Review: HP EliteBook 2560p, a Notebook for Business Professionals

April 17, 2012 Updated: April 21, 2012
HP Elitebook 2560p
The HP Elitebook 2560p is compact and suitable for the traveling business professional. (Andrea Hayley/The Epoch Times)

Designed for business users, HP’s new EliteBook 2560p is compact, portable, and has a rugged exterior ready for travel. HP describes the small and light notebook as a “pint-sized powerhouse,” and the name fits well.

Overall Design

The EliteBook 2560p has a sleek, durable design. It meets military standards for withstanding a range of environmental conditions including dust, humidity, vibration, altitude, and high temperatures. This is partly thanks to HP’s DuraCase construction technology, which includes a full magnesium-alloy chassis, precision aluminum-alloy hinges, and cast titanium-alloy display latches.

It also has a nice, polished look, thanks to an inner display enclosure and palm-rest surfaces made with scratch-resistant anodized aluminum.

Display and Keyboard

The notebook has a 12.5-inch diagonal display featuring an anti-glare screen with a HD 720p (1366×768) resolution and LED backlighting. To keep the screen from gathering too much dust, it has a rubber lining, called the DisplaySafe frame, that gives it a better seal when closed.

As for the keyboard, the EliteBook 2560p comes with a chiclet-style, black keyboard with generous spacing between the keys, and the key depressions feel balanced while typing.

To save it from spills, the keyboard also has a drain system that allows any spilled liquid to pass through to the bottom vents of the notebook and lowers the risk of liquid frying anything important.

A small pointstick is located right in the center of the keyboard. There aren’t many notebooks that include these, but there are many users who prefer them over a mouse.

The Page Up, Page Down, Home, and End keys are integrated with the arrow keys and can be used with the Function key. This may be inconvenient, though, for users who are used to having separate keys. The arrow keys are also tiny, and there is no number pad.


The gray, glass touchpad has four buttons on it—two on top and two on the bottom. The top two are meant to work with the pointstick, and the bottom two are for the regular touchpad.

As for the touchpad itself, it feels a bit small, and I couldn’t scroll a long page vertically without having to hit the buttons over and over. Horizontal scrolling felt much better though. The two-finger scroll was very smooth and pinch-to-zoom was also quite good. There are also some advanced features, such as rotating with two fingers and the three-finger flick, available in Control Panel.

Buttons, LEDs, and Sensors

A wireless on/off button, a quick Web launch button, and a volume mute button—all with LED indicators—are located at the top right above the keyboard. The power button is at the top left. A small fingerprint scanner is located just below the arrow keys, which can be used for additional security when locking the notebook.

An HD webcam is located just above the display screen, and there are a few features for working in the dark—including a night light that shines directly over the keyboard and an ambient light sensor.

There are also four tiny, but useful, LED indicators in the front panel that give the user information regarding disk activity, battery, power/standby, and wireless connectivity.

HP EliteBook 2560p Specifications

Processor: Choice of Intel Core i5/i7 Dual-Core

RAM: 2 DDR 3 slots supporting up to 16GB

Hard Drive: Choice of SATA up to 500 GB or Solid State up to 160GB

Graphics: Intel HD 3000

Display: 12.5 inches diagonal LED-backlit HD anti-glare (1366×768)

Optical Drive: DVD +/- RW Super-Multi Dual Layer

Battery: 6-cell Li-Ion (about 8.5 hours), 9-cell Li-Ion (about 14 hours)

Webcam: HD webcam

Price: $1099 and up depending on configuration

The EliteBook 2560p is the only portable 12.5-inch notebook with an integrated optical drive. It also has two USB 2.0 ports, one display port for higher resolution, and one eSATA/USB combo port. If more ports are needed, users can get the Docking Station for an additional $149 that gives four additional USB ports and an eSATA port. It also contains a display port, a USB charging port, audio in/out ports, VGA, an Ethernet port, and a cable lock. The notebook also comes with one Ethernet port, a modem port, and three expansion card slots—in short, just about everything you’d need. But it doesn’t have HDMI, unfortunately.

I turned the notebook upside down, and noticed a bottom cover release latch. I was easily able to slide it and access the inner components of the notebook. This would make it really easy to replace the memory drive or fan, or install new memory, if needed.

The SRS stereo speakers and the Bluetooth compartment are also located at the bottom, near the display release button. At the top is the battery compartment, also with a latch.

The model allows the choice of a 2.5-inch, 7200 rpm SATA hard drive up to 500GB capacity, or the 128/160GB solid state drive. The processor can either be an Intel Core i7 or Core i5 standard voltage processor for maximum performance—both of which are very good, by the way, but the i7 would be more ideal for gaming or running applications that demand high-end graphics.

Upgrading the notebook’s RAM would also be easy. It has two DDR3 SDRAM memory slots, expandable up to 16GB.

There is also the Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated graphics card that would work well for playing HD videos on those long business trips.