"The overall impression of a well-built laptop disappears as soon as you start using the HP 630’s keyboard"
On the face of it, the HP 630 is an affordable business laptop with solid specs. But does it stand up to scrutiny?
What we like best
Considering its target audience – home users who need affordable work laptops – the HP 630’s price has been well-judged.
Priced between £400 and £500 (depending on specific model and configuration), it’s affordable but not quite budget range. Its exterior is suitably sober and conservative, with a plain plastic lid covering a slightly chunky base.
The overall build is satisfyingly solid, including sturdy hinges and a good-looking 15.6inch display.
The entry-level processing option (Intel Core i3) offers fluid and consistent performance at medium-level usage (checking email, browsing, word processing), but will struggle when up against heavy multitasking. However, there is very little noise emanating from the laptop, making it a useful device for work at home or in quiet study rooms.
What we like least
The overall impression of a well-built laptop disappears as soon as you start using the 630’s keyboard.
Flimsy and noisy keys, combined with clunky trackpad buttons make for a less than ideal input experience. Despite the display being sharp and clear, there is a distinct lack of brightness, which gets especially annoying when trying to watch videos.
A battery life of just under 3 hours at medium-intense use without a power supply is just about acceptable, but not great by any means, especially if you need to take your notebook on the road from time to time.
However, these flaws pale in comparison with the HP 630 Notebook’s incredibly frustrating tendency to go into thermal shutdown, i.e. overheats to the point where it turns itself off so as not to suffer permanent damage or endanger the user.
All things considered, it’s nigh-on impossible to recommend a laptop that on the outside seems to fit the bill of an affordable mid-range workhorse but then disappoints in almost every department, and actually endangers the user’s saved work by never being far away from an unexpected shutdown. Avoid.
Intel Core 2 Duo
Intel Celeron T3300
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator
AMD Radeon HD 6370M
Hard Drive Storage
High definition audio support
3 x USB 2.0
1 x VGA
1 x stereo mic in
1 x stereo headphone out
1 x RJ-45
Weight & Size
(W) 376 mm x (H) 31.8 mm x (D) 247 mm
Realtek Integrated Ethernet
Bluetooth 3.0 Combo
Genuine Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows Home Basic
SUSE Linux Enterprise 11
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