HP's Compaq range is designed primarily for corporate use, and the Compaq 2510p (£1150 inc. VAT) is an affordably priced ultraportable ideal for mass roll-out. While its performance and mobility are basic, the excellent build quality and usability make strong selling points.
Similar to Lenovo's ThinkPad range, the plain design is intended for a corporate environment. Build quality is excellent and the sturdy chassis is very tough. Its 1.5kg weight is ideal for travel, and we had no trouble working in comfort on the daily commute.
Battery life is less impressive and limits long-term travel. During constant use, we could work for 176 minutes before needing to recharge. A second battery can be bought for £123 to double your uptime.
Where the HP stands out is in its usability. This is among the best keyboards we've used on an ultraportable and almost matches the Lenovo for quality.
Storage options are average in comparison to its rivals. The 80GB hard drive is ideal for carrying corporate data on your travels, while both the dual-format DVD rewriter and SD card reader let you back up and access data from discs and memory cards.
Data security is essential for business users. The hard drive is shock-protected to prevent disk damage due to a knock or drop to the chassis. A fingerprint scanner also prevents access to the laptop from anyone but authorised users, without the need for a password.
Despite using a dual-core Intel processor, performance proved low. Basic business software and presentations run with speed, but don't plan on editing home movies between meetings. 3D power is equally basic, but is fine for watching videos or running presentations.
The 12.1-inch screen has a wide aspect ratio, which is ideal for spreadsheet work and designing and viewing presentations. The WXGA resolution is also sharp enough to easily view two documents side by side. Brightness was excellent, but colours were flat and lacked vibrancy.
HP's warranty cover is excellent. The laptop is protected for three years, with all parts, labour and delivery costs included. To upgrade to onsite, next-business-day cover costs £85
For raw corporate stability, the HP Compaq 2510p has plenty to offer. Usability and build quality are both outstanding and the warranty cover provides sound peace of mind.
However, its basic mobility means frequent travellers may want to look elsewhere.