Hands on: HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 review

Hands on: HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 review

For

  • Sturdy and sightly magnesium chassis
  • Haswell powered
  • Swivel hinge hides keyboard well

Against

  • Subpar display resolution
  • Little to no design changes
  • Still no storage for stylus

This is HP's hybrid laptop for business on Haswell


Microsoft's Windows 8 has inspired a slew of hybrid laptop designs, but the most seemingly practical approach is the swivel hinge. HP is doubling down on this design with the EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 for business users, announced during HP Discover 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.

Little, if anything, is different about the EliteBook Revolve's design. The big picture here is what HP has changed on the inside of this convertible laptop. Intel's Haswell has become the de facto standard chip, and the EliteBook Revolve follows suit.
HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2

Design and specifications

Users will still enjoy the sturdy and attractive magnesium alloy shell and Gorilla Glass screen covering the 11.6-inch, anti-glare UWVA LCD. However, that the panel on the EliteBook Revolve is still set to 1366 x 768 resolution is a bummer, especially considering the $1,364US/$1,499EU starting price. (We're still waiting on UK pricing and availability.) Competing convertible laptops, like Lenovo's ThinkPad Yoga, come sporting 1080p for the same or less.

Of course, the swivel-hinged screen is the star of the show, transforming this 22.2mm thin and 1400g laptop into a Windows 8 Pro-equipped tablet at a moment's notice. HP includes a hefty stylus with every EliteBook Revolve. During our brief time with the stylus, it proved accurate, and the screen was more than snappy and responsive enough to the index finger. What's worse is that there is still nowhere to store the stylus on the device -- we'd trade this in for a smaller pen if it meant room to store it in the chassis after use.
HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2
As for the ultimate input, HP's spill-resistant, backlit (optional) chiclet keyboard remains unchanged, with a clever drain system to get rid of moisture quickly. In a quick test, we noticed a bit of flex in the center of the keyboard, but nothing that would be noticeable in everyday use. The single-button touchpad remains the same as well, and all the standard Windows 8 gestures worked swimmingly.

But again, what this EliteBook Revolve revision is all about is the inside. Business folk should be excited that the second generation can house up to a dual-core, 2.1GHz Intel Core i7 4600U CPU with Intel HD Graphics 4400. Backing that are up to a whopping 12GB of DDR3 RAM at 1,600MHz and an SSD as spacious as 256GB. The priciest configuration would make for one seriously snappy convertible laptop, but would surely be overkill.
HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2
Rounding out those specs are 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0 as an option. A 4G LTE radio is also on offer, if you're willing to pay extra. And HP brought its A-game when it comes to I/O, with two USB 3.0 (one with charging capability), an RJ-45 port, DisplayPort, headphone/microphone combo jack, a side docking connector and a microSD card reader.

Spin me right round

The swivel-hinge approach to the hybrid laptop design is one of the more elegant solutions around for the form factor. It's easy to appreciate the disappearing keyboard without having to detach and put it down somewhere else. The super responsive, capacitive multitouch screen certainly helps the EliteBook Revolve make its case as a tablet, too.

That said, the swivel hinge still fails to solve the dilemma all convertible laptops face: While 22.2mm and 1400g make for quite a thin and light laptop, it makes for a rather plump tablet. A thinner stylus that you could store within the convertible laptop shell would be helpful, especially to creative professionals. But we're already talking about a rather small audience that might already be using Wacom tablets in the office and iPads on the go.
HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2

Early verdict

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About Doru Somcutean

Hello, my name is Somcutean Doru and I'm from Romania.

I really like to read reviews and see what's new about technology, on D-BLOG I share with you articles/reviews that I find interesting. I also write some reviews in romanian...

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