Screen and Speakers
The HP EliteBook 2560p has a 12.5-inch HD anti-glare 720p (1366×768) display with LED backlighting. There aren’t any upgrade options for the display. The display is of a lower resolution, but then again not many people will be photo/video editing or extensive work where a better resolution is needed while away from the desk, so the lower resolution shouldn’t be a determining factor.
Head-on at full brightness, the details of the display appear good enough for getting regular work tasks done. The horizontal viewing angles aren’t that good, however, and start to distort images about 5-10 degrees off-center. The vertical viewing angles are much better; images don’t begin to distort until about 25 degrees off center.
The contrast ratio is average to low–we measured it at 196:1 with a peak luminance of 149 nits in the center. This notebook displays acceptable color contrast for what it will primarily be used for.
The 2560p has three speaker grilles, located on the front of the notebook. The audio is above average for a notebook of this size with a good range of volume at the high, middle and low levels. At a high volume the 2560p should be able to project audio out adequately for a presentation or training. At high levels the audio still sounds clear without sounding muffled or distorted.
Although, we had a few problems with the the location of the speakers. When the speakers are set on the front edge of the notebook instead of near the top of the keyboard, sound doesn’t reach the ears as well because the audio doesn’t project outward as it should. The placement also allowed me to feel the audio being played on the palmrests at higher volume levels. It’s extremely distracting to feel the vibrations of the speakers when audio is playing; even in the middle volume range the speakers create subtle but noticeable vibrations through the palmrests.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The HP EliteBook 2560p has a Chiclet-style keyboard with extra spacing between the keys to help with key flow and travel. The keys are flat and have a textured feel to them. Key travel and throw are excellent; it’s generally very easy to type with and is a quite comfortable experience. The support structure in the chassis prevents the keyboard from flexing under heavy typing pressure.
There are many keyboard features included with the 2560p. The first is a keyboard light located above the display; click the lightbulb button once to open it for use in dark rooms where there either isn’t any light available or in situations where you don’t want to bother the person next to you. It’s small, but it is bright enough to lend a hand in dark places. Other features include a pointstick in the center of the keyboard, Wi-Fi, browser launch and mute quick keys in the upper-right, and a fingerprint reader on the bottom-right.
The only complaint I have about the keyboard is that the page up, page down, end, and home keys are set on the up/down and left/right arrows. Users must press the function key to use them, which may be a turn-off for frequent users of them.
The Synaptics touchpad is quite small–meaning if you want to move the cursor from one end of the screen to the other, it’ll take more time than it usually does (even if the pointer speed is set to very fast). The surface of the touchpad is very smooth and creates an enjoyable experience that will still be enjoyable even when there’s moisture on your fingers. The size of the touchpad is an issue, but if you turn the pointer speed up it shouldn’t be a big issue. That being said, the touchpad is above average for notebooks of this size because of its texture; it improves its ease of use.