Oct 21 2013 - HP's convertible ultrabook does offer a few unique features including a more rugged and durable construction for the EliteBook Revolve but it is held back so much by its pricing. The system does offer some impressive storage performance but the storage space is a bit limiting and the bright display is hampered by its lower resolution. At least it does have a nice keyboard for such a small convertible but it is going to have a tough time outside of select business customers.
- Durable Design
- Fast Solid State Drive
- Excellent Keyboard
- Low Resolution Display
- Below Average Battery Life
- Intel Core i5-3437U Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 128GB Solid State Drive
- 11.6" WXGA (1366x768) Multitouch Display With 1.0 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 4000
- Gigabit Ethernet,802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth, NFC
- Two USB 3.0, DisplayPort, microSIM Slot, microSD Slot
- 11.2" x 8.3" x .7" @ 3.08 lbs.
- Windows 7 Professional
Review - HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G1
Oct 21 2013 - HP's EliteBook Revolve 810 G1 is the company's convertible ultrabook designed for business. This means that it has a very different feel from their other computer systems. It shares the same magnesium and aluminum allow body that was typical found in the previous high end Envy consumer laptops but it has the black plastic bottom more commonly seen in the lower priced Pavilion laptops. One big difference here though is that it is designed to be ruggedized per the military standards which give it the 810 G portion of its name. This means it is shock, dust, altitude and temperature resistant but it does not have have water resistance.
Powering the HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G1 is the Intel Core i5-3437U dual core processor that is found in many ultrabooks. It would be nice to see it updated to Haswell for more efficiency but it was released before the 4th generation processor came out. The processor does give it enough performance for most business applications and consumers. The one downside here is that it only features 4GB of DDR3 memory. This was pretty common in older generation ultrabooks but its pricing and most of the competition features 8GB now. This may impact some of the more demanding business applications.
The storage is handled by a relatively small 128GB solid state drive. This provides it with a good level of performance with fast boot times of under ten seconds. The problem here is that the drive is very small and can quickly get filled up by anyone that might happen to need to store a fair amount of high definition video. There are two USB 3.0 ports available on the back of side of the system for use with high speed external drives. There is no DVD drive at all which is typical of many smaller systems now. In addition to this, there is a microSD slot for some added storage through the tiny flash memory cards.
The display is one of the prominent features of the EliteBook Revolve. The 11.6-inch multitouch display is a convertible that can rotate around and back to convert this into tablet form factor. This is similar to what was previously seen in laptops such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist. While this is a nice feature, the execution of its is poor in several ways. First, the display when used in the laptop mode has a large gap behind the display. Once it is folded over for the tablet mode, there is a lip between the bottom of the display and the laptop chassis. Second the multitouch display has a very low 1366x768 resolution which is typical of utlrabooks that are half the cost of this one. It does make up for this somewhat by having a brighter than usual display which greatly helps when the system is used outside and in bright light. It should be noted that this version ships with Windows 7 which is not as optimized for the multitouch display as Windows 8.
HP uses its standard isolated keyboard design which does a very good job for both accuracy and feel. The keys have a slight texture to them which makes them feel a bit more accurate and the backlighting is a nice touch as many small systems seem to be dropping them for space concerns. The trackpad is a decent size and features integrated buttons. The only problem here is that it seems way to sensitive which results in many accidental cursor moves unless the sensitivity is adjusted to a lower level.
One area that sets the HP EliteBook 810 G1 apart from many other laptops is the networking. In addition to the standard WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet (something becoming less common in many ultrabooks), there is also a cellular or wireless radio for use with 3G wireless networks if you have a compatible service and microSIM card. In addition to this, there is a NFC transceiver but it has relatively limited uses.
The EliteBook Revolve features a 44WHr battery pack which is about average for this size of laptop system. In my digital video playback tests, the laptop was able to run for four and three quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is a half hour better than the ThinkPad Twist but still below what many newer ultrabooks can achieve and is certainly well below the roughly nine hours that the latest MacBook Air 11-inch can provide and less than the convertible Dell XPS 12 achieves.
Pricing is the biggest issue with the EliteBook Revolve 810 G1. This configuration comes in with a price tag of nearly $1500 which places it with many premium ultrabooks. The Lenovo Thinkpad Twist is priced almost half as much at roughly $850 in its starting configuration. That configuration does use a slower Core i3 processor, a 320GB hard drive with SSD caching but the system can be upgraded to SSD drives and a higher 1080p compatible panel and still be priced less. The other big convertible is the Dell XPS 12 is several hundred less and now features 4th generation Haswell processors and higher resolution displays albeit in a thicker and heavier body.