As far as storage goes, there’s a generous amount with a 320GB drive on offer. Though HP lists the drive’s speed as 7,200rpm on its UK website, this is likely an error as our ProBook sample came with a standard 5,400rpm drive. However, a big plus is HP’s 3D DriveGuard. This combines shock-dampening material, a magnesium drive cage and an accelerometer that locks the drive heads when motion is detected. This is a high level of protection for a moving-parts disk, especially in a laptop as cheap as this.
Graphics, meanwhile, are handled by the usual Intel integrated GMA X4500M HD chip. We imagine that one of the main reasons for this chip’s popularity at the business end of portable computing is not just because it’s cheap and allows for great battery life, but also because it’s so underpowered that it literally won’t let you play any recent 3D games on your business machine.
Wireless connectivity on this HP is well up to spec, with Intel 802.11n wireless and Bluetooth 2.0 available. Combined with the Gigabit Ethernet for wired networking, the 4510s should integrate easily into any office ecosystem.
Looking more closely at its business specific features, it’s no surprise to see no Trusted Platform Module (TPM) in this machine. It’s a feature normally reserved for more expensive machines targeted at large corporate companies, whereas the ProBook’s natural home is small businesses.
Less forgivable is the lack of a fingerprint reader, which is arguably the minimum one would expect in terms of security features. Aside from 3D DriveGuard, then, the only notable business orientated feature is FastCharge, which charges your battery to around 90 per cent in as many minutes – a feature that made our battery testing a lot easier!
On the software front there’s HP’s Protect Tools Security suite, which offers Admin tools (including individual device access), backup, drive encryption, and even BIOS settings from within Windows. There’s little here that isn’t available in commercial software packages, but it’s comprehensive and easy to use and having it all pre-installed is pretty handy.
Probably the single most impressive aspect of the ProBook, though, is its battery life. It makes the most of its six-cell (47WHr) battery, providing just over four hours in the semi-intensive Productivity benchmark. On the more conservative Reader test, this laptop managed an even more impressive five and a half hours; a figure that puts it into the top ranks of laptops lacking ULV processors or extended batteries.
With the HP ProBook 4510s you get a machine that offers excellent battery life and represents decent value for money. However its glossy lid and grease attracting palm rest are less than ideal in a business machine, while a fingerprint reader is an omission. There’s lots of potential here, but HP needs to tighten its focus to make the ProBook a real contender.