HP EliteBook 6930p

A solid business laptop with excellent battery life, the EliteBook 6930p won't disappoint, but there is little in this laptop to warrant the "Elite" label.

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Like a fresh job candidate in a sharp suit, HP's new EliteBook gives a good first impression. With a shiny a magnesium alloy finish on the outside, its metallic sheen is faintly reminiscent of Apple's MacBook line, but not quite as flashy. The use of metal on both the top cover and side the laptop also shows a strong build quality.

This impression continues once you open the laptop. The keyboard is comfortable and the keys are slightly rough, giving the impression that this is a rugged laptop. There is both a 'nipple' mouse and a trackpad, which features horizontal and vertical scrolling.

The 6930p features a 14.1-inch 1280x800, matte display. Matte displays are always a plus, as they are not reflective and therefore much easier to see in bright light. Unfortunately, the display brightness on the 6930 darkens significantly, almost to the point of being unreadable, when the device is unplugged.

There seems to be no way to adjust this setting in Windows XP, so you will need to turn the screen brightness back up using the keyboard shortcut. At the base of the display there is an ambient light sensor, which is a great feature for power saving. But if you like your display bright, you can also disable it via a keyboard shortcut.

Below the display is a set of touch controls that allow you to disable Wi-Fi, mute or change the sounds volume, change presentation setting and access HP's software "Info Centre". Below the mouse pad on the right is a fingerprint reader, which we see as still one of the best security features available on a laptop. Unfortunately, we tended to brush the fingerprint reader while typing, which brings up the HP Security Manager. This can can get really annoying really fast.

At 2.1kgs the EliteBook 6930p is a mid-weight laptop, you won't find it difficult to haul it around.

Features and Performance
The 6930p runs on Intel's new Centrino 2 platform, which means amongst other things better performance, battery life, and wireless speeds (with a/b/g/n Wi-Fi all available).

Our 6930p came with an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz) with 2GB of RAM. HP weren't generous with the HDD, our system came with a 160GB 5400 RMP SATA II drive. There are two models of the 6930p, ours was the FW086PA, which comes with a slighter slower processor and HDD.

Graphics on our system was provided by the integrated new Intel GMA 4500 chipset (codenamed Cantiga), which forms part of the Centrino 2 platform. In the space of integrated graphics, the Cantiga chipsets are good performers, but this is no design or gaming machine. Our tests gave a 3DMark06 score of 709. Those looking for better graphics performance can upgrade to an ATI Radeon 3450 (256MB).

These specs are solid but not generous for a business laptop. Our system gave a PCMark05 score of 4155, suggesting no issues for office apps. The good news is that the 6930p is available with 64-bit Windows and up to 8GB or RAM, so businesses can significantly improve performance on these systems if desired. We would recommend 64-bit Windows Vista Business for future proofing purposes. Despite being resource hungry and expensive, this is a rock solid OS. Our system came with a Vista Business license and Windows XP pre-installed.

There is a trend with more recent notebooks to offer more granular power management, and HP have gone out of their way to maximise the battery life on the EliteBooks. In this respect HP have done well. We conducted our standard taxing battery test by setting the screen brightness to 50 per cent, and then playing a DVD. This produced an impressive 3 hours and 10 minutes of battery life, well above average. The battery on the 6930p has a 55 Whr capacity.

The 6930p contains all the basic ports, but nothing exciting. There is a 1394 FireWire port, but no DVI or HDMI. There are three USB ports, but there is no charging over USB when the laptop is switched off. There is no eSATA. There is a dial-up modem, although we are not sure if anyone uses them anymore. There is also a MMC card reader slot on the front of the laptop.

Pre-installed software on the 6930p is fairly light; there are no anti-virus software trials or DVD burning software (or the Google Desktop, we're looking at you Dell), but there is the obligatory 60-day trail of Office 2007. You also get two different toolbars in IE, AOL and bizarrely, "Delio", which we haven't seen before. It appears to do nothing.

Our model of the Elitebook was the most basic 6930p which comes in at an RRP of AU$2000. This is reasonable, but not fantastic value of money. Lenovo's Centrino 2 equivalent, the SL500, comes in cheaper and includes a discrete graphics card, and a higher resolution display. However the battery life isn't as good.

Dell's Latitude E (we reviewed the E6500) series remains the most fully featured business laptop we have seen, and the base model is available at AU$2000. However adding additional specs on this laptop will rapidly increase the price — and the battery life on the 6930p is much better than that offered by the Latitude E6500.

