HP's EliteBook 2730p is aimed at corporate users with a big budget, providing them with premium materials and impressive mobility. It stands out by virtue of its digitised display, and the screen swivels 180 degrees to allow use as a Tablet PC.
The 12.1-inch screen is excellent. It's not quite as sharp as those found on the Lenovo ThinkPad X301 or Sony VAIO VGN-P11Z/R, but the hazy quality often found on Tablet PCs is suppressed well, as are reflections and fingerprints. Colour reproduction is accurate and we found it proved capable for home and office tasks.
The digitised panel responds to pen inputs only, proving better than a regular touchscreen panel, as you will be able to rest your hand on the display as you write, which aids comfort.
Build quality is excellent, as required at this price point. Using premium materials throughout, this is a robust machine with a stylish mix of brushed aluminium, magnesium alloy and soft-touch plastics.
With no built-in optical drive, it's also a light design, weighing in at 1.7kg. This is important on a Tablet PC, as it allows you to comfortably hold it with one hand as you write on the display.
The keyboard offers HP's customary usability with large and perfectly weighted keys. With a responsive and springy typing action, it's easily a match for the excellent Lenovo. The touchpad is slightly cramped, but there's also a responsive pointing stick in the centre of the keyboard, and two sets of mouse buttons.
Freedom of choice
As with some other laptops, the SIM card for the 3G adapter is located under the battery. This machine isn't tied to a specific network, so you'll be able to contact a provider of your choice and set up a tariff that best suits your needs. A pop-out antenna is also in place at the top of the screen panel to improve reception.
In a bid to aid mobility, this machine features a low-voltage Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Running at 1.86GHz, and backed by 2048MB of memory, it's noticeably quicker than the Lenovo, yet you still get an impressive 345 minutes of mobility.
Other features aren't quite so impressive, such as the older 802.11g Wi-Fi adapter or the inclusion of just two USB ports. The 120GB hard drive is also limited, at this price, although it is easy to transfer files using the SD card reader. You will also find Bluetooth and a fingerprint reader in place.
Delivering strong performance and better than average mobility, the EliteBook 2730p is as good a Tablet PC as we've come across. There aren't as many features as we would like to see for the money, but it remains a high-quality, stylish and functional laptop.