Screen and Speakers
The HP ProBook 4425s features a 14-inch WXGA (1366×768) resolution panel with a matte texture. The screen is LED backlit, with average color and contrast. In our test lab we measured an average contrast ratio of 149:1, with a max screen brightness of 166 nit measured at the center of the screen. Black levels were average for a business notebook and didn’t show any signs of backlight bleed around the edges. We also found no dead pixels on our review unit. Color saturation was average for other business notebooks, but fell short compared to some of the newer consumer notebooks with glossy panels. In some ways you have a trade-off between nicer appearing color and contrast, and glare or reflections when comparing glossy versus matte displays. Vertical viewing angles were average, with colors starting to invert when the screen was tilted 10-15 degrees forward or back. Horizontal viewing angles were better, with colors staying true to about 50-60 degrees before the screen started to appear dark.
The ProBook 4425s features stereo speakers mounted above the keyboard, located to the left and right of the power button. For business notebook speakers they ranked slightly above average, with clear high notes and some midrange. Low-frequency tones were not present at all, but on most notebooks without a subwoofer this is common. For users wanting a slightly enhanced audio experience, the notebook features a headphone jack and digital audio out through the HDMI-out port.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The full-size keyboard on the HP ProBook 4425s is easy to type on and very comfortable for long typing sessions. Each key is relatively flat with a nice matte texture and the keys sit above a glossy black support frame. The frame surrounding the keys is quite firm thanks to the design of the chassis, which adds additional support for the keyboard. The individual key presses are quiet without loud clicking sounds as you type. The depth of each key press is excellent, though some people may dislike the flat, chicklet-style keys. Overall the spacing and layout HP chose for the 4425s is very nice for a 14-inch notebook, without feeling cramped from too many keys.
The touchpad on the newer ProBook models is a button-less Synaptics ClickPad. In our testing the touchpad worked pretty well, with great sensitivity out of the box. We did run into a few quirks if you rested your finger on the button of the touchpad where the left and right button area is defined. While the finger was resting in this area, cursor movement would be inconsistent and jittery. If you lifted your finger off the touchpad, this abnormal movement ceased and it worked fine. During normal operation the touchpad worked fine for multitouch gestures as long as you didn’t hover over the bottom border of the touchpad.