HP ProBook 6470b Core i5 – 3rd Generation Laptop is one of the few business laptops with a screen size of 14 inches. Many business customers who prize performance and functionality would like to ignore the ultrabook types that make compromises in configuration and performance in favor of high mobility. The one way that business laptops with some heft can attract this user base is to provide a killer package with the right port selection and usability.
The manufacturing giant, Hewlett Packard, has been offering its ProBook business laptop range for some time already. Decent workmanship and high stability fused with lush connectivity and good performance speak for HP’s ProBook 6470b. The casing, made of matte brushed aluminum, has been completely adopted from HP’s former ProBook 6460b and pepped up with up-to-date hardware. Featuring Windows 7 Professional, the ProBook 6470b (B5W83AW) is available for 1084 Euros (~$1420 RRP). The customer can choose among 21 models with prices ranging from 880 Euros to 1130 Euros (~$1160 to $1480 RRP) in the 6470b range portfolio.
Our test device is the second most expensive and is particularly aimed at small business customers. The premium ProBook 6470b (B6P71EA) model sports a weaker processor, but in return, features a 128 GB SSD. At a street price of 1030 Euros (~$1480), the present laptop includes an Intel Core i5 processor featuring vPro technology, a 500 GB hard disk and fast, 4 GB working memory. Despite the smaller casing, a DVD burner is installed like in the 15-inch version. In addition to a matte HD-ready screen, HP bestows the ProBook 6470b with Office suitable connectivity. Our exhaustive test shows how well the powerful components interact.
base of HP’s ProBook 6470b (B5W83AW) is comprised of matte black plastic and is very rigid. A very big maintenance cover takes up almost the entire bottom and can be opened without tools via a slider mechanism. Almost all components can be accessed. The conventional 2.5-inch hard disk can be accessed just like the fan for replacement or cleaning purposes. The Wi-Fi module and two RAM slots are also accessible here. Even the processorcan be removed. This is pretty unusual as only gaming rigs have this kind of construction but the hands-on professional would certainly enjoy this feature. The 55 Wh battery can be released and removed via a second slider mechanism. The SIM card slot beneath it was not functional due to the absence of the WWAN module in the test device. In addition to models featuring a conventional hard disk or SSD, the ProBook 6470b is also available with a combination of both memory devices. The SSD inserted via mSATA slots would mean an exclusion of a UMTS module. Basically, the decent maintainability and the very solid workmanship are appealing.
The connectivity of HP’s ProBook 6470b is very comprehensive. Except for an HDMI port, virtually all interfaces that a user could want are installed. HP also includes a few business-specific ports. The room on the chassis’ sides is well used. Only the front is void of any ports except for a few status LEDs.
Next to a DisplayPort and a VGA port for video transmission to external monitors, FireWire (IEEE 1394y) and an eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port are installed. HP has also incorporated two USB 3.0 ports and a rare SmartCard reader in an ExpressCard 54 format. Regrettably, the USB ports are quite close to each other so that bigger USB flash drives or plugs obstruct the neighboring port. A RJ11 socket for a modem is beside the usual Gigabit LAN port. Since most ports are located at the laptop’s rear area, an extensive cable mess is prevented even without an optional docking solution.
The optional HP 2012 90W docking station for 200 Euros (~$260 RRP) can be connected to the corresponding port on the ProBook 6470b’s bottom. In addition to four more USB 3.0 ports, the docking station also sports interfaces like DVI, parallel and serial ports and a network socket. For a street price of 123 Euros (~$160), this makes life easier for users who frequently carry their work home. An optional “HP ST09” laptop battery is also available. It is connected beside the docking station on the bottom. The ProBook 6470b’s battery life can be extended with a strong 6600 mAh/73 Wh secondary battery for approximately 100 Euros (~$130).