We recently spent some time with the latest 17-inch business notebook from HP, the new ProBook 4710s. This budget-friendly desktop replacement promises to give you everything you need to get serious work done, but does it offer anything new? Take a look at our hands-on video to see and hear our first thoughts on this notebook.
The design of the ProBook 4710s is a mixture of glossy and matte black plastics … almost as if some HP designers tried to combine the all-black look of the ThinkPads with the style of the higher-priced HP EliteBook series.
As expected, build quality isn’t quite up to the standards of the EliteBook line — the alloy construction found in the EliteBooks has been replaced with a plastic chassis in the ProBook series. The new chicklet-style keyboard seems firm, but pressing on some keys reveals minor flex in the underlying keyboard. The 17.3-inch LED-backlit display features a 16:9 screen ratio (1600×900 resolution) and the matte screen surface should be well received by anyone who uses this notebook under bright lights or direct sunlight. The screen brightness likewise appears to be more than adequate for most users.
At launch, the 4710s can be configured with up to a 2.53GHz P8700 Intel Core 2 Duo processor, but processors up to 2.8GHz with 6MB L2 cache will be available soon. ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 discrete graphics with 512MB of dedicated video memory give this desktop replacement all the muscle needed for video editing or graphic design. HP claims the 8-cell battery can provide more than four hours of battery life, and we look forward to putting that to the test soon.
It’s clear that HP is attempting to target small and medium businesses that need to purchase new notebooks but can’t afford the $1,500+ expense of the HP EliteBooks. HP offers the ProBook 4710s with Windows Vista, Windows XP, SuSE Linux, FreeDOS, or Red Flag Linux so IT managers can pick the OS that makes life the easiest. Likewise, optional HP Care Pack Services offer extended service contracts which go beyond the standard one-year warranties for the notebook and battery.
Despite the heavy use of plastics and the budget price (starting at $899), the HP ProBook 4710s looks like a solid desktop replacement notebook for small and medium businesses. We look forward to giving it an in-depth review in the near future.
In the meantime, be sure to visit NotebookReview.com to see our review of the HP ProBook 4510s (the 15-inch brother of the HP ProBook 4710s) coming later this week.