HP EliteBook Folio 1040 Ultrabook leads rugged Haswell revamp

Chris Davies - Dec 10, 2013, 10:45am CST
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 Ultrabook leads rugged Haswell revamp

HP has refreshed its EliteBook line, launching the new EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 ultrabook, giving the Revolve touchscreen convertible a Haswell update, and debuting a tiny desktop that can hide between your display. The EliteBook Folio 1040 is the new flagship, a 14-inch ultraportable notebook with the choice of up to a 1080p HD display and dualcore Core i5 or i7 processors, wrapped up in MIL-STD 810G ruggedness tests for temperature, vibration, shock, drop, and even surviving explosive atmospheres.

The ultrabook comes in at 15.9mm thick and is made from aluminum; in the hand, it’s so surprisingly lightweight, in fact, that we mistook it for plastic initially. It also debuts the HP ForcePad, a pressure-sensitive touchpad that allows you to scroll by tapping and holding, then varying the amount of pressure you put on the pad, rather than having to physically move your finger. It also works for dragging shortcut icons around.

In our brief time with the ForcePad, there was an initial learning curve but we quickly got to grips with whizzing up and down through webpages and documents. To hit the dimensions HP wanted, it had to leave out some of the larger ports like ethernet; instead, there are adapter dongles, just as you’d need with a MacBook Air.

HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1

As for the HP EliteBook Revolve G2, that takes HP’s convertible pen-enabled tablet of late 2012 and gives it a refresh, including new Haswell processors from Intel’s fourth-gen Core i3, i5, and i7 ranges. The form-factor is still the same – a twisting 11.6-inch display that responds to both finger and stylus touch – and MIL-STD 810G compliant magnesium chassis.

There’s also optional 4G LTE and a docking station for desktop use, while SSD storage is standard. In the hand, it’s not quite as easily carried as a tablet like a Surface Pro or Sony VAIO Tap 11, but that’s the price you pay for what’s arguably a more capable keyboard than the attachable version that comes with either of the slates.

HP EliteBook Revolve G2

Finally, there’s the new HP EliteDesk 800, a tiny desktop which shrinks down your average business box and replaces it with something roughly palm-sized. Still accommodating Intel Haswell processors, six USB ports – including one high-power port for charging tablets – and three display outputs – two DisplayPort and one VGA – the EliteDesk 800 Desktop Mini has a VESA mount on the bottom which means it can be slung from the back of your display.

It works particularly neatly with the EliteDisplay S230tm, HP’s first business-focused Windows 8 multitouch display, a 23-inch Full HD IPS panel with optical touch and anti-glare glass. We found it flipped easily between upright and near-flat reclines – a matter of one hand, in fact – and viewing angles are great thanks to the coating. A 720p webcam, dual microphones, and speakers round out the key specs.

HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Desktop Mini and EliteDisplay S230tm

The EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 ultrabook will go on sale this month, priced from $1,299, while the EliteBook Revolve G2 will arrive at the same time, priced from $1,364. The EliteDesk 800 G1 Desktop Mini will come later, in April 2014, priced from $669; there’ll also be a more affordable version, the 600 G1 Desktop Mini, from $489 at the same time. Finally, the EliteDisplay S230tm will arrive on January 6, 2014, priced at $359.

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