The standard warranty on the 6930p is three years, which is generous, but the warranty on the battery is only one year.

Businesses looking to deploy the EliteBook 6930p won't be disappointed. This is a solid business offering on par with the competition. The availability of 64-bit Windows is a plus, as is the excellent battery life.

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justy posted a review   




Brian posted a review   

This computer is a mess. First and foremost, the hinge broke and HP refused to honor the warranty. The laughable part is that HP markets this machine as rugged and even touts how strong the hinges are. Not really. After hours and hours of calls to India and the nasty HP repair reps, they wouldn't budge on honoring the warranty repair. They accused me of breaking the hinge (only the right one and not the left) without even saying how that could have happened. I still cannot figure out how that could have physically occurred without a flaw in the design and construction. Then add that to the fact that the machine is slow as all the HP apps are full of bugs and slow the computer if not crash it.


Nerd Man posted a comment   

The Good:Brilliant batter life

The Bad:Night light not bright enough!

I've had my one for 2 months now, and it's the 2.4GHz/4GB/160GB P8600.
Love the performance,and I'm running Windows 7 Professional. Not sure why everyone is complaining about the finger swipe; mine works fine. Brightness isn't the best when run off the battery, but with W7 it's easily adjusted to keep it mid level when on battery. I'm thinking of trying linux on it and see how that goes, but overall I love this notebook, and I upgraded from a HP6910p.


Siv posted a comment   

The Good:Good speed, performance and battery life

The Bad:HORRIBLE display, brightness is too low when in battery ang gets even worse when waking up from standby/ hibernate. Fingerprint sensor is almost useless and the software needed to make it work starts up soslowly that its easier to press C+A+Del type the pwd and press return!

I would avoid this laptop unless there is a very compelling reason. Even though the performance is good, it's a bit noisy and the LCD IS SO BAD that its almost useless. Would recommend buying an external monitor. The lighted touch buttons on the front panel are irritating and shine on the screen all the time in green, blue and red with no option to turn them off; So irritating that I keep my laptop closed and use my external monitor, KB and mouse.

Most times I get windows BSOD when i restart from standby on a dual monitor setup (due to their display driver- not MS Windows!)

Good Processor let down by everything else and did I mention a horrible display?


Fr**** posted a reply   

Which display do you have? Is there a difference between the wxga 1280x800 and the wxga 1440x900 models?


gorman posted a comment   

The Good:i like it

The Bad:i dont like it



Arif posted a review   

The Good:Very good performance, surprising long battery life, Night light, three years of warranty, extra HDD potion (with RAID1 support) and Presto BizCard reader application

The Bad:Very Pricey, panel brightness is not good enough when running on battery, finger print reader could be little annoying while typing and volume control buttons (soft key) panel is not good enough.

I have bought a EliteBook 6930p Notebook (VF883PA) week ago.
The EliteBook 6930p is a top class business PC (not a gaming tool).
The anodized aluminium finishing on magnesium alloy casing makes it very good looking and durable.
Keyboard is very comfortable and well designed, dust-proof keyboard (like Sony) can make the EliteBook PC’s a complete business PC of all times.
Weighs about 2.1 kg, easy to carry around. No HDMI port, however who wants a HDMI in a business PC (probably cnet.com.au)
I work with different vendors note PC everyday at work, in my opinion EliteBook 6930p is the best one now in the market place.


Roy posted a review   

This is indeed a good one, especially when it comes to battery life.I am using it for the last 2 months.ALso am happy with the performance.


Chris posted a review   

The Good:.

The Bad:.

You should compare E6400 with HP 6930p not E6500 .. mo*%ons ... E6400 have DP, eSATA plus 6h on battery (6 cell)


Smartboy posted a review   

This is a great stable laptop. I am using it for last 3 weeks.

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User Reviews / Comments  HP EliteBook 6930p

  • justy





  • Brian



    "This computer is a mess. First and foremost, the hinge broke and HP refused to honor the warranty. The laughable part is that HP markets this machine as rugged and even touts how strong the hinge..."

  • Nerd Man

    Nerd Man

    "I've had my one for 2 months now, and it's the 2.4GHz/4GB/160GB P8600.
    Love the performance,and I'm running Windows 7 Professional. Not sure why everyone is complaining about the finger swip..."

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