The Bottom Line
- Full aluminum deck
- Lots of configuration options
- Excellent security features
- Good pricing for a 13.3-inch laptop
- Heavier and thicker than other ultraportables
- Design is pretty staid
- Processor: 2nd Generation Intel i5-2410M, 2.30GHz (Turbo up to 2.90GHz), 3MB L3 Cache, 4 threads, 35W
- OS: Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
- Memory: 4GB (up to 16GB in 2 DIMM skits)
- Display: 13.3" HD AG LED SVA (1366x768)
- Hard Drive: 320GB - 7200rpm (7mm)
- Battery: 6-cell Li-Ion 55 WHr (2.55 Ahr)
- Networking: Broadcom 802.11 a/b/g/n, optional mobile broadband modem
- Dimensions & Weight: 1. 32 in (at front) x 12.68 in x 8.66 in/3.4 cm (at front) x 32.2 cm x 22.0 cm, starts at 4.19 lbs.
- Warranty: Limited 1-year and 3-year warranties available
Guide Review - HP ProBook 6360b
May 15, 2011--13.3-inch laptops are all the rage these days, and the HP ProBook 6360b is HP's first b-series notebook in this form factor. While it doesn't have the head-turning looks of the MacBook Air or the Samsung Series 9 (nor their featherweight and razor sharp builds), the ProBook 6360b sports a professional design and is serious about business.
HP has updated its b-series with a bead-blast aluminum display enclosure and magnesium-reinforced ABS chassis. The ProBook 6360b has an elegant, dark finish that thankfully resists smudges and seems very durable. Other design touches include a very secure display latch and keyboard drain in case you accidentally spill a glass of water on your keyboard. The laptop's pretty thick and bulky compared to the trendy 13.3-inch laptops out there; at 1.3-inches thick, it's almost twice as thick as the MacBook Air. Starting at 4.19 pounds, the ProBook 6360b will also feel more substantial while carrying.
The ProBook 6360b wasn't designed to be flashy, though. It's meant for work, and with a speedy second-generation Intel Core processor and up to 16GB memory capacity, as well as SSD options, this laptop can help you do that. I found the laptop very zippy in basic business tasks, though the battery life of the 6-cell battery fell a bit short of the rated 7.25 hours (I got about 6 hours with wi-fi and multi-tasking).
Laptop users who care about glare and eyestrain will appreciate the ProBook 6360b's matte HD display; the widescreen is bright and clear. I also found the chiclet keyboard very comfortable to type on; there's decent spacing between the keys, and although they aren't as concave as those found on ThinkPads, the keys had a slight curve to them to facilitate typing. The trackpad is also a decent size and smooth (though I did run into a problem where I inexplicably locked it and thought for a few moments that the whole laptop had froze. HP has added a little orange light into the trackpad to show you if/when this happens).
As a business notebook, the laptop also boasts some important features not commonly found in consumer laptops, and HP has consolidated many of its tools into one handy interface. There's facial recognition software, for example, as well as a pretty neat two-factor authentication option where you can pair your cell phone via Bluetooth with the laptop for another logon layer of protection. HP Power Assistant can help you manage the battery life-to-performance tradeoff by showing you how much energy you can save or lose for different power schemes. And QuickWeb, HP's fast-launch environment, now supports more widgets like Skype, Outlook calendar, and battery status snapshots.
Your IT department may really appreciate the 6360b not just for the added security features and dock connector, but also a new hassle-free upgrade door--switching out or accessing the laptop's internal components is pretty simple now.
As with the 12.1-inch EliteBook 2540p, which I also liked a lot, the ProBook 6360b offers a great many configuration options, so you can tailor your laptop for your needs. Add a Blu-ray drive, for example, for mobile entertainment (the 6360b has SRS premium sound) or a battery slice for up to 20 hours of battery life to last you on long flights.
No, it's not the sleekest laptop available and perhaps seems stodgy compared to more trendy laptops, but the HP ProBook 6360b is an affordable, high-performance laptop with features fit for mobile pros.