HP EliteBook 840 And 830 G5 Review: Aluminum-Clad Powerhouses

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HP EliteBook G5 Series Summary And Final Analysis

With last year's Elitebook G4 being more or less a refresh of the previous generation, HP set out to make a bold statement with its 5th gen devices. What inspired these bold new designs was the need to appeal to a more tech-savvy audience that cares about aesthetics and design, as well as performance. Let's face it, the younger you are the more you grew up surrounded by technology; young professionals are more tech savvy than ever before. Today's modern business user wants substance, security, portability, connectivity, and of course, style. On all of these fronts the EliteBook 800 G5 series delivers.

The first thing you notice about the G5 series is the sexy aluminum chassis. This machine is a head turner. Aside from just looks though, the aluminum has added benefits as well. Unlike some other materials, the textured aluminum used on these machines isn't as prone to collecting fingerprints and smudges. While testing the EliteBook G5 laptop we spent hours benchmarking, watching movies, surfing the net and typing up this review. Even after all that use the machine still looked pristine. The only part of the laptop that really collected fingerprints was the touch-screen on the G5 830. In addition, with these new models, HP was also able to reduce the bezel size from last year's iteration without having to sacrifice display quality. In comparison to the G4, the size of the side and top bezels of the EliteBook 800 G5 series have been reduced by 42% and 21%, respectively. 

The two test models we were sent sport the best of what the EliteBook G5 series offers and their performance reflected that. In our testing, the EliteBook G5 consistently out-performed many of its business class rivals. As configured, the G5 series really holds its own and will easily serve both business and personal use cases, including resource heavy programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and AutoCAD. Like most ultra-thin laptops currently on the market though, some throttling can occur when the processor is taxed continuously for extended periods. While running certain benchmarks we did see some throttling, but it wasn't as severe as we've seen with other current-gen machines. For the most part, both EliteBooks hummed right along at full speed and put up respectful numbers in the process.

Of course, if you don't need a top of the line processor and a 512GB SSD, there are more budget-friendly options available that we'd recommend. The HP G5 series is one of the most configurable laptops we have come across recently. There are options that start well under a grand, so you can more easily find a configuration that fits your budget and computing needs.
HP EliteBook 830 G5 Hero
In addition, HP was trying to up the ante when it comes to on-board laptop audio, and for the most part they succeeded there too. The audio output was still on the thin side, but in comparison to other laptops we have heard, the HP EliteBook G5 has respectable audio quality. Movies and music were clear and the speakers could reproduce highs and mids quite well. The bass was still lacking, but that is to be expected. Along with the audio solution, the included microphones also worked flawlessly over Skype sessions, etc.

The need for better security features is also continually increasing and HP has added some additional hooks in the G5 to protect you and your machine. First they have added a Privacy Camera that physically covers the camera lens to prevent any unauthorized surveillance. There's also the option to purchase a SureView 2.0 privacy screen that is built directly into the display. Like the Privacy Camera, this prevents unauthorized surveillance and makes your laptop more secure. In the event your data is breached though, and your system is infected with malware, HP provides cloud-based backup via Sure Recover. This feature allows you to back up your computer to a saved safe state with the simple press of a button. HP Sure Recover can even go so far as to recover your system even if the drive has been completely wiped or encrypted.

The only real downside we found with the EliteBook G5 series was battery life. Up-time can be extremely important, but when it came to our specific battery tests, the EliteBook series didn't quite deliver. Of course there are exceptions as battery life depends on the hardware and brightness settings with your display of choice. In our testing, the 840 had better battery life than the 830, most likely because of the different requirements of the display. So, if you're looking for a laptop that sports longer battery life, choose your configuration carefully.

HP's new EliteBook G5 series laptops are indeed elite. They do everything a business class workhorse should and they look darn good while doing it. 
hothardware recommended
  • Solid performance
  • Great looking, sleek new design
  • Decent speakers for a laptop
  • Great connectivity options
  • Lots of system configuration options
  • Excellent security features
  • Expensive as configured and tested
  • Middling battery Life

Tags:  HP, laptop, elitebook, review

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