HP ProBook 4310s review

Price when reviewed

After laying eyes on HP’s ProBook 4310s for the first time, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d travelled back through time to an age when laptops were square and practical, but never particularly pretty. But despite the fact that there’s hardly a curve to be found on its chiselled, retro-styled figure, the ProBook 4310s has an eccentric charm all of its own.

It isn’t particularly attractive, with a thick-set, glossy black frame that stands 40mm proud of the desk, but the 13.3in display makes it reasonably compact while just tipping over the 2kg mark. It’s a shame the battery life isn’t better, though; with a little over four hours of light use and 1hr 19mins of heavy use, you’ll need to carry it back to the mains on a fairly regular basis.

Get your hands on the ProBook, however, and you might just be pleasantly surprised. The keyboard might look a touch suspect, but it’s much better than appearances suggest. The large, square keys have a nice positive action, and the wide spacing between each key helps keep typos to a minimum. Only the trackpad has room for improvement, with the hinged buttons occasionally feeling somewhat awkward under the finger.

The screen gives away the ProBook’s more sensible pretensions, as unlike the glossy display of many consumer models, the ProBook has a matte panel. It’s a good thing, though, as reflections are kept to a minimum, and despite the slight loss in vibrancy, the HP still made a good fist of our test photos. Reasonably accurate colour reproduction helps keep skintones looking fresh and lifelike, with only the weak contrast disappointing.

The presence of Windows 7 Professional will be welcome for business applications, too. This version adds XP Mode, automatic backup capabilities, and the business-friendly Domain Join features to the standard Home Premium. HP also adds some of its own proprietary software. The ProtectTools suite takes on drive encryption duties, and Disk Sanitizer allows users, or security-conscious IT departments, to wipe a hard disk of sensitive data without any fear of it being undeleted.

For all its seriousness, though, the ProBook has a lighter side. There are both VGA and HDMI ports at the side, and the ATI graphics even allow a little bit of light gaming, despatching our least taxing Crysis test at 39fps. General performance isn’t to be sniffed at either, with the 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 7,200rpm hard drive helping to earn the HP a score of 1.03 in our benchmarks.

It might not do quite enough to win an award, but we can’t help liking the little ProBook 4310s. It’s as comfortable hooked up to an HDTV as it is churning through an Excel spreadsheet, and as a sensible, compact, all-round laptop, it has plenty to offer.


Warranty1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions326 x 229 x 40mm (WDH)
Travelling weight2.6kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T6570
Motherboard chipsetIntel PM45
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetATI Radeon HD4330
Graphics card RAM512MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity298GB
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskHitachi HTS723232L9A360
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveOptiarc AD-7561S
Battery capacity2,500mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportno

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchyes
Wireless key-combination switchno
ExpressCard34 slots1
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetSoundMAX HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove keyboard
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating2.0mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use4hr 15min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 19min
Overall application benchmark score1.03
Office application benchmark score1.02
2D graphics application benchmark score1.18
Encoding application benchmark score0.96
Multitasking application benchmark score0.95
3D performance (crysis) low settings39fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 32-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery partition, burn own recovery discs
Software suppliedHP ProtectTools, HPDisk Sanitizer

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