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Review HP EliteBook 8740w Notebook

The HP EliteBook 8740w has been on the market for a while, but it is still the most powerful workstation in HP's line of business notebooks. The rather massive case houses an Intel processor, a video card manufactured by Nvidia (or ATI) and an exclusive 17-inch display with a spectacular and promising name "DreamColor". This laptop is positioned as a desktop replacement, and given its solid package, it will be interesting to see what it can do.

The EliteBook 8740w test laptop was configured as follows:

Processor - Intel Core i7-820QM quad-core processor (1.73GHz, 8MB cache, in "Turbo" mode the frequency rises to 3.06GHz)

Operating system - Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)

Display - 17 "WUXGA + antiglare" DreamColor ", 1920 x 1200 resolution

Graphics Card - 1GB (GDDR5) ATI FirePro M7820, graphics card optimized for workstations

System Memory - 8GB DDR3 RAM

Hard Drive - 320GB 7200RPM

Optical Drive - DVD +/- RW

Network Communications - 802.11 a / b / g / n Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Modem, and Bluetooth

Battery - 8-cell, 73Wh Li-ion battery

Weight - 3.57 kg

Construction and design

The HP EliteBook 8740w is a mobile workstation specially designed to meet the high demands of performance, reliability and power consumption while providing the laptop with maximum connectivity. Either way, the EliteBook line meets these standards, but when you pick up this nearly 4kg laptop, you shouldn't criticize it too hard for being overweight.

The case of the laptop has a proprietary coating "HP DuraFinish", which is resistant to scratches, and the case itself is made of durable magnesium alloy using the proprietary technology "HP DuraCase". HP has given the exterior of the laptop a darker hue, while the interior has a lighter, silvery finish. The outer display lid is metal and the inner display frame is made of plastic. The body has a very high rigidity, no deflections were felt anywhere. The only weak point is the keyboard, which is a little springy if you type on it with great effort.

HP claims this workstation is MIL-STD 810F certified. This means that the EliteBook is subjected to prolonged exposure to high temperatures, vibrations, and water contact during testing, while remaining functional. In addition, the 8740w is equipped with a shockproof hard drive (HP 3D DriveGuard), which is protected from damage if the notebook is dropped or hit hard. The user can also choose a laptop configured with an SSD drive, which has a faster data transfer rate than a hard drive and is vibration-resistant.

If we consider the possibility of upgrading the EliteBook 8740w, then everything is simple - there are two plates on the bottom cover of the case, which are fastened with several screws, by unscrewing which the user gains access to the hard disk, Wi-Fi card and RAM. The optical drive can also be replaced with a second hard drive or SSD if the user needs more disk space. The bottom cover also features a docking port, an external battery connector and a pocket for storing business cards.

Ports and other equipment

The 8740w has a large number of ports on all sides. Let's take a closer look at their placement:

Left Side: Kensington Lock Slot, Cooling Fan Grill, Power Connector, DisplayPort, VGA Out, USB 2.0, FireWire, ExpressCard / 54 Slot, and Smartcard Slot

Right side: eSATA port, two USB 3.0 ports, USB 2.0 port, optical drive, Ethernet and modem port

Back view: battery and fan grill

Front: Headphone jack, microphone jack and multi-card reader

Display and speakers

Notebook HP EliteBook 8740w Equipped with either a standard 17.0-inch widescreen anti-glare display or a "DreamColor" LED-backlit display, which is a 10-bit matrix that can display up to 1 billion colors. The passport display brightness is 300 nits (actual value was 289 nits), and the contrast level is 800: 1 (actually 721: 1). This display can be operated even in direct sunlight. The display resolution is also admirable - 1920 x 1200 pixels, so the smallest detail will be visible on the screen when running applications such as Maya, CAD or 3dsMax.

The only caveat to the "DreamColor" display is that the factory setting is far from ideal, so the user will need to spend some time calibrating the display. Almost all workstations equipped with a DreamColor display are overly saturated, so professionals then have to use a colorimeter such as the Datacolor Spyder to calibrate the display.

The viewing angles of the DreamColor display are fantastic. The colors remain saturated, and the contrast is high in any case - whether you are looking at the display strictly in the center, or at a large angle from the side or from above.

The test laptop was equipped with an ATI FirePro M7820 professional graphics card, which can be used to connect additional displays using the Docking Station. ATI's Eyefinity technology allows a large number of external displays to be connected to the laptop, and the user is limited only by the number of DisplayPorts on the Docking Station.

During testing, four external monitors were connected to the 8740w workstation, three of which worked at 1920 x 1200 pixels, and the fourth worked at 1440 x 900, since it was connected via a VGA output that did not support higher resolutions. The ability to connect such a large number of external displays to a laptop is certainly impressive.

The speakers on the 8740w are very good for a business laptop, but of course the speakers on 17-inch multimedia laptops with a subwoofer will sound better. Considering that the speakers are located on the front edge of the cabinet, the sound is directed towards the user. However, it must be borne in mind that if you put the laptop on your lap, you can accidentally cover the speakers with clothes and the sound will be muffled or distorted.

