Here we review the runt of the ProBook B litter, the 13-inch 6360b targeted chiefly at corporate use. In HP’s words, tailor-made for those who wish to ‘work professionally on-the-go’. Let us take a closer look at HP ProBook 6360B notebook .
The ProBook 6360B ranges in price from 760 to 1100 euros ($1450-$2000), according to configuration options, putting it in direct competition with such notebooks as the 14-inch Dell Latitude E6320 or perhaps the 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro.
Appearance is fitting for a corporate machine – sand-blasted aluminum in sober anthracite gray. The 6360b weighs in at 2.1kg and is sturdily built.
The Chi Mei Optoelectronics 13.3-inch 1366 x 768 display renders clear and true, and the 166 candela count suffices for indoor use. A weak contrast ratio of 149:1 limits outdoor use. sRGB color-spectrum coverage is mediocre, which makes the display unacceptable for high-level artwork, but for business use (spreadsheets, documents, presentations, browsing, office suites) performs perfectly well.
The keyboard makes for accurate typing, with good travel and feedback, even if the edges of the chiclet-style keys are slightly sharp-edged. The half-height Enter key may be a more serious failing. No backlight, unfortunately. The touchpad is impeccable – precise, good glide, multi-touch enabled. Good buttons too.
Connectivity is crucial on business machines and the HP ProBook 6360B doesn’t disappoint, with three USB-2 ports and a USB/eSATA combo almost compensating for the lack of USB-3 support. VGA and DisplayPort interfaces provide a wily mix of backward- and forward-compatibility. HDMI is missing but its primary use in home entertainment systems means it won’t be missed too sorely in the workplace. There’s a FireWire (IEEE 1394a) socket on the right hand side for rapid data transfer, ExpressCard, audio jacks, and of course Kensington lock. DVD+ rewriter for disks. On the underside of the HP ProBook 6360b is a docking interface for connecting with a docking station. Docking stations start at %150 for a 90W version and offer up to 6 extra USB ports, video output for three monitors and all the outdated interfaces found on yesteryear’s laptops – parallel port, serial interface, PS2 mouse etc.
A fingerprint reader improves security on 6360B notebook, and there’s also a TPM module tucked away inside. Sensitive data can be encrypted using HP’s software.
WiFi-n is included, and an inbuilt HSPA+ modem lets users insert a SIM card to access mobile broadband. Another plus is the 56K-telephone modem, which will allow users to connect to the internet in countries with poor networking infrastructure. Bluetooth 2.1 takes care of headset and smartphone syncing. Now that’s a full hand connectivity-wise.
The mid-range i5-2450M CPU, 4GB RAM and 500GB 7200rpm hard drive are a very decent set of specs for a 13-incher and the combo of 2.5GHz processor and Intel HD3000 graphics’ processing helps the ProBook achieve benchmark scores 20% higher than the Apple MacBook Pro 13-incher. Overall the spec config approaches the sort of performance associated with a faster i5-2520M chip – and the ability of users to pop in an SSD with the greatest of ease (there’s an uber-accessible drive bay underneath, screwdriver not required) will speed things up even more. Even with the HDD, the 6360b manages 20% faster transfer speeds than its nearest rivals. A spot of gaming is even possible at low detail levels. More Delta Force and Fifa 11 than Metro 2033 or Battlefield 3, though.
Speaker quality on HP ProBook 6360B, despite ‘SRS Premium Sound’, lacks any significant bass tones and distorts at max volume. Fine for video calls, but little else other than very casual listening as you check emails or sales figures. The webcam renders sharp picture quality even in dim lighting.
The battery gives eight-and-a-half hours with brightness lowered, WiFi off, etc. 5 hrs 20 mins of moderate use battery life outperforms even the HP Folio 13 ultrabook, which is optimized for long battery life.
Back-up batteries cost around $90. A standard 12-month warranty is extendable to up to 5 years for a surcharge.
The HP ProBook overall is an excellent corporate notebook – fabulous all-rounder, with performance approaching ultrabook levels. Amazon sells
HP ProBook 6360B for $875, HP vouchers may bring the price down a bit. Just download voucher codes and you are on your way.
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