Update 7/2/10 – You can read my Final Summary Review here.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from HP asking if I’d be interested in testing out one of their newest laptops, the HP EliteBook Mobile Workstation (Model 8740w) – RRP$4,899. I hardly ever do reviews on this blog, but when I got this offer, I just had to give in. So yeah, now I’ve now got two HP Elite Mobile Workstations sitting here, one for myself and another one to give away to one lucky reader of this blog! Details soon.
Anyway, over the next few weeks I will be sharing my unbiased experiences of using this beast, via Twitter & this blog. Though before doing that, due to US federal law, I need to inform you that HP sent me this laptop to keep; which is called material compensation, but this won’t keep me from speaking the truth.
Anyway enough with the legal, here is what is inside. Thanks to Brian Ambrozy for the spec write up.
- Intel Core i7-740QM (1.73ghz, 6mb L3 Cache)
- 8gb DDR3-1333
- 17″ WUXGA (1920×1200) LED-backlight DREAMCOLOR display
- NVIDIA Quadro 5000m with dedicated 2gb DDR5 workstation-class GPU
- 500gb 7200RPM HD
- Full-sized backlit keyboard
- 230w external power adapter
It also has some cool extra perks too, like a fingerprint scanner, ambient light sensor, dual microphones, a three button trackpad mouse as well as a three button point stick mouse, touch-sensitive media keys, a 2.0mp integrated webcam, and a LightScribe DVD +- RW burner. It’s also got a Bluetooth module and an Intel Centrino Ultimate N wireless adapter and much more.
So yeah, you get the drift… it’s one hell of a machine. It’s HP’s top of the line.
My first impressions
When the two laptops were first delivered, they came in a huge box about the size of a plasma TV, which to be honest got me pretty excited. Inside this massive box, there were two smaller boxes with the laptops packaged up inside. I unpacked one of these boxes and after Windows 7 auto-installed, the machine was pretty much good to go. No problems so far and no dead pixels!
Size & Aesthetics
My first impressions was that it was quite a large laptop, especially compared to the 17″ Macbook Pro I currently use, though it was surprising light for it’s bulky size (3.57kg). The frame is notably large, rugged & sturdy and to be honest, I am not sure if this is because of all the gear inside, or if it’s there for it’s protection – maybe both. Size aside, I like the brushed steel look on the outside, but I still think the Macbook wins on aesthetics… that said, you do pay for looks when you buy Apple.
This was the second ‘wow’ moment I got on this machine. The Elitebook’s display is the best I have ever seen, hands down. Even against the Macbook’s display, you can easily see the difference, and even more so when compared to my modest Asus 24″ monitor I use at home, which looks like mud in comparison. Big win for HP’s LED-backlight Dreamcolor Display here, but it does comes with a hefty price tag, but totally worth it in my opinion. I wish all my displays were like this.
With a fully charged battery, the EliteBook lasted about 1.5 hours doing the basics (emails, browsing, music) which isn’t that great, however, with all the gear inside this is understandable… “you’re not going to run a Ferrari on a bunch of lantern batteries and solar panels”.
Keeping in mind, my 11 month old Macbook only lasts about 2.5 hours doing the same tasks, I think the payoff for the awesome ‘Dreamcolor Display’ screen is worth it in regards to power usage.
A few days after receiving the laptops, HP gave me a call so they could tell me more about the machine. I soon found out there were many other hidden perks that came with the Elitebook, including a 3 year warranty that is standard on all HP workstations. Quite a perk, especially when compared to Apple’s optional (but essential) AppleCare.
HP told me about the other bells and whistles, but I’ll have to hold out on these until the next post, after I get a chance to use them all. So yeah, these were my initial reactions but you’ll be hearing more soon.
If you want a more technical review, be sure to check out Brian’s Ambrozy’s review series.
Do you have any questions or requests for the next post? Let me know as I have a direct line with HP.
Win A HP EliteBook 8740W Mobile Workstation
If you were wanting to win one of these beasts, be sure to follow this blog, as well as these peeps on Twitter (and their respective sites) as they will be having their own unique giveaways; @Primesuspect; @Fuelcreativity; @SolidSmack; @designshard and @mayhemstudios. Be sure to follow @HP_PC and the hashtag #HP too. G’luck!