September 22, 2013 5:04:36 am
Is HPs new EliteBook Revolve 810 good for corporate use?
Having launched a slew of laptops,desktop computers and hybrid devices for the consumer segment,HP is now bringing enterprise-oriented products to the market. Its newest products are the HP ProBook 430,a durable business laptop for Rs 39,000,and EliteBook Revolve 810,a convertible laptop for Rs 90,000. The EliteBook Revolve derives its name from its 11.6-inch touchscreen,which rotates 180 degrees and can be folded flat. This makes it useful as a tablet and as a full-fledged laptop. Targeted at business users,HP says this laptop is durable,portable and has good battery life. Lets see if those claims are true.
The EliteBook series is known to be sturdy and the Revolve is a good example. It has a durable magnesium-alloy chassis and a rubbery scratch-resistant finish that gives a nice grip. The laptop is easy to carry and good for those who keep moving between conference rooms. At 1.3 kg,it is lighter than most other laptops. When folded,its thickness is less than 0.87 inches,so users can comfortably pack it in backpacks or shoulder bags.
The touchscreen is made of the scratch-resistant and sturdy Gorilla Glass. The hinges of the rotating screen are made of stainless steel and seemed fairly strong during tests,though sometimes they failed to hold the screen in place. For instance,the screen was open at a 135-degree angle when I had to move to another room. When I picked up the laptop,the screen fell to 180 degrees.
The keyboard is backlit and spill-resistant. So you can type in the dark and not worry about spilling liquids on it. The display is decent,with a resolution of 1,366×768 pixels,but the screen is reflective. The touchscreen is responsive and executing Windows 8 swipes is a breeze.
Business users are likely to use this laptop to show videos to a small group. This means that the speaker output has to be good. During tests,the EliteBook Revolves speakers fell short of expectations in this regard. They were neither loud enough nor could they reproduce bass well. Its best to carry a pair of portable speakers if audio is an essential part of your usage.
The real strength of the Revolve as a business machine lies in its connectivity options. It supports Bluetooth,NFC (near-field communication),accelerometer (sensor for tilt and motion),gyroscope,etc. It also supports a 3G SIM card,microSD card,USB 3.0,and has a DisplayPort (to connect to projectors,TVs,etc).
The only disappointment in terms of hardware is the processor. Intel launched fourth-generation Core-series processors a couple of months ago,but this machine has the older third-generation Core i5 processor. This means that it misses out on major battery life improvements. But it supports Intel vPro,which lets IT departments prevent misuse if a laptop is lost or stolen.
The Revolve 810 comes with 128 GB storage on a solid state drive (SSD). SSDs are faster than conventional hard disks,but they are expensive,which means that most laptop makers bundle the machines with limited internal storage. Windows 8 and pre-loaded HP software leave users with around 55 GB. On a tablet,55 GB is a lot of space,but on a laptop,it is less than adequate. Users will either have to invest in a reliable portable hard disk or in a cloud storage service like Dropbox or SkyDrive.
Performance-wise,there were no issues with the Revolve. It might have Intels older processor,but it works without freezing while using multiple applications at once. One major disappointment is its battery life. It did not last longer than five hours on a single charge on moderate usage (WiFi,watching YouTube videos,browsing,a few downloads,and using a few Windows 8 apps).
If you are looking for a portable,durable business laptop and need Windows 8,the EliteBook Revolve is a good choice. However,at this price range,it is competing with MacBook Pro,which remains a superior alternative for business use despite its lack of a touchscreen and greater weight (2 kg).
* Processor: Intel Core i5-3437U 1.9 GHz
* Storage: 128 GB SSD
* RAM: 4GB
* OS: Windows 8 Professional
* Display: 11.6 inches
* Resolution: 1366×768
* Graphics: Intel HD4000
* Weight: 1.3 kg
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