HP EliteBook 2170p Laptop Computer – Review

By Jesse Sokolow on 2 December 2013
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The Elitebook, open and powered on

The EliteBook, open and powered on

For the first time in a long while, I found myself using a laptop other than my Lenovo ThinkPad, and I came to realize that I have long been overdue for an upgrade.  The HP EliteBook 2170p proved to be a worthy contender, as it included many new features that I had missed out on during the previous generation of personal computers.

One adjective seems to be used most often whenever a new device is unveiled, and that is “small.”  Hardware companies sell “thinner,” “lighter,” and “sleeker” products because portability is becoming more important to consumers.  And the EliteBook is thin, light, and sleek.

At 3.2 pounds with an 11.6” display, the computer is a far cry from the gargantuan ThinkPad and desktops I am used to.  Moreover, as an editor for a travel publication, I consider its slim form factor essential for use on trips because, as frequent travelers are painfully aware of, every pound saved and every inch utilized in a carryon bag counts.

In addition to size, toughness and durability were other important considerations.  As anyone who’s been a victim of hard drive failure due to physical roughness knows, the resilience of a computer is of particular importance.  Even the most meticulous computer users can be lax in backing up data, and it’s reassuring that the threat of physical damage may be, for the most part, removed from the list of things to worry about.

The HP EliteBook 2170p underwent a multitude of durability tests prior to its release, including fifteen 30” Transit Drop tests (30” being the average height of a desk).  After fifteen consecutive drops, the EliteBook showed no degradation in functionality. One thing was made clear: thin and light does not necessarily mean fragile.

The computer’s internal 500 GB, 7,200-rpm hard drive provided ample storage for my needs and the 4 GB of RAM on board was more than sufficient to handle the applications used.  At 1366×768 resolution, the screen appeared crisp and detailed, acceptable but not overly impressive.


A fairly straightforward set-up process took no more than five minutes to prepare the laptop for use. This included creating a password and registering my fingerprint for thoroughly secure access.  Configuring the computer to my liking and establishing a connection to Wi-Fi completed the process.

Click here to continue to Page 2Using the Elitebook, Bottom Line

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