HP ProBook 4520s full review

The HP ProBook 4520s is a stylish 15-inch business laptop. It is based on the Intel Core i3-350M processor, offers very good performance, and marries one-of-a-kind looks and design with adequate business features without upsetting your budget overmuch.

The HP ProBook 4520s was tested in the PCWorld.in Labs.

HP ProBook 4520s: Design

The HP ProBook 4520s is a stylish business laptop unlike any other we've seen from any laptop manufacturer. It comes in two colours - caviar and bourdeaux. Our review unit had the caviar color scheme, which is sort of a dark metallic brown splashed on the screen lid and palmrest. The screen lid has a finely polished texture and it feels rich and premium - ditto the ProBook 4520s' palmrest. The keyboard strip is entirely black consisting of black chiclet-styled keys. Overall, the HP ProBook 4520s black-on-brown color scheme isn't too loud or jazzy, but isn't dull (like a ThinkPad X301, for example) either - it's close to perfect.

The HP ProBook 4520s is very well built for a 15-inch laptop, with its twin central hinges ably supporting the screen with the rest of the chassis. The entire laptop with a six-cell battery weighs in at 2.5-kg, which is lighter in comparison to other 15-inch laptops we've reviewed like Dell Studio 15 Artist Edition, Lenovo IdeaPad Y550, and Acer Aspire 5740.

The HP ProBook 4520s has a 15.6-inch glossy LED-backlit screen that supports a 1366x768 pixel resolution - unlike the ProBook 4410s which came with a matte screen. However, the HP ProBook 4520s' screen isn't excessively glary and works well in both indoor and outdoor scenarios. The screen isn't very bright, say like the 13-inch Apple MacBook or Samsung R470 laptop, but it's evenly lit and reading text or watching movies is very well handled by it. The ProBook 4520s screen has very good horizontal viewing angles.

As far as keyboard and touchpad goes, the HP ProBook 4520s laptop has got it pretty much spot on. The laptop's isolated, chiclet-styled keys are very well laid out and a treat to type on. The keyboard also has a dedicated number pad on the right. The brushed palmrest is raised, nice and wide, great to park your wrists on while typing. The HP ProBook 4250s' touchpad is finely textured and very responsive. The touchpad is gesture-enabled for rotating images, zooming in, pan out, and scrolling through web pages - and all the gestures work just fine. And like the HP Mini 210 netbook, the ProBook 4520s incorporates its two mouse buttons within the touchpad.

A minor hiccup: if you aren't careful while typing, the left hand is prone to encroach on the touchpad - which is placed a little to the left. It's not a deal-breaker, by any way, just a thing you get used to over time when using the HP ProBook 4520s.

HP ProBook 4520s: Hardware Features

The HP ProBook 4520s has a decent set of core hardware components for a laptop targeted for businesses. It's powered off an Intel Core i3-350M 2.26-GHz processor, 3GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, and onboard Intel GMA HD graphics. It comes with a DVD Writer, four USB, eSATA, HDMI, audio, and VGA-out ports. Not only this, the HP ProBook 4520s also incorporates Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless connectivity. A 2MP webcam and mic, ExpressCard slot, multicard reader, and fingerprint reader completes the HP ProBook 4520s' impressive feature set - unrivalled by any laptop in our Top 5 Mainstream Laptops listing.

The HP ProBook 4520s comes with a standard six-cell battery and runs on 32-bit Windows 7 Professional edition. This business laptop from HP also comes with a set of proprietary software that's quite useful - it isn't bloatware.

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