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