Once you get above Intel’s Core i3 series, performance should be adequate for even more demanding users, so this 2.4GHz Core i5 is sure to be up to whatever you’d care to throw at it, as demonstrated by its excellent performance in the PCMark Vantage tests. Of course, you can get cheaper versions of the 5320m sporting slower CPUs which will still suffice for most, but for those looking for desktop-like processing power in a 13.3in laptop, this 5320m is a prime candidate.
Predictably, Intel’s integrated graphics aren’t up to much, and while they finally make for playable frame rates in the very undemanding TrackMania Nations Forever, this was with AA turned off, where it’s usually set to 4x in our tests – something to bear in mind when comparing results.
Battery life measured at seven minutes short of six hours in the semi-intensive Productivity test – impressive indeed considering this laptop’s powerful processor and speedy hard drive. While it might not be enough for die-hard road warriors, the average business trip will be more than covered, and lowering screen brightness below 40 percent could last you a full working day without needing to plug into the mains.
However, the HP 5320m is up against some pretty stiff competition from Toshiba Portege R700. For just £10 more, the Toshiba gives even better battery life, an integrated optical drive, more connectivity (including eSATA and an ExpressCard slot) and an even nicer black brushed metal chassis, yet keeps weight below 1.5kg! Despite the HP’s larger hard drive, faster CPU, double the R700’s memory and a superior keyboard, Toshiba’s further inclusion of Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and much longer three-year warranty will probably sway many in its favour, especially since for most small business applications, the R700’s lower internal specifications are not a significant factor.
As we’ve come to expect from HP’s ProBook range, the 13.3in 5320m is an attractive and well-built machine offering decent value when you consider its high-end specifications. However, compared to some rivals it doesn’t do enough to take pole position.