HP’s EliteBook 8740W Mobile Workstation Summary Review

HP’s EliteBook 8740W Mobile Workstation Summary Review

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Back in December I was given two HP Elitebook 8740 Mobile Workstations (one to giveaway – info below) and I wrote my first impressions here. I’ve now had a good two months testing the beast so here is my final review of my likes and dislikes.

I’m not going to get into technical details as Brian Ambrozy has done that for you but I’ll go through my experience as if I were using it on an normal day, eg. using it for design, business and a bit of gaming. The sad thing about this is that I know that this computer is capable of so much more, such as 3D rendering, animation, video editing, etc.


The Power

This machine handled everything I threw at it. At it’s peak I was working on 2GB Photoshop files, with 30 odd Firefox tabs open, Illustrator, Tweetdeck, email and chat. The Elitebook handled this without a hitch.

I knew that the machine was capable of so much more so I opened up my current favourite game, Starcraft II and maxed all the settings out. The computer handled everything without a problem, even with all that other stuff open. That said, I could have cooked an egg on the machine.

In comparison to my Macbook Pro, with all programs closed, I can only get to the second lowest setting when playing Starcraft II so this was pretty impressive to see the Elitebook handle such a load. Like I said earlier, this is a top of the line machine.

Monitor Display

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I mentioned this in my first post but it deserves another mention, the LED-backlight Dreamcolor Display is best display I’ve ever seen.

The Extras

Extras are always nice and this machine has an abundance of them. My favourite is the ‘no boot up login’ which allows me to log on to the internet or my email without booting up the machine. I found this come in handy quite a few times, especially for looking up subway times. Another cool perk was the fingerprint log in, which makes me feel like a secret agent when logging in.

Windows 7

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Windows 7 is a huge improvement from past Microsoft operating systems and I actually didn’t mind using it, especially compared to some of Microsoft’s past OS’s. I won’t get started on this age old debate so I’ll leave it at that.

NVIDIA Video Card

nvidea Quadro 5000M

The video card in this machine is top of the line, the Quadro 5000M from NVIDIA. It worked a charm and is definitely worth a mention here. If you want to see what it can handle check out Ambrozy’s tests.

External Monitor Set Up

I hooked up the Elitebook to my 24″ monitor at home, connected alongside my Macbook Pro. Setting it up was as simple as plugging in the cords & then choosing which machine I wanted to display on the 24″ monitor, which was done by the touch of a button. I love it when things just work.


Size / power

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I also mentioned this in my first post, but the machine is quite bulky, especially the battery power unit which adds considerable weight which isn’t ideal for commuting. I found this the biggest downfall but taking into account the capabilities of this machine, the size and weight is understandable.


This machine produces a lot of heat especially when you’re doing a lot on the machine. It can also get quite loud, but generally it’s not that noticeable.

Blinking Lights

I am getting picky here but on the outside of the machine, just under the screen, there are a whole bunch of flashing lights (volume, brightness, etc.) that I couldn’t seem to dim or turn off. They got quite distracting when working at night.

Where to purchase a HP EliteBook

If you’re looking for a machine of the highest caliber then the EliteBook 8740W is for you, however for the average user, you most probably don’t need one with such power. I would recommend customising an Elitebook specific to your needs. This will save you cash and ultimately, give you the best bang for your buck. Pricing starts at $1,999

HP Elitebook Giveaway!

I’ve got one HP Elitebook 8740W to give away, worth RRP $4,899! Not a bad prize I must say.

I was originally going to sell this laptop and give the proceeds to flood relief victims here in Australia however I asked HP about selling it and then said that I couldn’t so I’ve decided to do a “Donate To Enter” giveaway. Basically, for every $5 you donate you get 1 entry into the draw to win the laptop. There are bonus entries for those that donate more.

Please head to this link: http://funds.gofundme.com/JCDFloodRelief and follow the very easy instructions to enter. You don’t even need to register or have a PayPal account. The goal is to raise US$3000 so do what you can to help out and you may just win a super laptop!

The competition will be open for 3 weeks and the winners will be announced here on the 1st of March. G’luck and thanks for your philanthropy.


If you have any questions for myself, HP or Nvidea please be sure to ask.

14 thoughts on “HP’s EliteBook 8740W Mobile Workstation Summary Review”

  1. On the blinking lights, I’d have to point out,that if you’re working at night and the room is dark enough that the blinking lights are distracting you, you’re doing it wrong? That said, HPs do make for excellent laptops.

  2. Well, a chance to win this huge thing for a $5 donation is not bad. I’m not really after the “thing” but I would congratulate you for hosting this giveaway for a cause. I give my sympathy to the flood victims and I know it’s not an easy situation right now.

  3. Fantastic stuff Jacob, pleased that you could turn this prize draw into something worthwhile and I’m only too happy to donate money. Would be a good idea if more prize give-aways worked this way!

  4. I have been a proffesional creative for the last 7 years, and have had MANY “discussions” on the merits of Windows based machine (PC is an incorrect term , as PC stands for Personal Computer, making Mac and Windows based machines PCs) vs. Macs.

    I am completely fluent on both OS, and have NEVER noticed a difference. Now like I said I’ve only been using computers for design work for the last 11 years (7 proffesional, and 4 years in school). I know waaaaay back in the day Macs had a better resolution, but this just isn’t true any longer. I have been using a Sonny Vaio for the last 6 years, when it was time to replace it, I seriously looked at Macbook Pro, but I could not justify spending twice as much as my new sony Vaio on design asthetics. IF macbooks cost the same as other computers out there, I WOULD buy one because they look cooler. But based soley on power and performance I have to buy PC. great displays, and more power for half the price. As a smnall businessman it just makes sense.

    AND don’t start on the virus issue. In the last 7 years on my Vaio I got 1 virus, from a font. AND it was an easy fix. I rebooted my system and didn’t have to make an appointment and wait days to let a “genius” (I hate calling those guys that)look at it. Add to that the fact that there are more viruses popping up for Macs daily (due to the number of Macs in household increasing), I still contend they are the same. I will give you the style issues, macs look cooler.

    When Macs cost the same as Windows based machines I’ll buy one. Until then, I’ll keep making more $$$ buying a better machine for half the cost.

  5. When I said never noticed a difference, I am referring to capabilities of both machine. Obviously the Os on them are very different. To me it makes sense as a professional to become fluent on both.

    Just wanted to clear that statement up.

  6. I’m not sure how yours compares, but I use the HP EliteBook 8440P at work. The screen is also LED backlit, but the pannel looks more like a tft with TN panel technology regarding the poor viewing angle and ‘lesser’ colour reproduction. Other than that is a pretty good system

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