Thursday, Jul. 31, 2008

HP EliteBook 6930p Laptop

We understand that some people—in fact most people — do not belong to the Cult of Apple and prefer laptops of the PC persuasion. So here's an excellent choice for the road warrior: The EliteBook 6930p, which has all of the standard things anyone would want in a laptop, including a DVD drive, and comes with a James Bond-like selection of other features that will thrill the intrepid traveler. Let's take it from the top: This is a laptop that can go to hell and come back with nary a scratch: It's got a "ruggedized" brushed aluminum case (which protects it from dirt, humidity, intense vibrations and temperatures from 140 degrees to -20 degrees Fahrenheit).

If you drop (or throw) it on the floor, a feature known as HP 3D Drive Guard uses its three accelerometers to sense the plummet and secures the hard drive to try to keep it running; at the very least, you'll still be able to pull data from it.) HP installed a special operating system that boots up within 10 seconds to read email and run other apps. (It takes longer to boot the full OS.) Another nifty feature: If you partially close the lid and angle the on-board 2-megapixel camera just so, you can scan a business card and automatically input the data into your Contacts list.

But wait! There's more!

EliteBooks take HP's Ultra Capacity batteries, which can get up to 10.5 hours of life on a single charge. Even smarter, they can be charged separately, off laptop, which is really convenient if you have extra batteries for a long trip. The whole thing weighs less than 5 pounds. (Word up to anyone who's put off by that weight: We hear that HP is introducing lighter models by the end of the year.) Needless to say, you can configure it with a half terabyte of hard drive space and a sick amount of RAM, if you want to go that route. And really, what's to stop someone as wild and warrior-like as you?

List Price: $1179

Josh Quittner