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I have had the HP Probook 4720s for about 7 months now, replacing a much older Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 which had performed admirably over a number of years (4+) heavy use.
As an IT consultant looking for a laptop for all purposes my requirements were very high. Put simply, I wanted the following:-
* Huge hard disk - the 4720s has 500GB (actually 450GB is available as the other 50GB is hidden for recovery)
* Lots of RAM as I want to be able to run virtual machines and capable of running SQL Server 2008 Developer/Enterprise (i.e. 4GB RAM minimum whereas old Tosh had 2GB max) - this comes with 4GB RAM, expandable to 8GB which I ordered at the same time
* future-proofed as much as possible as I probably won't be able to afford another one for another 5 years - this has Windows 7 Pro, facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, integrated webcam and microphone and almost every single connection that you can think of
* decent battery life - this was reputed to have 4 hours (the Tosh started with 2 and ended up with less than 60 seconds!)
* Sensible size for daily use but also portable - this has a 17" screen with separate numberpad, so no RSI for me! It is big to lug, but you get used to it.
* durable as the grey plastic on the Tosh was actually wearing out and massively discoloured - this one is a metal construction
Huge expectations then, and the HP Probook 4720s promised to meet most of what I needed for under £900. Today, 7 months later, I still have 290GB free on the hard drive, despite some seriously large downloads (how I managed with 70GB on the Tosh is unfathomable). I currently have MS Office 2010 Pro and SQL Server 2008 R2, along with other web development software and virtual machines. It still seems to be as future-proof as it was 6 months ago (a rare feat).
Where have I noticed problems?
* MS Outlook 2010 often stops working and closes. It then re-opens and cannot restart because a file is in use. The event logs indicate that the problem relates to the preloaded HP QuickLook Add-in integration with Outlook 2010. Simply waiting a few minutes and restarting Outlook is a temporary workaround.
* There are techniques to try to maintain a decent battery. I take out the cable when the battery has been fully charged and don't leave it plugged in overnight. I think it is starting to wear down, but slowly. The Tosh had halved its battery life in the first 6 months and I'm sure this still has over 3 hours grace.
* seems to be slower starting up now, so may need to think about making some adjustments
* a slightly disconcerting clicking sometimes eminating from the hard drive
* construction between the keboard and the DVD drive doesn't seem as sturdy as the rest
In summary, the HP Probook 4720s has and still is bearing up well to a hard life. It is a high spec machine, designed for heavy duty IT work in a solid construction. The only issue that really annoys is Outlook crashing so frequently. Hopefully HP will resolve this software bug soon.
Take care of business with the stylish, affordable HP ProBook 4720s notebook PC. This power-packed notebook has a 17.3-inch diagonal HD+ display, a spill-resistant keyboard and numeric keypad, and wireless connectivity options for on-the-go professionals.