Heat and Noise
Thermal performance of the HP ProBook 4425s was pretty good under normal operating conditions. The bottom of the case and palmrest stayed cool under light operating loads, with the fan staying off or occasionally kicking on to bring fresh air through the system. Under stress we did find a few hot spots that formed, most notably where the hard drive was located, as the entire bottom is completely sealed without any cooling vents. Unless you were continuously stressing the system though, temperatures stayed well within comfortable levels.
The HP ProBook 4425s comes standard with a 47Wh 6-cell battery, which is the same size the 15-inch and 17-inch ProBook models are equipped with. In our past reviews the 17-inch ProBook scored 4 hours and 48 minutes and the 15-inch 4520s got 4 hours and 18 minutes. With the 4425s being a smaller 14-inch model we were expecting similar battery times, but were fairly disappointed by what we found in our tests. With the screen brightness reduced to 70%, wireless active and refreshing a webpage ever 60 seconds, and Windows set to the Balanced profile the ProBook 4425s stayed on for a mere 2 hours and 25 minutes. With similar hard drive speeds and RAM amounts, the primary difference is Intel versus AMD between these systems. If you add in higher levels of stress, or try to watch a movie the battery life drops even more. For a 14-inch notebook the battery life time on the 4425s was unacceptable with the 6-cell battery.
It’s always nice to see more competition in the notebook market, since Intel is generally the primary game in town. The AMD-equipped HP ProBook 4425s looks great on paper with its quad-core Phenom II processor, but in testing falls behind compared to the Intel-based ProBooks. In all of our benchmarks the Phenom II fell behind, especially when it came to power consumption, with the power-hungry processor. We recorded a battery life of less than two and a half hours, which was well below the times on the Intel-based 15-inch or 17-inch ProBook models that score above four hours. Another issue is the higher price of this AMD system compared to the Intel models. Considering the drop in performance compared to the Intel systems, there is really no discount or incentive for choosing this particular AMD-based system.
In terms of design and quality, the ProBook 4425s looked and felt great. The system has a stylish appearance with its brushed metal screen lid and palmrest, and is built very well. The keyboard was comfortably to type on and looked very modern with its Chiclet design. The button-less touchpad was above average, but did have some issues if you rested a finger on the touchpad surface while navigating. Overall the ProBook 4425s would have fared much better if the performance was a bit better and the battery life was much improved.
- Good design and great build quality
- Comfortable keyboard
- Lacking performance against Intel versions
- Mediocre battery life