HP EliteBook 8740W notebook
HP EliteBook 8740W review: a powerful notebook for engineers, designers and animators
- Good build quality, quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, powerful graphics, USB 3.0, fast I/O performance
- Keyboard is poor, very expensive
The HP EliteBook 8740W will suit engineers, designers, animators and anyone else who requires a powerful notebook that they can use both at work and at home. It's solidly built and has lots of speed and plenty of features, but don't expect much out of its battery; its keyboard is poor, too.
Price$ 7,399.00 (AUD)
The HP EliteBook 8740W is a mobile workstation with a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and an NVIDIA Quadro graphics adapter. It's designed for professionals, such as engineers, architects and graphics artists, who need plenty of grunt under the hood — and the ability to transport that grunt to and from the office.
Read more reviews of business notebooks: best notebooks for business.
The EliteBook 8740W is a big beast: it has a 17in screen, a base that's chock-a-block full of ports and slots, and it weighs over 3.6kg. Its LCD screen is one of HP's DreamColor panels and it's one of the best displays we've ever seen on a notebook. Colour reproduction was excellent during our tests and its viewing angles are wider than what you'll find with a typical notebook screen.
See how the HP EliteBook 8740W compares to the HP EliteBook 8440p.
The EliteBook 8740W feels heavy and cumbersome to transport, and it's not the type of notebook you will want to use as a laptop. It's easiest to use when it's resting on a desk, and you can get a docking station that makes it easy to manage your peripheral and network cable connections. You can't use the EliteBook 8740W away from a power outlet for long. In our battery rundown test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi and loop an Xvid-encoded video, the battery only lasted 51min.
The base of the EliteBook 8740W has almost everything — well, everything a pro user is likely to need. It has DisplayPort, VGA, USB 2.0 (two), FireWire (mini), a Smartcard slot, an ExpressCard/54 slot, an SD card reader, a fingerprint reader, USB 3.0 (two), eSATA, a Blu-ray writer (BD-MLT-UJ240), Gigabit Ethernet, a 56Kbps modem, a 2-megapixel webcam and 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi. The upgrade bay, which houses the Blu-ray writer, can also be used to house a second hard drive.
On the inside you get an Intel Core i7-820QM CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB, 7200rpm hard drive. Its performance is great for multithreaded applications, as its score of 45sec in our Blender 3D rendering test shows, and its I/O performance also proved to be good -- its hard drive recorded a transfer rate of 84.8 megabytes per second in our tests. Graphics are handled by an NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800M adapter, which is geared towards speeding up engineering, design and 3D animation applications, instead of gaming. Its 3DMark06 score of 12,646 is a great result nonetheless, and shows just how powerful this notebook is.
The usability of the EliteBook 8740W is hit and miss; we like the big palm rest and the comfortable touchpad with soft buttons, and also that it has a Trackpoint device installed. However, we don't like its keyboard. The buttons are soft, but they require a lot of force to hit and more often that not we had to go back and correct our mistakes. The spacebar is quite unresponsive unless you hit it hard.
We like the build quality of the EliteBook 8740W. It's definitely not a unit that will fall apart easily as you transport it to and from the office. It's made out of metal and its hinges are tough. If you're in the market for a mobile workstation with lots of CPU power, RAM and hard drive capacity, and most importantly, an excellent screen, the 8740W is definitely one to consider.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z3 review: The no-frills flagship
- 2 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: The busiest, biggest and best Samsung phablet
- 4 Aldi's $279 Bauhn Sphere review: Disappointing
- 5 Nokia Lumia 735 review: Perfectly ordinary
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- US rejects North Korea offer to investigate Sony hack, reaches out to China
- North Korea wants joint probe into Sony hack, warns of consequences if not
- Staples says hack may have compromised 1 million-plus payment cards
- Judge questions evidence on whether NSA spying is too broad
- Three ways enterprise software is changing
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.