HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 review: Superlight and superexpensive

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HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 sitting at desk.

HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 review: Superlight and superexpensive

MSRP $2,679.00

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score details

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“The HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 is a superlight business laptop with a high price tag.”

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professionals

  • Solid build quality, yet lightweight

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    Bright, color-accurate display

  • good productivity performance

  • Superior Battery Life

  • Class-leading suite of business tools

Shortcoming

  • very expensive

  • 16:9 display is old school

How important is a half pound in laptop design? Well, for HP, that’s enough to justify a brand new addition to its line of laptops called “Aero.”

There’s the budget-oriented Pavilion Aero 13, which packs a bunch of power into a 2.18-pound chassis. A lighter laptop can be even more convenient for businessmen, and that’s why HP has an aero for you, too. The EliteBook 840 Aero G8 achieves the goal of being half a pound lighter than its non-aero version.

I reviewed the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 with a Core i7-1185G7 and a 14-inch 1080p display. Unfortunately, it comes in an old-school 16:9 aspect ratio and commands an extremely high price of $2,679. But it’s lightweight and powerful, and packed with business features that your IT staff will appreciate.

design

If you compare the Aero version of the EliteBook 840 G8 to its non-Aero sibling, you’ll find a laptop that’s roughly the same size, within a few fractions of an inch in width and depth, and just under 0.70 inches thick. Is. But HP outfitted the EliteBook Aero 840 G8 with magnesium instead of aluminum and managed to shave off about half a pound, bringing it from 2.92 pounds to 2.5 pounds. It’s lightweight for a 14-inch business-class laptop and fairly easy to carry around.

While there are 14-inch consumer laptops in the same weight range, such as the Acer Swift 5 which weighs 2.31 pounds and is 0.59 inches thick, there aren’t many business machines that can match it. NS Dell Latitude 7420, for example, weighs 2.7 pounds with carbon fiber in its construction and 0.68 inches thick, as well as 2.89 pounds with an all-aluminum chassis.

HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 sitting at desk.  The top/back view of the lid.
Mark Koppock/Nerdshala

One laptop that matches the EliteBook is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen9 at 2.49 pounds and thinner by 0.59 inches, which also uses magnesium in its chassis and is more flexible. Ultimately, the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 achieves its goal of being extremely light, even if it’s not the thinnest laptop around.

The EliteBook 840 Aero G8 manages to avoid one common disadvantage of magnesium chassis, which is that they tend to be less stiff than aluminum. The EliteBook is solid all around, with a lid that only bends if you apply undue pressure, a keyboard deck that exhibits zero flex, and a chassis bottom that has no give. Business laptops are more solidly built than some consumer laptops, such as the MSI Prestige 14 Evo, which is aluminum but still has a slightly foldable lid, so it’s nothing new. But being so light and so solid is a great combination and it’s not like you get all that often. The laptop’s hinge is a bit stiff and requires two hands to open the lid, but it’s tapered all the way around to make it easier to open and it tilts up to 170 degrees for collaborative viewing.

Aesthetically, the EliteBook 840 Aero fits the G8 HP’s typical EliteBook look and feel. It is all silver with very little in the way of ornamentation. There’s a chrome HP logo on the lid and a subtle EliteBook logo on the keyboard deck, and the speaker grille on each side of the keyboard has a laser-cut pattern, but otherwise, we’re talking a minimalist design. The Dell Latitude 7420 is similar in its simplicity, which is also true for other business laptops.

Business laptops need to be connected, and the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 delivers.

Manufacturers tend to be conservative in their design for this class of notebook—you don’t want a laptop that grabs attention in a conference room. However, that doesn’t exactly make the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 a bad-looking laptop. It is quite attractive and has enough angles, as well as rounded back and sides of the lid, to give it a very modern look. I’ll note that the large top and bottom display bezels detract from that assumption a bit – the EliteBook has an 85% screen-to-body ratio, which is low for a modern laptop.

