HP EliteBook G5: Redesigned From The Ground Up For Style And Performance
HP's EliteBook series laptops launched back in 2008 to general success, and a decade later it remains one of HP's top-selling thin and light laptop lines. To celebrate 10 years of that success, the company decided to completely redesigned their business class powerhouse notebook to cater to today's changing workforce. When first launched, baby boomers were still a force in the corporate world. Fast forward a decade, and many of those boomers are living out their golden years on the golf course, with millennials making up nearly half of the mainstream workforce in the United States currently. To appeal to this younger, more tech-savvy road warrior, HP claims to have reinvented their EliteBook series of laptops in an effort to make them more stylish, affordable, powerful and connected.
Visually, it's easy to see the difference from last year's G4 model to this year's G5. The previous iteration employed a magnesium alloy and plastic clam-shell, whereas the new G5 sports a solid machined aluminum chassis. The aluminum exterior gives the EliteBook a bold look, but it's not the only feature update made to this success line of business class ultrabooks. HP has also narrowed the bezels on their current lineup, reducing the laptop's overall size, while optimizing screen real estate and visual appeal. In addition, the size of the touchpad has been increased for easier navigation, new security features have been added and quick access Skype buttons have been included for more convenient video conferencing.
Not one, but two EliteBook G5 models arrived at our door and both showcase the best of what the series has to offer. Each feature a quad-core Core i7-8650U processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory and a 512GB SSD. As configured for our testing, both the G5 830 and G5 840 laptops will set you back roughly $2000 USD, but there are midrange and entry-level options available as well. If you don't need all the performance these machines are packing, HP offers EliteBook 840 G5 models with lower-end processors and storage options for under $900. So, regardless of your budget the EliteBook G5 series probably has you covered.
Both of the models we were sent feature the same internal specifications, layout and connectivity. Where they differ though is in their overall size of the display. As the smaller sibling of the series, the EliteBook 830 features the smallest display, but its 13.3-inch format is very popular, and what it lacks in size it makes up for with a bright, touch-screen panel. At 14 inches, the 840 has a slightly larger display, but without touch capability. The largest laptop in the series is the EliteBook 850 G5, which has a 15.6-inch display. The only real difference between the models is the size of their screens but what's under the hood is up to you. Let's look at the high level specs...
|Processor Options||8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U (1.9GHz up to 4.20GHz, 8MB cache)
840 G5: 14" FHD (1920x1080) 830 G5: 13.3" FHD (1920x1080) Touch screen
Intel UHD 620
||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2400MHz
||512GB HP Z Turbo Drive SSD|
|Audio||Bang & Olufsen, dual stereo speakers, 3 multi array microphone
|Ethernet||1 x RJ-45|
||HP Module with NXP NFC Controller NPC300 I2C NCI
USB 3.1 Gen 1 (1 charging)
1 Thunderbolt™ (USB Type-C™ connector),1 HDMI 1.4b,
1 docking connector,
1 headphone/microphone combo,
1 AC power
||HD IR webcam
||Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit|
|Battery||HP Long Life 3-cell, 50 Wh Li-ion
|Dimensions||840 G5: 12.8" x 9.2" x 0.7", 830 G5: 12.2" x 9" x 0.7"
||840 G5: 3.26 lbs, 830 G5: 3.33 lbs
||3 year or 1 year limited warranty depending on country. 3 year limited warranty on HP Long Life Battery
|Pricing||Starting @ $935, 840 G5 as tested $1,951, 830 G5 as tested $1,958
Another aspect that has been upgraded with the G5 series is its audio solution. Let's face it, laptop speakers always sound thin and lack bass response. It's not completely the manufacturer's fault though really. There's just not enough room in an laptop to add decent drivers, so options are limited. HP is looking to change this though, by partnering with Bang and Olufsen (B&O). If you're not familiar with B&O they are a high-end Danish consumer electronics company that has designed and manufactured audio products since 1925. In that time they have designed some large audiophile speakers, but their products tend to have an emphasis on being thin and sleek. Making them a perfect fit for a laptop. Even with a company such as B&O designing your speakers, a laptop isn't going to drive earth-shattering audio. Then again, having a 78dB rating is not too shabby for ultra-thin notebook.