HP's business-centric EliteBooks have been around since 2008 in name, but in reality, EliteBook is just a new name for the old HP Compaq business notebook line. With HP releasing a flood of popular entry level and mainstream consumer notebooks with both HP and Compaq labels, this understandably created a marketing issue for the costlier and higher end business and workstation class machines. Since the HP Compaq brand didn't have the name cachet of the iconic IBM/Lenovo ThinkPads or even Dell's Latitude business notebooks, HP's marketing team decided to scrap the confusing "HP Compaq" tag entirely and rebrand their business notebooks as EliteBooks.

We have one of the newest EliteBooks here today, the EliteBook 8440w mobile workstation. For a 14" notebook, it's quite the powerhouse, with a Core i7-620M processor and Nvidia's Quadro FX 380M discrete graphics chip to go along with 4GB of memory, a 320GB SATA hard drive, integrated DVD burner, and a high resolution 14" 1600x900 screen—it's even got a matte finish! But for the $1649 pricetag, the 8440w could have used a bit more power on either the CPU or GPU side, with a quad-core Core i7 (which is an optional extra) or faster Quadro graphics card at the top of our wishlist.

HP EliteBook 8440w Specifications
Processor Intel Core i7-620M
(2.66GHz, 32nm, 4MB L3, 35W)
Chipset Intel QM57 Express
Memory 2x2048MB DDR3-1333
Max 2x4GB DDR3-1333
Graphics NVIDIA Quadro FX 380M (512MB GDDR3 VRAM)
Display 14.0" LED Backlit Matte WXGA+ (1600x900)
Hard Drive 2.5" 320GB 7200RPM SATA (Seagate ST9320423AS)
Networking Intel 82577LM PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (3x3) 802.11a/b/g/n
Audio Realtek AL269 2-Channel HD Audio
(2.0 Speakers with headphone/microphone jacks)
Battery 9-cell Li-Ion, 100 Wh
Front Side SD/MMC card reader
Left Side 3 x USB 2.0
1 x Firewire 1394a
Right Side RJ-11
Gigabit Ethernet
eSATA/USB combination
Back Side VGA
AC Power Connection
Kensington Lock
Operating System Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Dimensions 13.21" x 9.30" x 1.23" (WxDxH)
Weight Starting at 4.9 lbs (with 6-cell battery)
Extras Bluetooth 2.0
2.0MP Webcam
Integrated TrackPoint
Multitouch Touchpad
SD/MMC/MS Pro Flash reader
Warranty 3-year warranty, onsite repairs
1-year battery warranty
Pricing 8440w-FN093UT for $1649 from HP Business

But even without a quad-core or a high end GPU, the 8440w is a pretty formidable beast, boasting enough computing horsepower to acquit itself well for mobile CAD work and most reasonable tasks. Obviously, it won't replace the power of a workstation-class desktop or anything like that, but is it good enough for on-the-go design work? Let's find out.

HP EliteBook 8440w - In and Around
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  • AstroGuardian - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    This native resolution IMO is totally ridiculous unless you work CAD and rendering 100% of the time.... don't you think?
  • teohhanhui - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Many would prefer it over 1366x768 (the current par) on a 14" screen.
  • mino - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Any reasonable OS would allow for DPI customization.

    Not to mention that you can go for lower resolution on high-res diplay but it's kinda hard to get an WXGA screen display at WSXGA resolutions ...
  • mindless1 - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Only if you don't mind it looking like someone smeared butter all over the screen from how blurry it is.
  • strikeback03 - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Yeah it is still a bit low, but what are you going to do...
  • synaesthetic - Sunday, August 15, 2010 - link

    1600x900 should be the standard for 13.3-14.0" displays.

    1366x768 shouldn't be on anything bigger than 12.1".

    15.6" should have 1920x1080.

    17" should have 1920x1200.

    18"+ should have 2560x1600. :D

    Death to low resolution crappy LCDs! Windows 7 doesn't have XP's horrible DPI scaling problems. There's no reason why you should ever want less pixels. Unless you like lots of scrolling and jaggy fonts.
  • japhmo - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    A general comment--I'd be curious is seeing where MacBook pros running windows7 compare to this other windows systems. Could you please add that test too?
  • Daeros - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Seconded. I have been waiting for a high-quality of Win7 on the new macbooks sinthey came out.
  • dvinnen - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Like it a lot. Good 15+ inch widescreen work station. No idea on price or whatever but it handles at the code I throw at it. Keyboard feels cramp though with the full number pad and the battery life is pretty bad. Runs dry in about 3 hours just browsing on the internet.
  • zdw - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    HDMI is a consumer standard. Displyport is a computer display standard, and can:

    1. Run larger displays, such as a 30" 2560x1600 display
    2. Convert to VGA/HDMI/DVI, with embedded audio (driver and adapter allowing)
    3. Eventually, daisy chain monitors off one port (in the spec, but often not supported)

    As this is a pro product, it makes sense if only for item #1.

    This isn't a HTPC. It doesn't need HDMI.

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