The HP ProBook 4520s is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. This 15.6-inch laptop is the successor to the ProBook 4510s. While its predecessor had Intel Core 2 Duo processors, the new model is available with your choice of Core i3, i5, and i7 processors.

Specifications of our HP ProBook 4520s:

Processor: Intel Core i5 430M processor (2.26 GHz, 3 MB cache)
Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (32-bit)
Display: 15.6-inch HD anti-glare LED-backlit display (1366 x 768)
Graphics: Integrated Intel GMA HD Graphics
Memory: 4GB DDR2 800MHz RAM
Hard Drive: 320GB 7200RPM HDD
Battery: 47 Whr 6-cell battery

Configured Price: $749

build and design
The new HP ProBook 4520s features a semi-rigid case design with a brushed metal lid that seems more durable than the plastic lid of the 4510s. The bottom of the notebook does not have access panels for user-replaceable parts. So upgrading this machine in the future can be a bit tricky. Build quality is excellent. The laptop looks and feels solid in your hands.

The ProBook 4520s has a 15.6-inch anti-glare display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The screen has good color and contrast, and the matte finish makes it easy to read outdoors. Horizontal viewing angles are excellent, but vertical viewing angles are average.

Keyboard and touchpad
The HP ProBook 4520s has a full-size chiclet-style keyboard. There is good space between the keys. Another big plus is the dedicated numeric keypad which will come in handy if you use your computer for data entry. The keyboard shows hardly any flex and the keys provide good tactile feedback.

The Synaptics touchpad has a buttonless design. It shows good sensitivity and is easy to use. But the buttonless design has its drawbacks. This arrangement may also take some getting used to.

Ports and features
Port selection is satisfactory. There are 3 USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA/USB combo port, VGA, HDMI out, LAN and audio jacks. There’s also an ExpressCard/34 slot and an SDHC card reader for expansion.

Performance and benchmarks
The ProBook 4520s features Intel Core series processors that offer good performance. HP offers pre-configured models with the Intel Core i3 350M and Intel Core i5 430M processors. Custom configurations with up to 2.66 GHz Core i7 620M and ATI Radeon 4350 dedicated graphics are also possible.

The 4520s offers significantly better performance than the 4510s in many ways. The new Core i5 processor is much faster than the Core 2 Duo seen in the previous model. Graphics performance has also improved. The machine can easily handle HD video content. The 4520s has a faster 7200 rpm hard drive compared to the slower 5400 rpm hard drive seen in the 4510s. Granted, it’s not as fast as more recent SSDs, but it does manage to reduce application load times.

heat and noise
Heat and noise levels are within normal limits. The laptop is quite lap friendly.

Battery duration
The ProBook 4520s comes standard with a 47 Wh 6-cell battery. It has a little over 4 hours of battery life. It is worth noting that the 4510s with its 63 Wh 8-cell battery lasts for more than 5 hours.

The HP ProBook 4520s is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a business laptop. It is affordable and is significantly better than its predecessor in both looks and performance. The buttonless trackpad, however, needs a lot of refinement. You may also want to invest in a larger battery if you travel a lot.

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