If you’re in the market for a business notebook with a lot of power, you should take a look at the HP EliteBook.The EliteBook 8440w is a beast: 2.8 GHz Intel i7 processor, 512 MB NVIDIA Quadro FX 380M graphics card, excellent battery life, and a suite of proprietary software and hardware features that were designed with the business user in mind.
We tested the HP’s premium notebook over the last week. Here’s what we thought.
What we liked:
- The best feature on the device is HP’s QuickWeb. It allows you to access the web without booting up the computer. The application loads in a few seconds and works flawlessly on sites with a lot of multimedia content. Videos on YouTube and Hulu ran without a hiccup. The only thing QuickWeb is missing is the ability to sync with your bookmarks, but HP says they’re working on that for the next version. We wish more notebooks had a feature like this.
- QuickLook is similar to QuickWeb, and has been featured on previous HP notebook models. It gives you access to your e-mail without booting up your computer. You can edit cached e-mails and sync them once you’re back online. Our only complaint is that you can’t connect to your live e-mail.
- It’s fast. Thanks to the Intel i7 processor, the EliteBook boots up and shuts down within seconds. Applications launch quickly and web browsing is snappy.
- The design is solid. Really solid. HP claims the display case can support up to 300 pounds of pressure. We didn’t get a chance to test that, but the gunmetal casing feels strong enough to hold up to some serious abuse. HP also added a spill-resistant keyboard.
What we didn’t like:
- The 14″ display was not bright enough for Hulu or streaming Netflix movies.
- The speakers weren’t loud enough.
- The flip-up spotlight at the top of the display is odd. It works, but we would have preferred a back lit keyboard instead.
- While the larger nine cell battery option gives you plenty of juice, it weighs a lot more and makes the back of the notebook feel clunky. Stick with the standard six cell battery if you need portability.
Who Should Buy:
If you do a lot of work outdoors or are accident-prone, the EliteBook’s rugged exterior should hold up to your abuse. If you need a lot of power and graphics, there’s plenty in standard models, with room to upgrade. The 14″ model we tested starts at $1,399. The 15.6″ and 17″ models start at $1,469 and $1,999, respectively. That sounds expensive, but you get what you pay for. The EliteBook is a solid investment.