HP ProBook 5330m laptop review

Small but chunky business notebook
Photo of HP ProBook 5330m laptop
from £646

Hewlett Packard’s ProBook range features no nonsense notebooks designed for portability and power. If you wish to, you can configure a model with an solid-state disk (SSD), but an old-fashioned mechanical drive is also available. Often touted as business-friendly, does the ProBook range also have what it takes for consumers?

Solid but not so stylish
The all-round silver chassis won’t be to the taste of every home user, but if you like bling, you’re in luck. Don’t think that silver means metal, though. There are aluminium and magnesium parts to be found but not all over, and the lid is mostly made from plastic and has a bit of flex in it.

You might not be all that pleased with the overall dimensions, either. Considering that the HP ProBook 5330m houses a smallish 13.3 inch screen, its weight of 1.8kg and size of 328x225x25mm is a bit chunky.

ProBook 5330m laptop

The typist’s friend
Still, there are some things to like about the design, and one of them is the spill-resistant keyboard. If serious typing is your thing, then the springy keys with a gentle backlight might suit you well. The isolation-style design looks chic, and the keys are relatively large. Touch-typing or two fingered style, you should be able to bash out the words at speed.

The screen, too, is a positive feature. Its 1366×768-pixel resolution is standard fare, but viewing angles are good and the finish is non-reflective. The webcam is supported by the ArcSoft Camera Suite which can capture stills and video, the latter to 720p.

Under the hood
Several versions of this notebook are available. Our review sample had an Intel Core i3 2310m 2.1GHz processor, a but Core i5 is also available, and there’s 4GB of RAM to keeping things thrumming along.

As we said at the outset, you can choose SSD if you want it, or opt for a 500GB old-fashioned mechanical hard drive. Some models of this notebook come with built-in mobile broadband too, though for those without, you can use a dongle or the built in Wi-Fi where networks are available.

The big disappointments with this notebook are the absence of USB 3.0 support and the fact that HP couldn’t find room in the perfectly large enough chassis for an optical drive. Battery life too, could be better. We got three and a half hours of continuous movie playback from a USB stick which is hardly leading edge.

Company: HP

Website: http://www.hp.com/uk

Contact: HP on 0845 2704142

Positives
  • Good build; great keyboard.
Negative
  • Heavy; no optical drive; average battery life.

Verdict

In the end, the HP ProBook 5330m is a good looking notebook with a great keyboard and a good screen. Its internal specifications are fine, but the lack of an optical drive and average battery life could be its downfall. It is a bit heavy, too.