Hewlett Packard – EliteBook 2730p review

Tablet PC with 12.1-inch screen
Photo of Hewlett Packard – EliteBook 2730p
£1,149 + VAT (base model)

The EliteBook 2730p is a Tablet PC designed for those who want the touch-screen format that this laptop style offers, along with a stylish overall design. It doesn’t come cheap, with the starting price over a thousand pounds and rising to eighteen hundred before VAT, depending on your choice of model.

The build quality is excellent but the use of metal helps raise the weight to 1.7kg. That’s quite heavy for a notebook with a 12.1-inch screen. The screen itself delivers 1280 x 800 pixels and it isn’t particularly bright. Touch sensitive use requires a stylus rather than a finger. A lanyard attaches the stylus to the main body of the notebook ensuring that you don’t lose it, which is a good thing as without it you can’t use the handwriting recognition or other Tablet PC touch features.

The keyboard is lovely. For a small notebook the keyboard is large, stretching to take up all available width. There isn’t a great return on the keys, and some people may not find it too comfortable to type on because of that, but we loved it. There is no keyboard flex at all.

This notebook benefits from a small light sitting above the screen. This is great for those times when you want to work while others want lights out. Some models also have a webcam sitting next to this light.

There is both a touchpad and a pointing stick. The latter can be used alongside two mouse buttons that sit beneath the space bar. Both are comfortable enough to use, but we were a bit miffed that the touchpad incorporates vertical but not horizontal scrolling. The touchpad fits flush to the wrist rest rather than being indented, and some users may find this a little awkward.

Some buttons sit around the rim of the screen, providing access to features when the notebook is in Tablet mode with its keyboard hidden and screen facing outwards. They include a vertical scroller and screen rotation button. There is also a fingerprint scanner here.

Processor choices are between an Intel Core 2 Duo SL9400 and SL9600. While hard drive capacities vary considerably between the models, the largest is just 160GB. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are present in all models and one has mobile broadband too. You might find it cheaper to add this via a USB dongle, though there are only two USB ports on the notebook. Perhaps more importantly, there is no optical drive.

Battery life is rated at up to six and a half hours. We chose the HP Optimised power plan for working and after three hours the battery was indeed about half full. But the screen was very dim under this power plan and we suspect most users would want it brighter.

Company: Hewlett Packard

Contact: 0845 270 4142


Verdict
Design-wise this is a lovely Tablet PC with super build quality and a splendid keyboard. Internal specifications are adequate, but the lack of expansion ports and absence of an optical drive are major drawbacks.