I was flipping through the most recent issue of Time Magazine when I came across a highly favorable review of HP’s new EliteBook 2530p laptop. I’m not in the market for a new laptop myself, having just bought one before this summer’s Southeast Asian adventure, but maybe you are. The 2530p is being marketed toward business travelers, but we flashpackers know a good thing when we see it.
As with any new laptop introduction, there’s plenty of geek-speak to impress you: the 2530p meets MIL-STD 810F, is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo SL9400 1.86 GHz CPU, has 4 to 8 GB of DDR2 RAM, its HDD ranges from 80 GB to 160 GB HDD or 80 GB SS, Gobi dual EV-DO / HSPA wireless, and whatnot. If you’re really into specs, CNet has ‘em.
What attracted my attention were the travel-minded attributes, not the bonanza of acronyms. To wit…
Durability — The Time piece was called “The Klutz’s Companion,” and this is why. There’s an accelerometer inside the computer that senses when the computer is in free-fall. The laptop responds by locking the hard drive in place so your data don’t get damaged or lost on impact. The 2530p is encased in scratch-resistant, brushed aluminum that holds up to humidity, high temperatures, and dust. And if, like mine, your laptop is rarely more than a few inches away from a steaming mug of coffee, they’ve made the keyboard spill resistant. So if you’re prone to the odd graceless moment, or if your itinerary will see you down some of the world’s bumpier roads, this might be the laptop for you.
Mobile broadband – Thanks to the built-in Gobi chipset, you can connect to the internet just about anywhere in the world by buying a SIM card and jumping on to the local cellular network. Wherever a cell phone works, so will the broadband connection.
Lightweight – After lugging a nearly 6 pounds of laptop around in my backpack all summer long, the 2530p’s sticker weight of 3.2 pounds sounds absolutely feathery. It’s amazing how much difference a few pounds can make for your shoulders and lower back over the course of a long hike or a day of transit.
Long battery life – The new ‘solid-state’ hard drive technology (optional) means that there are fewer moving parts to motor when the computer’s on. So the standard six-cell battery, which sustains my new laptop for about three hours when I’m actively using it, keeps the 2530p running for around seven hours.
The only major drawback to the 2530p seems to be the price tag: the starting price is around $1,500, but with added bells, whistles, and capabilities, that can balloon to nearly $2500.