HP EliteBook Review – Time to give Apple a run for their money

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HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2
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Arabian Gazette’s review of HP EliteBook x360 G2 1030. HP’s latest and impressive Notebook will give Apple a run for their money as with the x360 G2 HP seems to have played its card right in offering a laptop that really stands out in it’s class.

Specifications

13.3 inch IPS Touchscreen with 10 Touch Points and Stylus Support
7th Generation Intel i5 2.6 Ghz (7300U) Dual Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9 Ghz
8 GB DDR4 RAM
Intel HD Graphics 620
256 GB SSD
720MP Front Webcam
802.11ac Wifi and 4.2 Bluetooth Connectivity
Windows 10 Pro

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HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2. Image courtesy-HP.

Likes

Speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen
Windows Hello Support for Biometric Security Access (IR based Facial Recognition and Fingerprint Reader)
Pretty much all the ports you need. No Dongles (Take that Apple!)
Spill Resistant Backlit Keyboard with DuraKeys and Drain
That sleek looking Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen
Stellar Battery Life
Exceptionally Slim and Light
Physical Volume Rocker buttons

Dislikes

Ridiculous amount of bloatware
Old school power port with a proprietary charger
Could have done with thinner bezels on the display
Average performance capable of HD Video Editing and Document Processing without much of a lag
Slightly more expensive than Lenovo’s Yoga series and Dell’s XPS and Latitude series

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Overview

In a market dominated by Thinkpads and MacBooks, it’d be wrong to say that HP doesn’t get a share of the pie. Sleek designs coupled to high end specs with excellent build quality have always been the highlight of their laptops. When HP sent us their EliteBook x360, with just one look we knew we weren’t going to be disappointed. Taking a lot of design cues from its older brother the Spectre x360, this laptop will definitely attract a lot of glances here and there.

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Design

HP designed to opt for an elegant brushed Aluminum finish. Manufactured using a CNC Aluminum Panel and carved out of a single block of metal, this is one hell of a sleek laptop. For the frequent traveller, the HP EliteBook would be ideal to carry around on flights and what not with not much of an additional weight load given its 1.28 Kg weight.

However the main highlight of this device is the ridiculously flexible hinge meaning you can use the laptop in a variety of modes such as tent, tablet and of course the standard laptop resting position. Unlike other convertibles, the hinges feel sturdy and durable and the display stands in the position you set it at without unwanted movements.

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MacBook what?

One of the biggest drawbacks of Apple’s latest line of notebooks is its pure reliance on USB Type C ports. Sure Thunderbolt 4 enables blazing fast data transfers, but it also makes it really annoying to carry around a million dongles for different purposes. Luckily, The EliteBook x360 stands out in this department. Not only does it sport two full sized USB 3.1 ports, You also get a 1.4 HDMI, a single USB Type-C that supports both power and data delivery, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card reader built in.

The keyboard also deserves a few brownie points as compared to the MacBook’s butterfly keys, this one has more travel and a rather firm feedback.

Performance

Our review unit came with a 7th Generation 2.6 GHz dual core i5 (7300U) processor. Sure the thing sounds quite powerful on paper, however we found the laptop to slug a little while editing 4K Footage. But yet again, this is a business laptop and not meant for something so intensive. However downscale the resolution to say 1080P and you’ve got yourself a decent workstation.

Benchmarking tests done on Geekbench reveal a score of 4528 on single core and 8348 on multiple core which is pretty decent for a laptop in its class.

One thing we found disappointing was the Data Transfer Rate of the onboard HDD which was pretty average. This resulted in unusual boot up times which again in a world of world class laptops with SSDs is not normal.

Battery life

HP went a little overboard in claiming a 16.5 hour battery life however our own internal tests revealed about 7 hours and 45 minutes through regular usage of YouTube videos, basic internet browsing and email access. Sure its a lot less than HP’s claim but not too bad to use on a long haul flight.

Final Verdict

With the x360 G2, HP seems to have played its card right in offering a laptop that really stands out in it’s class. However the pricing is a little bit of a letdown as there are plenty of manufacturers who offer more value for the price. If looks are a big deal for you, you simply can’t go wrong with its elegant and sleek aluminum based design. Featuring full fledged ports on either sides, you won’t have any issue with device compatibility. The laptop also stayed cool throughout our benchmarking tests. Needless to stay, HP has once again impressed us with its latest offering.

At the time of writing this article, the cheapest deal we found on the internet was at AED 6899 on souq.com

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