The Bottom Line
In comparison, a similarly equipped 12.1-inch Elite Lenovo X201 with an Intel i5-540M processor, a six-cell battery, 4GB of RAM and a 250GB hard disk lacks the optical drive option and doesn't have as great a variety of display options. In a 12.1-inch screen form factor, Dell doesn't offer an Intel Core i7 ultraportable processor. Thus, HP has managed to pile on the computing power and features that will be hard to find elsewhere in as small a package. Putting it all together
During test runs of normal office use, the EliteBook 2540p was comfortable to use, but just barely. On the positive side, the low-voltage processor means that everything about the small-framed notebook is cooler than previous-generation notebooks. The screen is relatively bright and presents text and images well. On the negative side, the keyboard experience is "pushy." While there is an adequate key press depth, the key tension is quite firm and made rapid typing a challenge. Other features include evolved versions of HP QuickLook, QuickWeb and Power Assistant. All of these previously available tools make it easier to read-and now compose a response to-e-mail, go online and manage power usage in the EliteBook 2540p. Power Assistant now uses a newly added circuit to monitor AC power and provides user-definable templates for controlling power flow to various hardware components that are sometimes beyond the reach of the Windows operating system, thus enabling users to prolong battery life. The EliteBook 2540p, as is true of the entire line, is generously equipped with external I/O ports, including three USB 2.0 ports, VGA, DisplayPort, 1394a, RJ-11, RJ-45 and a special docking connector. There are also slots for one each of an Express Card/34, Smart Card reader and Secure Digital card.
The EliteBook 2540p earned a respectable 5859 PCMark score using the Futuremark PCMark Vantage 64 benchmark. I ran all the suites in Vantage, including communications and productivity along with games and music. The EliteBook 2540p I tested received a middle-of-the-road 3.3 Windows Experience Index on a scale from 1.0 to 7.9. The only low-scoring component was the "desktop performance for Windows Aero." The ones that really matter for business users scored higher: processor at 6.6, memory at 5.9 and hard disk at 4.5.