A natural choice for the business user, thanks to a wealth of safety features
Good business features
No numeric keypad
No Gigabit Ethernet
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HP is one of the world's best-selling laptop manufacturers and the 625 belongs to its business range. Boasting a wealth of features, if slightly underwhelming performance, this is a great machine for the corporate or home user after sheer functionality.
While the 15.6-inch screen isn't the brightest around, it offers enough space to make viewing word documents and spreadsheets a pleasure. There's also no shiny screen coating, making this laptop easy to view in all light conditions – especially under harsh office lighting.
The spacious keyboard provides a comfortable typing action, with the keys nicely spread out and with decent travel – regular typists will find it a joy to use. Strangely for a business laptop, there's no dedicated numeric keypad, although with better space management HP could certainly have found space for one.
The touchpad design is great and HP has steered clear of the frustrating format it employs on its consumer ranges. As a result, the pad is responsive and won't be accidentally brushed while typing.
The laptop is attractive enough and boasts a series of intelligent features designed to protect your data on the road. The keyboard is spill-resistant, for example, while HP's 3D DriveGuard technology protects the hard drive should you drop the laptop – ensuring, as far as possible, the safety of your data when on the road. This is ideal for those who regularly travel with data they cannot afford to lose or become corrupted.
These features are supplemented by the machine's excellent build quality, with the solid matt grey and black plastics proving resilient and very easy to keep clean.
Performance isn't poor, but it doesn't quite match comparable machines. Nevertheless, if you're a business user, it's likely you'll be chiefly interested in running office applications, as well as listening to music and browsing the internet, and this laptop will perform these tasks capably.
The 500GB hard drive offers significant amounts of storage, while the DVD optical drive features LightScribe technology, making labelling your CDs and DVDs easy.
High-speed wireless connectivity is provided by 802.11n Wi-Fi. Wired networking is poor, however, with 10/100 Ethernet on offer.
The HP 625 is a good business laptop with a wealth of features and good usability, but average performance. The only major omissions are its lack of a dedicated numeric keypad and its slow wired networking capabilities.
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