Pros: IPS screen – this is its claim to fame if you don’t know what that is, then just accept that it’s a much better quality color display capable of 1 billion active colors, essential for good color reproduction when post processing your photos. The HP 8560w is engineered to meet tough military – grade testing for drop, vibration, dust, altitude and high temperature it also has a backlit keyboard and a processor capable of any given task.
Cons: Noisy fan complaint – but actually turned out to be a noisy hard drive, my laptop came with the WD Scorpio black HDD. I swapped it for a SSD hard drive and that fixed the problem with what seemed to be fan noise. The other big complaint is the power usage but I have mine set to full brightness & power (yes, I know… I have high expectations!) so it only lasts realistically about 1.5 to maybe 2 hours without mains power. On the recommended setting it should last a lot longer.
Evaluation: Just stop reading at this point and get one if you can, they are on backorder with limited supplies and high demand. I have owned Toshiba & HP laptops in the past. I just replaced my Fujitsu laptop with the HP 8560w I also own a Lenovo X series ThinkPad tablet. I will truthfully say that none compare in the build or the display quality of the HP elitebook 8560w.
Still not convinced? Well then read on and check out the technical info and some pictures I took of my HP elitebook 8560w at different viewing angles just to show you the IPS display capabilities. I am only going to touch mainly on the screen as I think that is the most important aspect to a to me as a wedding photographer.
As a professional wedding photographer I like to upgrade my laptop every 2-3 years it’s a work tool that I depend on and like camera bodies and lenses I like to keep up with the latest in technology. Why IPS display? Color precision is very important to me as it is with many wedding photographers and if you have used a good quality Dell Ultrasharp desktop IPS display for color correction or post processing your photos then you may already be aware of the difference in color between a standard color TN (Twisted Nematic) monitor display and the IPS (In Plane Switching) display. The angle of view with an IPS display is much greater at a ±89° horizontal, ±89° vertical the color depth is 10-bits/color it displays 1 billion active colors.
What does all this mean? Well when you calibrate your laptop monitor it will match your desktop monitor for color space integrity. I previously have tried to color correct images on my laptop only to find that they are way out with my desktop color space but now with the quality of the HP elitebook 8560w IPS dreamcolor display it gives me a perfect match to my Dell Ultrasharp desktop IPS display monitor.
Here are some sample photographs of the viewing angles that I took to illustrate the wide viewing angles available in the dreamcolor IPS panel of the HP elitebook 8560w.
But you might say… well I only ever need to use the laptop in front not to the side and while that is true this also governs the quality of the screen also. While directly in front of you a TN panel experiences color variation and contrast shift from one end of the panel to other, while IPS based is consistent all the way across the screen so it always looks brighter and because of the depth of color it reproduces color in more accurate and consistent manner.
Interestingly the Apple iPad uses an IPS screen which gives it its vivid color and clarity, generally MacBook laptops have a superior quality display but they don’t have IPS they have a high quality TN panel, the IMac desktop display use an IPS panel so it seems clear that Apple will have to move to IPS in the near future with the MacBook as they have already done so with the iMac. The reason many manufacturers use TN panels in there line of laptops is the cost, it is much cheaper to produce a TN panel as it does to produce an IPS panel so an IPS panel adds a cost premium to a laptop display.
Conclusion: While I won’t get into the debate of which brand of laptop you prefer, I guess I did my research and found very few if any produce a laptop with the superior IPS display. Dell do have a laptop model the M4600 PremierColor workstation with IPS display option and this would be a good choice also, but I chose the HP Elitebook 8560w for its IPS panel but also its build quality.
I think HP have got it right this time with a laptop that is made to take the knocks and also looks good. Please note though that not all the HP Elitebook 8560w have the IPS dreamcolor display so if that is important to you as a photographer as it was to me then you will need to make sure that you order carefully. Make sure that it shows the dreamcolor IPS logo at the top right hand side of the screen edge. I ordered the prebuilt HP model – XU086UT#ABA this has the IPS dreamcolor display.
Well as I said earlier for me the IPS display technology in the HP elitebook 8560w was the draw card that made me decide that this laptop was for me, but I have since got to appreciate that there is much more to this laptop than meets the eye. HP of late has gone down the path of producing a reasonable priced laptop but with some complaints about build quality, well not so with this laptop, it is a pleasant surprise with an incredibly superior build quality of magnesium alloy exterior, the raised aluminum keyboard buttons are backlit with a magnificent feel and comfort that make a welcome change from the usual plastic keyboards so prevalent in laptops today. The look of this laptop is superb and processor performance is outstanding so I have no hesitation in giving it 4 out of 5 (except for its power usage & battery I would have given a 5 out 5)
For the technical minded here are the specs for the HP model I have purchased – XU086UT#ABAMobile
|15.6-inch LED FHD UWVA (1920 x 1080) anti-glare DreamColor||Active Area (W x H)||13.54 x 7.59 in (34.4 x 19.4 cm)|
|Diagonal Size||15.6 in (39.6 cm)|
|Contrast Ratio||800:1 (min)|
|Refresh Rate||48 Hz, 50 Hz and 60 Hz|
|Brightness||210 nits (Typ)|
|Pixel Resolution||Pitch||0.179 mm x 0.179 mm|
|Format||1920 x 1080|
|Viewing Angle||±89° Horizontal, ±89° Vertical (typical)|
|Technology Type||30-bit In-Plane Switching (IPS)|
|Display Colors||Over 1 billion colors (native mode)|
|Color Gamut Coverage||
CIE 1976 (u’,v’)
Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64 bit
Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM Processor (2.0 GHz, 6 MB L3 Cache)
Intel® Core™ vPro Technology
Mobile Intel QM67 chipset
15.6-inch diagonal LED-backlit DreamColor® FHD anti-glare (1920 x 1080)
720p HD Webcam
ATI FirePro M5950 graphics with 1GB dedicated GDDR5 video memory
8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2D)
500 GB 7200 rpm 2.5-inch hard drive
DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL Drive
Dualpoint (touchpad plus pointstick) and Backlit spill-resistant keyboard with numeric keypad and drain
Intel Centrino® Ultimate-N 6300 (3×3)
Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
56K v.92 high speed modem
TPM & Fingerprint
HP 8-Cell 83 Wh Li-Ion Battery
HP Elite Support with limited 3 year standard parts and labor warranty 3/3/3