HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 Review: The lightweight secure work house

The HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 is a business laptop that is positioned by the US tech giant “as a lightweight productivity powerhouse with design, connectivity and security features”.

So, should you get this if your company is issuing it as one of the options for your new office laptop? Read on to find out.

SPECS
PRICE: From S$2,069, available on HP Online Store
PROCESSOR: From Intel Core i5-1135G7
GRAPHICS: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
DISPLAY: 14-inch FHD, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
RAM: From 8GB
STORAGE: From 512GB solid-state drive
BATTERY: 53Wh
WEIGHT: 1.13kg

DESIGN
The EliteBook 840 Aero G8 is the world’s lightest 14-inch mainstream business laptop, according to HP. Thanks to its magnesium chassis, it tips the scale at just only 1.13kg. Measuring only 1.79cm thick, it offers great portability for mobile professionals.

The HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 looks minimalistic and sleek. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

In addition, the laptop looks handsomely minimalistic with its all silver exterior. It has the HP logo chrome plated on the lid with the EliteBook logo at the rear of the hinge.

Open the lid, you get a 14-inch full high-definition display with a rather thick bezel compared to some of its competitors. But the display can be tilted to 170 degrees, which is great when you want to show your presentation over a cafe table. On the downside, there is no option to upgrade the display to 4K.

You can tilt the display up to 170 degrees. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Speaker grilles line the sides of the backlit keyboard, which has an extra column of – Home, Page Up, Page Down and End – keys than most business laptop keyboards. I find this keyboard to have a nice tactile feel when typing on it. But the layout needs some getting used to. I always ended up pressing the Home key when I actually wanted to press the Backspace key.

The Backspace is placed beside the Home key on this laptop’s keyboard. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

But this laptop comes with all the ports you can wish for. There are two USB-A 3.1 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack and a security lock on its left side. Thus, you can still use your USB-A dongle for connecting mouse or your USB thumb drives with this laptop.

The left side of the laptop. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

On its right side, you will find two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, a HDMI 2.0 port, a nano-SIM slot and a proprietary power point. You can still use the USB-C port for charging or HDMI to connect to an external monitor.

The right side of the laptop. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

PERFORMANCE
The review unit comes with the 11th-generation Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, but it can be configured with the Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor to save costs.

FOR
+ Overall good performance
+ Thin and lightweight
+ Minimalistic handsome design
+ Integrated with many security features
+ Comes with a wide array of ports

AGAINST
– Not cheap
– Only full high-definition display
– Battery life can be better

In the PCMark 10 benchmark test, this laptop scored 4,928, which is higher than the average score of 4,611 for business laptops. This EliteBook also is faster than the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (13.5-inch) but slightly slower than Aftershock Lunar 15 Max. For actual everyday use, the laptop has no issues when you are working on your presentation slides or financial sheets in either Google Chrome or Microsoft Office.

However, if you are looking to play games, this is definitely not the laptop for you. I tried starting the latest Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game, and it failed to load. I have better luck with Football Manager 2022, and was able to play the game at 60 frames per second, albeit in low graphics settings.

In case you are wondering why this laptop seems expensive for its specifications, this is due to its integrated security features. The laptop comes with software designed to keep your (or your employer’s) information secure. They includes HP Wolf Security for Business that protects against cyber attacks.

In addition, HP’s Endpoint Security Controller offers hardware-enforced protection of the laptop’s critical firmware, while HP’s Management Integration Kit allows easy integration with Microsoft’s System Centre Configuration Manager. There are actually more security features than mentioned above, which will make your IT administrators rub their hands in glee. But you just need to know it is packed with security features.

BATTERY LIFE
The EliteBook 840 Aero G8 comes with a relatively modest 53Wh battery. As such, I don’t have high expectations of its battery life.

In our usual video-loop battery test whereby we loop a video with the display on full brightness, we found it lasted around 8 hours 56 minutes. While it is not too bad, it is far from the Lunar 15 Max‘s record of 11 hours 22 minutes.

VERDICT
If security is of utmost importance, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 is definitely the business laptop to get. Plus, its lightweight minimalist design coupled with its wide array of ports will make your choice that much easier to make.

RATINGS
FEATURES: 8/10
DESIGN: 8/10
PERFORMANCE: 7/10
BATTERY LIFE: 8/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 7/10
OVERALL: 7.5/10