All about the HP EliteBook 8560w

HP EliteBook 8560w Mobile Workstation (click for larger)

The 15 inch HP EliteBook 8560w has more in common with its larger sibling, the EliteBook 8760w, than the EliteBook 8460w. is the newly announced Mobile Workstation model from today. Its 15 by 10 inch footprint sits right between the 8460w and 8760w, and resembles them with a MIL-STD 810G business-rugged gunmetal gray exterior design.

The EliteBook 8560w gives you the choice of Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors, from the 2.5 GHz dual core Core i5-2520M all the way up to the 2.3 GHz quad core Core i7-2820QM. It’s unknown if the 8560w will get the Core i7-2920XM Extreme Edition processor option in the future. The notebook comes with two DDR3 1333 MHz RAM slots with dual-core processors, and four RAM slots with any quad-core option, letting you have up to 16 GB and 32 GB of RAM respectively. There is a single 2.5 inch storage drive bay which HP allows you to configure with a hard disk or SSD.

The 16:9 ratio 15.6 inch display has 1600 x 900 resolution as a standard but can be upgraded to a Full HD 1920 x 1080 option. A third upgrade option is a Full HD DreamColor display (an extremely color-precise display for working with photos and videos). These are the same options that were available on the preceding EliteBook 8540w. HP says the ‘regular’ EliteBook 8560w will be 1.36 inches thin, while models equipped with the DreamColor panel will measure a slightly thicker 1.44 inches.

The EliteBook 8560w gives you a choice to pick one of three (also newly launched) workstation-class graphics cards:

  • 1 GB GDDR5 AMD FirePro M5950
  • 2 GB DDR3 Nvidia Quadro 2000M (has faster clock rates than the 1000M listed below)
  • 2 GB DDR3 Nvidia Quadro 1000M

HP mentions AMD’s Eyefinity technology will allow a FirePro M5950 equipped EliteBook to support up to five external displays. No word so far about how many external monitors the Nvidia options will support. The HP EliteBook 8560w also does not appear to support switchable graphics to conserve battery life.

Like its two siblings released today, the EliteBook 8560w sports a new full-chiclet style keyboard, orange colored pointing stick, larger multi-touch trackpad and replaces the old (and sometimes imprecise) touch-sensitive control strip above the keyboard with hardware keys to HP Quick Web, wireless on/off and mute functions. The screen latches have been changed slightly, the speakers have received “SRS Premium Audio” branding and the ambient light sensor has been moved to the top of the screen (near the webcam).

New lid design for 2011 HP EliteBook Mobile Workstations

There is also a new (and ugly, in my opinion) silver strip decal along the bottom of the EliteBook 8560w which boasts the notebook’s “Mobile Workstation” status in a questionable orange-colored font. However, some (including me) might be impressed with the new circular finish and backlit HP logo.

Port selection on the EliteBook 8560w include 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 ports (one of them is an ‘always-on’ port, for charging devices when the PC is off), USB 2.0 + eSATA combo port, dedicated headphone and microphone jacks, Firewire, VGA, Display Port, Express Card 54 and SD/MMC slot. Again, no word if the EliteBook 8560w will support super high capacity SDXC cards.

The EliteBook 8560w does away with the standard HP Night Light previously found on the 8540w and gives you a choice to equip it with an optional backlit keyboard. From what I can tell so far, the EliteBook 8560w seems to share the same keyboard as the EliteBook 8760w, which is a full chiclet-style keyboard with a numberpad on the right.

The EliteBook 8560w weighs 6.7 pounds or 3.0 kg without an optical drive, and 6.9 pounds or 3.1 kg with one. Compared to the 15 inch MacBook Pro’s 5.6 pounds (2.5 kg), it may seem slightly heavier but its weight is comparable to other Mobile Workstations (from Lenovo and Dell), and the ruggedness of the 8560w more than makes up for the slight additional heft.

Like other HP business notebooks (well, at least the upper tier models), the EliteBook 8560w is compatible with an optional docking station which features a lot more ports (including ports to hook up those external monitors!). The upgrade bay lets users replace the original DVD drive with an optional Blu-ray drive, secondary hard disk or a ‘dummy drive’ to save weight.

HP unofficially puts battery life of the EliteBook 8560w at 5 hours with its 8 cell battery, which you can extend with the optional secondary 8 or 12 cell battery. Speaking of batteries, the EliteBook 8560w shares the same 8 cell primary battery as the larger EliteBook 8760w.

The EliteBook 8560w will become available in May for a starting price of $1350.

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8 Comments

  1. Greg April 13, 2011 Reply

    No LED display?

  2. DanaG April 14, 2011 Reply

    (Also posted on the “announcement” article):

    Boy, that light metal hinge is ugly — in fact, the 8440w hinge is far nicer than the 8540w hinge.
    It’s not the boxy design that makes it look ugly; instead, it’s the lighter-than-everything-else color. In fact, it reminds me of the bumper of a semi truck — and I have this overwhelming urge to hang an “OVERSIZE LOAD” banner from it.

    The same is true of the light trim around all the ports — it’s ugly!

    Really, they should at least make those the same color as the rest of the body. It’s definitely too late to redesign the shape, but I can’t imagine it being all that hard to change the color.

    Additionally: why isn’t there switchable graphics? Some of the coolest features of Intel’s latest chips require the IGP to be enabled:
    * vPro KVM-over-IP — hardware VNC server, useful for remote diagnostics
    * Intel Wireless Display

  3. DanaG April 14, 2011 Reply

    Another thought: they could offer a handle on the back, and actually make good use of that hinge area.

  4. DanaG April 14, 2011 Reply

    Say, is that a CompactFlash slot on the front, next to the MMC/SD card slot?

    • Brad S | April 15, 2011 Reply

      Hmm that’s a good question, but it is! I’m thinking it’s an old render though, since it doesn’t appear on the “three in a row” comparison pic of the 14, 15 and 17 inch EliteBooks

  5. Niall October 19, 2011 Reply

    i’ve got one of these with 16gb ram, nice machine, looks great but a few things bug me about it.

    1. when typing the cursor will realign itself elsewhere so you end up typing somewhere else (touchpad too sensitive ?)

    2. the designers thought that the hdd led at the front (a tiny pin prick) would be good to put in a place that makes you bend down/contortion in order to see clearly, why not have it on top like it’s previous model…

    3. the designers probably never used any Express card network cards, plug one in to the provided slot and guess what, oh, you’ve now blocked TWO usb ports,

    aside from this, a nice system, lovely screen (LED, very strong colours) and a nice overall feeling.

  6. errr * December 25, 2011 Reply

    I would send designer to the prison
    USB ports on the both front sides? damn guys where should i work with mouse?

    stupid stupid stupid!

    should learn from dell

  7. Vrykolas September 14, 2012 Reply

    I just tested my HP 8540W with a 64GB SDXC Sandisk, and it DOES seem to support the card…. although the speed is a little slow, it seems to work. (it maxed out at 15MB/sec when it’s rated at 45MB/sec)

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