Built for the Long Run
Rarely do the technological stars align and two of the biggest notebook makers redesign their mainstream systems at the same time, but that’s exactly what’s going on at HP and Lenovo. The EliteBook p and ThinkPad L families are aimed squarely at teachers and students with the choice of 14- and 15.6-inch screens as well as the latest Intel Core processors. It’s a simple fact of school life that notebooks just don’t last as long as they need to, but these are ruggedly built systems that should last longer than mere mortal notebooks.
Built of sturdy aluminum and magnesium frames and cases and a shock-absorbing rubber ribbon around the edge of the screen, the EliteBook p has the strongest hinge this side of a bank vault. If something does go wrong or you need to add a memory module, the systems have a single access panel that provides easy access to everything. The 14-inch 8460p model and the 15.6-inch 8560p model weigh 4.6- and 6-pounds. They can be ordered with a Core i3, i5 or i7 processor and pricing starts at $999.
By contrast, Lenovo’s ThinkPad L family is clothed in basic black plastic case with an internal metal space frame that passes many of the military’s tough Mil Spec requirements for ruggedness. The ThinkPad L systems can be had with Core i3, i5 or i7 processors, up to 500GB hard drives and either a 14-inch (L420) or 15.6-inch screen (L520). The models weigh in at 5.1- and 5.8-pounds and have a generous four USB ports. They should be available within a month.