Apparently quite water resistant too

EliteBook after shading my head from the rain

I’m a big time user of my HP EliteBook 2530p ultra-portable notebook. With its footprint not much bigger than a standard letter sized document, it goes almost everywhere with me. The last time I showed you how easily it managed to survive being crushed under 175 lbs of me, and in general, survives the rough and tumble events of life in its daily usage.

Disclaimer: I’m not endorsing the act of drowning your notebook. Please don’t try this at home (or outdoors)!

Let me tell you what happened last October. It was a pretty ordinary Tuesday to begin with and I had initially brushed off the cold feeling on back as a sign of even colder weather to come. It didn’t strike me until I was almost home, approaching my front door, when I felt water trickling down the back of my jeans, that the ‘cold’ had nothing to do with the weather but everything to do with the bottle of water in my backpack whose cover had came off.

By the time I set the bag on the table and pulled my EliteBook 2530p out, entire left half of the notebook had been drowned in water, from the center of the touchpad/pointing stick location stretching all the way left to the optical drive/charging port side, for quite a while. My EliteBook 2530p spends most of its time throughout the day in sleep mode since I have the tendency to bring it everywhere, putting it into standby as I leave a table and reviving it as it lands on the next flat surface I rest it on. And I noticed the power light was still glowing in sleep mode after being half-drowned, a good thing, a sign of life that the EliteBook could still possibly be alive.

I’m well versed enough to know to pull out the power source (the battery) of an electronic device after exposure to water that’s not just surface deep, but somehow my instincts after seeing the continually glowing power light made me open up my EliteBook 2530p and hit the power on button instead! But yes, I glad I did that instead of pulling out the battery and worrying the next few hours of my life away with the question whether the notebook was still alive – I have this thing for instant gratification, and I was very delighted to know my EliteBook 2530p was still very much alive and kicking, albeit now with a very water-filled left half of the display.

So I had my little own aquarium inside my EliteBook’s screen, and although it was still very much viewable, I couldn’t imagine using it with those little water/air bubbles inside for the rest of its life. I went on to test other things; the keyboard was working, the optical drive was working, I wasn’t quite willing to take the risk of testing the left USB port or charging port yet though I was pretty confident they would work too, then I decided to take the entire thing apart to let its insides dry out for paranoia/precautionary measure’s sake.

Taking out the optical drive was easy since I only leave the external screw in, or sometimes not at all, so I can interchange and hotswap an external 500 GB hard disk with it… but the rest of this tough guy was pretty difficult to take apart; there weren’t many screws to deal with but the upper touch sensitive panel and keyboard were held together pretty firmly by natural forces (no wonder this thing is so rugged!). I wasn’t in the mood for disassembling the entire display panel structure, so I removed the left side of the bezel a little and disconnected the display of the EliteBook from its left hinge to let it dry.

I left my EliteBook 2530p overnight and the next day, magic happened (sorry Apple, you ain’t the only one with magical products!), the display had dried out for the most part, with some traces of water which progressively reduced over the next 2 weeks (there’s still a tiny spot or two as of now, but they aren’t really visible unless you inspect the screen really closely from a certain angle)… I tested the charging port and USB port… and success, I could still charge the notebook’s battery and it could still read flash drives and charge my iPhone using its left port.

I’ve been caught on several occasions totting my EliteBook 2530p around without a bag or case when it started to rain (the picture above shows my EliteBook 2530p at home after darting back in the rain), and I used it to cover my head. And here I am still using it like brand new.

This is probably the main reason (but not the only reason) I usually retort “get a business notebook!” when I’m asked what ‘reliable’ notebook to get, or listening to rants about how a specific consumer model or two (of any brand really) broke in one way or another was ‘unreliable’.

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One Comment

  1. Indrek April 26, 2011 Reply

    Excellent story! Shows that the EliteBook moniker is truly well-deserved. You should do a little video about it, like those ThinkPad stories.

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