The headphone jack on the 8740w worked great, it was tested with two high-quality headphones, and there were no clicks or pops when listening to music.

Keyboard and touchpad

The 8740w's full-size keyboard looks very stylish and has a special "HP DuraKeys" coating that gives the keys a matte finish and prevents the glare that has appeared on legacy keyboards after some time of use when grease and dust have accumulated on the surface of the keys from the user's fingers. ...

The keyboard layout is the same as the previous 8730w model, but the keys are slightly thinner and have LED backlighting, which is very convenient for working in low light. During operation, the keys are pressed smoothly, without noise and annoying "clicking". In general, the keyboard layout is ideal for a 17-inch laptop intended to be a desktop replacement.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, you may notice a slight flex in the keyboard during operation, especially if you apply significant force. Of course, this is a minor drawback, but the manufacturer should pay attention to it, especially considering the price niche of this laptop.

The touchpad also has a "DuraFinish" coating, so fine dust and grease will not spoil its appearance.The touchpad is manufactured by Synaptics. The touchpad has a high sensitivity, has three keys, the surface of which is covered with a rubberized coating. The keys are of the optimal size for ease of use, it is also worth noting that the laptop is equipped with an additional set of keys for working with the "Point-stick" mini-joystick, which is equipped with all 8740w models. The mini-joystick is also very convenient to use.

Performance

The EliteBook 8740w test laptop is equipped with an Intel Core i7-820QM quad-core processor. Like all Core series processors, it has a base clock and an overclocked for Turbo mode. In this case, during light workload when working in an office program or browsing the web, the processor clocks at 1.73GHz, but as soon as you launch a demanding application such as Maya or Adobe Premiere, the processor frequency immediately jumps to 3.06GHz.

When choosing a laptop, the user has two options - he can choose either the Nvidia Quadro or ATI FirePro graphics card, specially designed for professional graphics work. During the tests, the laptop made a big impression with the performance of the ATI FirePro M7820, which is equipped with 1GB GDDR5 local memory. Of course, for the money you can get a gaming laptop that has better graphics performance, but the gaming laptop has not been tested for compatibility with 3D rendering applications and CAD programs.

The 320GB 7200 RPM hard drive is not the fastest hard drive on the market, but it will be fast enough to run most applications, and you can always upgrade your laptop with a high-speed SSD.

Let's look at the results of performance measurements.

Wprime CPU performance score (the lower the score, the better the performance):

PCMark05 measures the overall system performance (the higher the score, the better the performance):

PCMark Vantage measures the overall system performance (the higher the score, the better the performance):

3DMark06 measures performance in games (the higher the score, the better the performance):

3DMark Vantage measures the graphics performance of a system (the higher the score, the better the performance):

CrystalDiskMark measures hard drive performance:

Heat dissipation and noise

During day-to-day use (surfing the Internet and working in office programs), the notebook made no noise, and the EliteBook 8740w was cold. But as soon as the benchmarks were launched, which seriously load the central processor and the video card, the cooling fan switched to higher revs and the noise level significantly increased. On the other hand, the slightly noisy fan does its job very well - the surface of the 8740w keyboard heats up at most at some points up to 35 degrees Celsius, and the bottom lid up to 40 degrees. This temperature was reached after running two tests in sequence - PCMark05 and 3DMark06. In principle, the results are very decent, as for a powerful desktop analogue.

Standalone operation

The battery life of the 8740w, equipped with a standard 8-cell 73Wh battery, was not very impressive. The laptop was tested with the following settings - display brightness 70%, Wi-Fi was on, the website page was refreshed every 60 seconds, and the Windows 7 operating system was set to "Balanced" mode. The laptop was able to work autonomously for 1 hour 52 minutes. Of course, such a result cannot be called absolutely unsatisfactory, given the package bundle - a 17-inch display, a quad-core processor, a powerful graphics subsystem, but it is also worth mentioning that some modern workstations have an autonomous operating time of 8-9 hours.

Comparative battery life of laptops:

Conclusion

Summing up, we can say that HP EliteBook 8740w Is a powerful 17-inch workstation for professionals that can fully replace a desktop computer. ATI Eyefinity technology can come in handy if you want to additionally connect multiple external displays. The power of the combination of a quad-core processor and a powerful graphics card is impressive, and it is obvious that the laptop can outperform many stationary systems.

The disadvantages of the model include a slight deflection of the keyboard and a short battery life, but if you plan to use the workstation for its intended purpose - as a replacement for a desktop, connecting it to a stationary power supply and an external keyboard, then these disadvantages are practically leveled.

Benefits:

High performance

Robust and reliable housing

Availability of the "Eyefinity" option

Disadvantages:

Slight deflection at the keyboard

Low battery life

Considerable weight and dimensions of the laptop