Business laptops need to be connected, and the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 delivers. On the left, you’ll find a nano security lock, two USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an optional smart card reader. On the right is a proprietary lightning connection (my review unit came with a USB-C charger), a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, and a nano-SIM slot for 4G LTE Is. Or 5G support. In addition to WWAN support, there’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 on board.

security and privacy

You’re not going to spend that much money on the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 only for its conservative, lightweight chassis and relatively standard components. Instead, you — or more likely your business — are going to invest in getting access to HP’s wide array of safety and manageable tools built into its business machines.

It’s this level of security and manageability that helps justify the laptop’s very high price tag.

The EliteBook uses HP’s Wolf Security for Business, which provides a range of features that allow laptops to meet the security needs of the most demanding organization. The list is exhaustive, starting with HP’s Management Integration Kit (MIK), which makes it easy to integrate laptops into Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager for better management. The EliteBook 840 Aero G8 offers Intel vPro as an option, and expands on how well it can be integrated into enterprise IT systems.

HP’s Endpoint Security Controller (ESC) runs at the lowest level of a laptop, providing hardware-enforced technology that provides a hardware route of trust through HP SureStart that is physically isolated and protects the laptop’s critical firmware. does. Security also works during runtime, continuously monitoring the security system, and Wolf Security using cryptographic hardware functions. HP Sure Recover reduces downtime by providing embedded recovery tools, network-based recovery, and the ability to support corporate images. HP TamperLock protects against physical case intrusion and DMA, flash replacement, side channel and TPM probe attacks.

We’ll stop there, but suffice it to say that the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 is highly secure and easy to manage, providing users and enterprises with a ton of confidence that their machines and data will remain secure. It’s this level of security and manageability that helps justify the laptop’s very high price tag.

Display

HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 sitting at desk.
Mark Koppock/Nerdshala

My review unit was equipped with an 11th generation Intel Core i7-1185G7 with vPro. This top-of-the-line U-series GPU in Intel’s lineup is aimed at thinner and lighter laptops, and it offers a theoretical performance lift over the more popular Core i7-1165G7.

In our benchmarks, the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 was competitive with most of the similarly equipped laptops in our comparison group. It was the third highest on Geekbench 5, with the HP Elite Dragonfly Max taking first place in this test. In our Handbrake test, which converts 420MB of video to H.265, the EliteBook scored well for CPU, finishing fourth, only significantly faster than the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo Intel packs.

I included the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED to give a taste of the performance of the AMD Ryzen 5000-series, and as you can see, it’s noticeably faster at CPU-intensive tasks. The EliteBook also fell in the middle of the pack in the Cinebench R23 benchmark, another test that taxes the CPU. In PCMark 10, the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 maintained its moderate performance, and it expanded in both the absolute scores listed in the table and the essential, productivity and content creation portions of the benchmark.

Overall, the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 is a solid productivity performer that doesn’t lead the pack, but manages to keep up. You’ll find it useful for maintaining your demanding productivity workflow, but you may not want to use it for creative applications. However, this is no knock against the EliteBook, as it applies to all current Intel U-series laptops. You have to look at AMD for better creative performance.

Geekbench 5 (Single/Multi) Handbrake (sec) Cinebench R23 (Single/Multi) PCMark 10 3DMark Time Detective
HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 (Core i7-1185G7) 1569/5279 204 1474/4496 4868 1663
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Karbonn Gen 9 (Core i7-1165G7) 1327/5201 170 1469/4945 5147 1776
MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo (Core i7-1185G7) 1352/4891 203 1360/4392 4872 1751
HP Elite Dragonfly Max
(Core i7-1185G7)
1570/5297 252 1385/3604 4724 1468
Dell 13 XPs (Core i7-1165G7) 1540 / 5432 201 1399/4585 3859 1589
hp specter x360 14 (Core i7-1165G7) 1214 / 4117 236 1389/3941 4728 1457
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED

(AMD Ryzen 7 5800U)

1423/6758 124 1171/7824 6034 1342

The gaming performance of the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 was in line with other laptops equipped with Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics. That is, it was not very good. You get about 29 frames per second (fps) in . will get fortnite 1080p high graphics and 22 fps epic graphics.

This is good enough for older titles, or newer titles with resolution and graphics turned down. But this is a business laptop and doesn’t pretend to be a gaming machine.

Display

Closeup on the HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 screen.
Mark Koppock/Nerdshala

I’m not a fan of Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) displays,…

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