The ProBook 6360b is the latest addition to HP’s “b” series notebooks and their first in a 13.3” form factor. The 6360b is tailored for business professionals with a robust software suite including HP ProtectTools, Power Assistant and QuickWeb. Business users will also appreciate the secure display latch, extended life battery options and docking station capabilities.

Our ProBook evaluation unit shipped with Intel’s Core i5-2410M, a 2.30 GHz Sandy Bridge processor that is capable of Turbo Boosting up to 2.90 GHz when needed. Much like the i5-2520M in the ThinkPad X1 we tested recently, this CPU features four processing threads and Intel HD 3000 Graphics with a max TDP of 35W.

The system also packs 4GB of DDR3, a Hitachi 320GB hard drive spinning at 7200RPM, Broadcom 802.11 a/b/g/n WLAN, a removable 6-cell Li-ion battery, a DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL optical drive with LightScribe and a 13.3” HD AG LED SVA display running at 1366 x 768. That breaks down to a 4.19-pound machine that measures 1.32” (at front) x 12.68” x 8.66”. While this is a 13" system, it's considerably thicker and a bit heavier than some of the ultraportables we have looked at recently that also have a 13-inch screen. The system's list price is $899 although as of writing, the system can be had for just $750 at Newegg.

Before we move on to more pressing matters, it's worth noting that we usually like to compare a review product to something similar that we already have on hand. As far as specs are concerned, the closest notebook we have to the ProBook appears to be the Lenovo ThinkPad X1, a 13.4” notebook with many similar characteristics, albeit at a higher price. Compared to the X1, the ProBook 6360b has very similar display specifications, a slightly slower processor, identical graphics and the same amount of memory and hard drive space.

The ProBook additionally features a removable battery and an optical drive, while the X1 showcases Bluetooth connectivity. And that's where the similarities end. The ProBook is admittedly plain and hefty while the X1 is a slim system which more of a consumer-designed look and feel.