HP ProBook 5310m

If you are after a tiny laptop and are certain you won't ever be playing any graphically intensive games on it, you'd be hard pressed to find a better machine than HP's 5310m.


8.5
CNET Rating
7.3
User Rating

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Design

The HP Probook 5310m is an exceptionally sleek and thin ultraportable laptop. It's got both a fantastic battery life and real processing muscle, which is a pleasantly mystifying surprise to find in a laptop of such diminutive size.

It's a matte black, lightweight tank of a thing that feels very solidly constructed. There is only minimal flex in the high viewing angle screen, and no chassis foibles that a full fortnight's worth of use uncovered. The keyboard is mostly good: the only issue we had was that the spacebar did not register a hit when the outer edges were pressed. This means you have to think about typing a little more until you get used to it — until then you'll find your words mashed together into odd blocks, missing the space you swear you typed between them.

Features

Sacrifices invariably have to be made in the name of ultraportable computing. There is no optical drive in the unit; however, you can connect one through one of the three USB connectors. A 3.5mm audio output, gigabit Ethernet port and a DisplayPort connector round out all the physical connectors on offer. Wireless N networking, Bluetooth and a webcam are installed by default, as are 2GB RAM and a P9300 — Intel's low power, dual-core 2.26GHz processor with 6MB (!) of cache.

The 1366x768 screen was thankfully non-gloss, and proved to be more than bright enough to work outside at midday. Connecting external monitors or projectors for presentations (or movies, or anything else) is taken care of by the full size DisplayPort connector, which is a mixed blessing. Although it provides data in addition to video and audio, it isn't yet found on most of the other devices you'd want to connect to. As a result, you'll need a DisplayPort to VGA, DVI or HDMI cable to connect to most current devices, which you'll have to source yourself.

The hard drive is a meaty 320GB model with 2GB partitioned off for HP tools. We were a little disappointed that there were no combination USB/eSATA ports on the machine, but USB alternatives will suffice for most situations.

Performance

The battery results were spectacular. This is a powerful machine with a tiny sliver of a battery, and yet at full brightness it was able to decode SD video for two hours, 54 minutes. Our HD video battery life test returned equally excellent results, with one hour 52 minutes before the battery gave out.

This is not a gaming laptop, as evidenced by its abysmal 3DMark 06 score of 904. We fired up a selection of 3D games to see what was playable, and concluded that most games from pre-2005 will play, albeit at low resolutions and with occasional low frame rate drops. But gaming isn't what this laptop was built for.

The more respectable PC Mark 05 score of 4293 reveals its true strength: the ability to not slow you down while getting actual work done. It's something the processor's enormous 6MB of cache helps in spades; the machine even remained snappy and responsive during rounds of heavy duty audio editing, coding and Photoshop work.

When you ignore graphics performance and focus on the tasks that this machine will see in day-to-day use, you're left with a beautiful laptop that performs very well for a relatively small amount of money.

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hwb
3
Rating
 

hwb posted a review   

I purchased the Probook 5310M in February of 2010 and have been having issues with it.
I have 3 case numbers regarding the problems with the touch pad and mouse devices. I am running Windows XP professional. The problems are the touch pad did not work proplerly and when running Windows Internet Explorer 7 it would open and close adduitional windows as though someone else was operating the computer. And no viruses were detected. The problem has been mostly resolved by Bios updates and reinstall of toch pad software. but only after several calls to HP support.
The current issue is the Display Port. I cannot find a HDMI cable that fits the port and HP has been no help what so ever on this.
Very disatisfied with the service from HP.

Jim
10
Rating
 

Jim posted a review   

The Good:Solid build, Runs linux perfrectly, Excellent value

The Bad:Limited RAM options

I have had this notebook for 2 months now and I would highly recommend this to anyone.
For only having a 4 cell battery, it has exceptional battery life for everyday tasks. I find I normally get just under 4 hours on a single charge.
I must have been lucky as I have no issues with the keyboard and find it the best notebook keyboard I have ever used.

 

M.Tyfish posted a comment   

The Good:Light & small

The Bad:Screw needs to be removed to fix keyboard

There is a HP tech note - a screw has been poorly designed and needs to be removed to get the keyboard to work properly. This is the spacebar problem referred to in review. Also the driver needs to be updated on XP to get the VGA adaptor to work on all monitors

 

srinath posted a reply   

This is great news! Ijustgot my 5310 and having majortrouble with the space bar! do you have the tech note and what screw needs to be removed?

thanks

first-time user
9
Rating
 

first-time user posted a review   

The Good:great look and feel, the non-relective screen, solid build

The Bad:still envious of the ASUS (claimed) battery life, the spacebar issue

I did a lot of research on the "perfect" 13 inch tool...
Am hoping HP will soon put out a more powerful battery, just for the greater peace of mind because I haven't actually run out while on the road yet.
If you are a clean freak, the fingerprints on the trackpad might annoy you, but at least the rest of the machine has a matte coating.
Keyboard is great (except for the spacebar's lack of sensitivity on the edges).
I am happy with my choice and value for money.
I cannot comment on performance because I am a light user and do not play games.

 

Big Pet Monster posted a comment   

The DisplayPort does not provide audio support. The "combo stereo headphone/mic jack" device does not exist.




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User Reviews / Comments  HP ProBook 5310m

  • hwb

    hwb

    Rating3

    "I purchased the Probook 5310M in February of 2010 and have been having issues with it.
    I have 3 case numbers regarding the problems with the touch pad and mouse devices. I am running Windows..."

  • Jim

    Jim

    Rating10

    "I have had this notebook for 2 months now and I would highly recommend this to anyone.
    For only having a 4 cell battery, it has exceptional battery life for everyday tasks. I find I normall..."

  • M.Tyfish

    M.Tyfish

    "There is a HP tech note - a screw has been poorly designed and needs to be removed to get the keyboard to work properly. This is the spacebar problem referred to in review. Also the driver needs to..."

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