HP EliteBook 8740W review

A powerful HP notebook with a 17in DreamColor display

HP EliteBook 8740W notebook

HP EliteBook 8740W notebook

Priced at $7399, the HP EliteBook 8740W is certainly not cheap. However, this is not surprising, given this mobile workstation comes with a Core i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM, as well an amazing DreamColor display. It's not a typical business notebook: It's been built for professionals, such as engineers and architects, who need the processing power offered by the NVIDIA Quadro graphics adapter. The EliteBook 8740W's HP DreamColor screen is one of the best screens we've seen on a laptop. This HP laptop is also equipped with a 500GB, 7200rpm hard drive

With its 17in screen and weight of 3.6kg, it's definitely not the most mobile notebook. However, there is an impressive amount of power packed into its chassis. The trade-off here is that its battery won't last a long time; it survived only 51min in our worst case scenario battery test.

The base of the EliteBook 8740W has almost every port and slot a professional is likely to need: a DisplayPort and VGA port for video output, two USB 2.0 ports as well as two USB 3.0 ports, FireWire (mini), a Smartcard slot, an ExpressCard/54 slot, an SD card reader, a fingerprint reader, eSATA, a Blu-ray writer (BD-MLT-UJ240), Gigabit Ethernet, a 56Kbps modem, a 2-megapixel webcam and 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi. The upgrade bay, which houses the Blu-ray writer, can also be used to house a second hard drive.

Its performance in our hard drive, CPU and graphics benchmarks was gratifying and indicated the power of the hardware.

The notebook is solidly constructed, and its big palm rest and comfortable touchpad with soft buttons are both pros. It also has a Trackpoint device installed. However, we don't like its keyboard. The buttons are soft, but they require a lot of force to hit and more often that not we had to go back and correct our mistakes. The spacebar is quite unresponsive unless you hit it hard.

If you're in the market for a mobile workstation with lots of CPU power, RAM and hard drive capacity, and most importantly, an excellent screen, the 8740W is definitely one to consider.

Original review by Elias Plastiras, PC World Australia.

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