Elias Plastiras. Big and with a powerful graphics card, this is a workstation notebook for users who make a living using design and content creation software. The w isn't a typical desktop replacement notebook: it's a professional mobile workstation. It's not flashy and it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a typical consumer notebook. What it does have is a high-end NVIDIA Quadro graphics chip, which enables it to power through demanding workloads for users of design and 3-D rendering programs. It also features a 17in screen with a native resolution of x, so it rivals the screen real estate offered by many in LCD monitors.
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HP makes several 17" business class notebooks. The w we are looking at today is designed for 3D rendering tasks and extreme performance. The w is not a flashy machine and nor should it be. It has clean lines and a professional business class look.
Up close the w looks sophisticated yet simple. Everything on the machine is there for a reason. The w is constructed out of durable plastic with an inner shell of magnesium. The outside of the lid, the palm rests, and the area directly below the LCD are of a silky smooth yet durable slate gray.
All of the other areas are of heavy-duty granular black plastic. It is extremely difficult to get any part of the w to flex — it is one of the most solid machines I have come across.
Although the chassis is quite thin, it hardly moves when twisted. Every part of the notebook feels firmly anchored down. Tapping the surfaces of this notebook yields a solid sound.
Even though the display is quite large at 17" diagonal, it flexes much less than a typical display this size. It is hard to push in the display from the back — pushing in does not produce any ripples on the screen. I am impressed with the build quality of the w. When I first laid hands on the machine, I instantly knew it was a high end machine from the first-class construction. HP did not cut any corners in the construction of this machine. Right off the bat I will state that it is stunning.
Contrast is excellent and brightness is very high for a matte screen — it is brighter than many WUXGA glossy screens I have used. Text is clean and crisp and the entire screen is evenly lit. The anti-glare surface is ideal for a wider range of lighting scenarios than glossy displays — a glossy display can have glare problems in certain situations.
The side-to-side viewing angles are nearly perfect and the above and below angles are very good. The colors wash out slightly at extreme above angles and the display darkens slightly at extreme below angles. I have seen and used a great variety of notebook displays before and the w stands out as one of the absolute best. The w has two stereo speakers situated below the palm rest. I was not expecting a business notebook to have good speakers but this one does — they are very clear and do not have the tininess of typical notebook speakers.
There is a decent amount of bass; more than I would expect out of notebook speakers. It is enjoyable to listen to CD music on them. Its rendering tasks can stress up to sixteen multiprocessors on the same computer.
No doubt, our w with top-of-the-line components is a powerful machine. The w has one fan in the back left corner of the chassis. It pushes air out through two vents. At idle, the machine does not create a lot of heat; because the fan is larger than one found in a typical notebook larger so another fan is not needed , it only needs to spin at a low RPM to adequately cool the machine. The fan is essentially inaudible while at idle. When the machine is stressed, the fan ramps up to a higher RPM and it is audible.
However, even using the machine in a quiet office environment, the sound was not significant enough to be heard far away. The w gets mildly warm on the surface.
The left side of the notebook stays warmer than the right because that is where all of the heat-producing components are located. While the surface of the notebook is warm to the touch in most places it is not hot — the heat is more than bearable. Overall the w does a manageable job of handling heat. It runs reasonably quiet while keeping the machine cool. The w has a full size keyboard with separate number pad. I found the keyboard itself to be top notch.
While the keyboard has no flex the number pad does — it flexes quite a bit when more than average pressure is used. The key travel for the entire keyboard is just right. The keys make a soft, pleasant sound when pushed down. All of the keys are more or less in their expected positions. Key action is light so it is easy to type fast. Along the top of the keyboard are a series of touch-sensitive controls for launching applications.
I found them to be easy to use although the volume control pad could have been a bit more sensitive. Embedded in the right palm rest is a fingerprint reader. It adds an extra measure of security and makes logging and entering passwords as easy as a swipe of the finger.
Both a touchpad and a track stick are both present on the w. The average-sized touchpad is offset to the left side of the machine to match up with the keyboard. It has a smooth surface and is easy to use. A strip along the left side of the touchpad is a scroll pad. The mouse buttons are rubbery and feel rubbery to push down.
The buttons feel pleasing to push down and they hardly make any noise when depressed. The track point is located in the center of the keyboard. It is easy to use. I preferred to set the sensitivity up because of the huge screen resolution. Overall I found the keyboard, touchpad, and track stick to be first rate. The number pad does have flex but it is not an issue in my opinion because it takes more than average pressure to cause flex.
It supports the draft N wireless standard as well as the standard a, b and g bands. I had no issues connecting and maintaining a connection to a variety of secured g band networks.
I do not have access to an N router so I was not able to test its functionality. Integrated Bluetooth 2. I was able to connect to and transfer files back and forth to my Bluetooth-enabled ThinkPad without problems. I find the battery life to be more than acceptable. Even though I believe those interested in a machine like this are overly concerned with battery life, it nonetheless is a plus for this machine.
The review unit came pre-installed with Windows Vista Business. There is very little pre-installed software to speak of besides the HP utilities, which are basic but useful.
The HP w comes standard with a 3-year parts and labor warranty with onsite service. During my time with the w I did not have to contact customer service. This machine is clearly designed for professionals inside and out, and it shows. All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.
HP Compaq 8710w User Review
HP makes several 17" business class notebooks. The w we are looking at today is designed for 3D rendering tasks and extreme performance. The w is not a flashy machine and nor should it be. It has clean lines and a professional business class look. Up close the w looks sophisticated yet simple. Everything on the machine is there for a reason.
HP Compaq 8710w Mobile Workstation Product Specifications
Furthermore, the 17 inch WUXGA display ensures due to a resolution of x pixels maximum clarity. Detailed information to case and input devices are available in comprehensive review of the HP Compaq p. The pictures of in this review are except those of the display section pictures of the identically built HP p. The HP Compaq w has the business look typical for HP , that is black case and robust blue-grey lid and blue-grey palm rest areas. Design and shape are oriented on the function.