Photo: Dylan Love
I am not a fan of the HP EliteBook 8460p.Click here to see pictures >
I have a personal laptop. I use it every day. I appreciate its form factor and ease of use. But after spending some time with HP’s new computer, I almost forgot that using a laptop could be a pleasurable experience.
After booting up, it immediately bombarded me with the standard HP Support Assistant and ProtectTools crapware, and there’s no immediately obvious or intuitive way to turn it off.
I also found the keyboard layout transcendentally obnoxious — at the far right end, the “home” and “backspace” keys infringe on each other’s real estate quite a bit. I kept hitting “home” thinking I would be deleting text.
It’s not entirely bad news though. The computer is extremely powerful and affordable, retailing for less than $900.
The excellent Windows 7 and the unforgivable HP crapware
The 8460p comes preloaded with Windows 7 Professional. I think it’s an elegant interface and a pleasure to navigate. I had no problem connecting to a WiFi network, installing a few applications (VLC Media Player, among others), and interacting with it in general. Windows users will be right at home, and those new to Windows will not have a steep learning curve.
But HP’s utilities are a disaster. It’s the same thing as pop-up ads on an operating system level. As a lifelong technology user, it absolutely boggles my mind that some PC manufacturers still think people actually use these “utilities.” All these proprietary annoyances do is build a wall between you and the device. It was such a turnoff to me.
Hardware and performance
Let’s talk the guts of the machine. It boasts 4 GB of RAM and a zippy 2.5 GHz i5 processor. These are beyond acceptable — they’re downright impressive! If you need horsepower, you’ll have it here. Run big, fat apps and see what kind of punishment the processor can take. Leave lots of apps running at once, if you like — 4 GB of RAM is plenty.
Size and weight
The computer isn’t especially heavy, but if you’re carrying it around in a bag for any amount of time, you’ll feel the weight quickly. If you’re willing to spend slightly more money, swing for HP’s ProBook — it’s far more lightweight and is similarly powerful.
Should you buy it?
If the keyboard layout doesn’t bother you and you can somehow ignore the festering HP software that pollutes your computer’s registry, then have at it. The computer’s internals are absolutely in standing with what you would want in a contemporary computing device. It would prove useful for a long time.
As for me, it seems I’m less forgiving.
On the other side from left to right, we have ports for headphones, microphone, eSata/USB, and a DisplayPort
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