HP ProBook 5330m review

A powerful ultra-portable laptop with an excellent screen, but it suffers from poor battery life

HP ProBook 5330m
The look of this business laptop has divided opinion here

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HP probook 5330m

All business laptops place an emphasis on security, so if a chav child makes off with your precious portable, they can't access your fantastic plans for a space car powered by scotch eggs.

The HP ProBook 5330m is no exception, with a built-in fingerprint scanner. We see this feature on almost every modern business machine, and it's a good, quick alternative to remembering a number of complex passwords.

You also get HP's ProtectTools software suite, which helps you to manage your security settings, encrypt your hard drive and back up your mega-important files.

In fact, that's just one of the many tools HP pre-installs on its laptops. You also get the likes of HP Power Assistant, which helps you manage your power settings to get maximum performance or battery life, and HP QuickWeb, which gives you near-instant access to the web without having to boot up Windows.

More experienced users will no doubt refer to these software suites as 'crapware' and uninstall them on sight, which is fair enough. However, if the HP ProBook 5330m is your first laptop, you'll likely get some benefit from these packages.

HP probook 5330m

Like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1, there's no optical drive built into the HP ProBook 5330m. In this digital age there's less and less reason to carry sacks of CDs and DVDs around with you, so this shouldn't pose a problem.

The 500GB hard drive means you'll have plenty of space to cart around your media as well as your files and applications.

We streamed some HD content over the interweb and sat back to enjoy a film on the bright 13.3-inch screen. Despite using a matt TFT display, movies look fantastic. The HP ProBook 5330m plays HD video perfectly and images are crisp, thanks to the 1366 x 768 WXGA resolution.

Even sound quality impresses through the built-in Beats speakers. Top volume leaves a little to be desired, but the speakers pack more of a punch than the usual tinny efforts.

If you want to make use of a larger screen or projector, you have VGA and HDMI connections. You also get two USB ports and an eSATA port that doubles as a third USB connection.