Introducing the HP EliteBook 8460p

Ever since getting to visit with HP back in February, we've been anxious to get one of their refreshed enterprise-class notebooks in house. The aluminum styling is such a smart blend of professionalism and straight up good looks, it's almost a shame we aren't going to see it on consumer-oriented notebooks. Now we have one of their new 14-inch models on hand, the EliteBook 8460p, featuring a dual-core Sandy Bridge processor and new AMD Radeon HD 6470M graphics. Is it everything we hoped for?

About the only thing I don't like about HP's new lineup is how convoluted it is. HP is offering two different ProBook lines and two different EliteBook lines. The ProBooks are split into budget and...not budget?...and then the EliteBooks have one line geared specifically for mobile workstations. It's all broken down here (minus the new workstations, which are still en route), and it's a little clumsy. The overarching themes between all the lines are sound, though: gorgeous aluminum shells, reinforced hinges, and matte screens. Our EliteBook is the 8460p, a 14-inch build from the not-workstation line.

HP EliteBook 8460p Specifications
Processor Intel Core i5-2520M
(2x2.5GHz + HTT, 3.2GHz Turbo, 32nm, 3MB L3, 35W, vPro Enabled)
Chipset Intel QM67
Memory 1x4GB DDR3-1333 (Max 2x8GB)
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6470M 1GB GDDR3
(160 Stream Processors, 750MHz/1.8GHz Core/Memory clocks, 64-bit memory bus)
Display 14-inch LED Matte 16:9 1366x768
(AU Optronics AUO313C Panel)
Hard Drive(s) Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 320GB 7200-RPM SATA 3Gbps Hard Disk
Optical Drive DVD+-RW Combo Drive w/ LightScribe
Networking Intel 82579LM Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Agere Si3054 Modem
Audio IDT 92HD81B1X HD audio
Stereo speakers
Headphone and microphone jacks
Battery 6-Cell, 62Wh battery
Front Side Indicator lights
Left Side AC adapter port
4-pin FireWire
2x USB 3.0
SD/MMC reader
ExpressCard/54
Optical drive
Right Side Headphone jack
Microphone jack
eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port
USB 2.0 (charging)
DisplayPort
Exhaust vent
Kensington lock
Back Side Modem jack
VGA
Ethernet jack
Operating System Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
Dimensions 13.31" x 9.11" x 1.25" (WxDxH)
Weight 4.95 lbs
Extras 720p Webcam
Flash reader (MMC, SD/Mini SD, MS/Duo/Pro/Pro Duo)
USB 3.0
Bluetooth
Fingerprint reader
Modem
Warranty 3-year standard parts and labor warranty
Pricing Starts at $999
As configured $1,199

Starting from the top, we have Intel's Core i5-2520M. Sporting a 2.5GHz nominal clock speed and capable of turbo-ing up to 3GHz on both cores and 3.2GHz on a single core, this chip is actually a step up from the Core i5-2410M in that it supports AES-NI and hardware virtualization where the lesser model does not. It also starts at a higher clock speed and has substantially higher turbo bins.

HP makes the interesting decision to employ a single 4GB DIMM instead of a pair of 2GB DIMMs; on the one hand this may produce a minor hiccup in performance, but on the other this is the standard memory configuration across the 8460p lineup and ensures the end user can easily upgrade the RAM later. With 4GB sticks going for $40 apiece right now, that doesn't sound like a bad idea either.

One of the parts we're really interested in checking out is AMD's new Radeon HD 6470M. Now that Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics effectively makes the unimpressive Mobility Radeon HD 5470 obsolete (outside of still having better driver support), AMD has to step up their game. This chip doubles the number of shaders of its predecessor at 160 (finally eclipsing the now ancient Radeon HD 2600), but the memory bus remains a poor 64 bits wide and is strapped to GDDR3 instead of the faster GDDR5 that could mitigate the narrow bus. Still, core clocks are mighty high at 750MHz. We don't expect performance to double, but it should at least be a substantial improvement. One disappointment is the lack of a switchable graphics solution; there are notebooks sporting 6000M series Radeons in the market that can switch between the discrete and integrated GPUs, but that's not possible on the 8460p.

As for the rest of the configuration, HP ships the 8460p with 7200RPM hard drives, Bluetooth, and wireless-a/b/g/n support standard. One of the nicer things about checking out business-class notebooks is that they tend to be much more fully-featured than their consumer cousins, and the 8460p is evidence of that, offering all modern and even some older connectivity--some people still value FireWire, thankfully. Unfortunately, while HP does offer WWAN connectivity with the 8460p, the internal Mini-PCIe port doesn't support mSATA.

Among the Best Looking Windows Notebooks Ever Built
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  • Robberbaron12 - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    I own a 8440p with the 1600x900 screen. It was the only decent notebook on the market with a high res. screen smaller than 15 in. It is very bright and clear, but the contrast and viewing angles are only fair, not great. Having said that they are so much better than the screen reviewed here. Reply
  • MonkeySnax - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    In regards to the default screen have you disabled the ambient light sensor? I don't personally own the laptop but I'm in the market and have been looking at the HP 8460 (along with the Sony Vaio SB) for a few weeks now. I did read somewhere that a user turned off the sensor which improved screen brightness. Might be worth a try, also found some pictures of the 1600 x 900 screen, owner seems to like it:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/hp-business-class-...
    Reply
  • Pessimism - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    plastic internal chassis != elite Reply
  • dan0512 - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    As long as they don't make the Elitebooks with 16:10 screens again. Reply
  • ebolamonkey3 - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    When will Anandtech do a review on the Thinkpad x220?? Reply
  • ahmed25 - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    Hi...Any chance of a review ofr the sandy bridge envy 17 3d from you?It seems like a wonderful all in one multimedia lappy Reply
  • CutControl - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    With all the sandy bridge going around I think it's time for another buyer guide! =) Reply
  • Belard - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    Considering the ThinkPad X100 is a pretty low-end ThinkPad... and the screen shots makes the Elite notebook appear to be pretty much useless! Worse than my OLD ThinkPad R61 (almost 4 years old).

    The ThinkPad T420 can be had with a 1600x900 and similar config for around $1100. The screens are still matte, but are bright and look pretty good (not as much as glossy - for obvious reasons). To get it up to $2000 is top end with a T420... maybe the 1" think T420s.
    (A full load out with SSD 160GB, i7-2620, 8GB, WifiMax, GPS & WAN is $2100)

    Both Dell and HP copy ThinkPad with the tracking-stick as well as two sets of mouse buttons.

    So for $1100, might as well get a ThinkPad with the roll-cage (Its not plastic under the case), spill protection for the keyboard and easily a FAR FAR better keyboard than the crap they put on that "professional HP" notebook.

    Here is the standard ThinkPad keyboard (not on the lower end Edge or L series): http://www.studentbuyingguide.com/wp-content/uploa...
    The extra large DELETE key is handy. With only thing that degrades the keyboard is the fn & CTRL keys are still OLD-Style backwards. :( At least it can be switched in BIOS.

    The T420s is a thinner version of the T420, looks even slicker - but I don't think its worth the extra $300 and loss of a USB port and drive options. http://www.lenovo.com/shop/americas/content/img_li...

    For the most part the body of the HP Elite does look very nice... a cross between an MacBook Pro and thinkpad with s goldish color.
    Reply
  • wigglz - Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - link

    I just got a 8440p and love it. Upgraded to 4gb of ram, seems stable enough to run a few vms.. I just need to get xoskins to make me a <a href="http://xoskins.com">screen protector</a> for it and ill be set. I tried a privacy one, but it drives my eyes crazy Reply

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