty much the same spec as the reviewed machine but with a Quadro FX 3600 graphics card and a run of the mill screen. It runs Pro/E and SolidWorks 2009 beautifully and 2D work sketching in Illustrator, Sketch Book Pro (my favouritist 2D package evah!) and Photoshop are an absolute breeze. I would say that the build quality of the chassis and keyboard is better than my colleagues' Dell Precision M6400 machines, I can't compare performance as they're running Quad Core machines with FX3700 graphics and each of their laptops costs over �- their machines are certainly faster I just don't know if they're �+VAT quicker and the frankly ludicrous power supply that the Dells need has been responsible for more hernias than the London Marathon.

One thing I will say is that HP's business support is dreadful compared to Dell's- something breaks on the Dell and there will be an engineer onsite, the very next day. When the HDD on the HP failed (on day three) their useless shower offered to send a replacement drive and system builder discs in ten days time, the IT managed ended up fitting a spare disc himself and spent two days rebuilding it.

Since then the machine has performed faultlessly but I'd be wary of relying on HP support for a machine I was going to buy with my own cash.

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