If you own an action camera, it’s probably a GoPro. But if you are planning on sharing any footage of your latest outdoor adventure with friends and colleagues, you will need more than just hardware. You will need software.
HP EliteBook 8440p (WL653PA) notebook
HP's EliteBook 8440p is an attractive and feature-packed business laptop
- Excellent design, sturdily built, good specs for a business notebook
- No USB 3.0
HP's EliteBook 8440p is a sturdily built business laptop with enough power to make office productivity tasks a breeze. It's got a functional and attractive design that's sure to turn heads.
Price$ 2,699.00 (AUD)
We're suckers for a nice-looking business notebook, which is the kind of sad confession you'd expect from people who spend their life playing with tech (we only do it for the pay cheque, honest). But who could resist the 14in HP EliteBook 8440p (WL653PA)? It's a beautifully built, feature-packed business notebook, and we were very happy to spend some quality one-on-one time with it.
It's easy to get caught up in the minutiae of a notebook's technical specifications, but a big part of buying a great laptop that suits you is getting one with the right design. And the HP EliteBook 8440p's is a ripper. It compares favourably with top-end business laptops from Dell and Lenovo. The magnesium alloy chassis feels incredibly sturdy and looks wonderful. The LED-backlit screen is held in place by metal hinges, and the notebook has a latched closing system. Embedded in the bezel are a webcam and a keyboard light.
The display has a nice matte finish (great if you're working under fluorescent lights). It doesn't have exceptional viewing angles, but images look crisp and clear.
The EliteBook 8440p weighs a little over 2kg, so it's not an ultraportable notebook. But given HP's data sheet notes it's designed "to meet the tough military standards (MIL-STD 810G) for vibration, dust, humidity, altitude, and high temperatures", we're not surprised, and the weight feels reassuring (we also love its balance). The keyboard is exceptional, with full-sized keys that are comfortable to type with. We wish the keys had a smidgen more travel, but this is a quibble.
Above the keyboard are touch-sensitive buttons to disable the touchpad and wireless, adjust volume and launch a Web browser. There's also a button that brings up a menu to install HP software (such as HP's 3D DriveGuard to protect your data if you knock the laptop). We couldn't find any way to remap this button to do something useful, which, quite frankly, is bizarre. We loved the location of the fingerprint reader — on the palm rest's far right — because it's out of the way and you aren't likely to hit it with a thumb when using the touchpad.
The touchpad is a little cramped but has a nice smooth texture. If you're like us you'll prefer the joystick-like pointing device located in the middle of the keyboard. It's great if you're writing while on public transport, and it has two dedicated buttons. (Some people might prefer the convex tip of a TrackPoint device on a Lenovo ThinkPad rather than the convex tip on the EliteBook, but we didn't mind it.)
The notebook's beauty is just not chassis-deep: inside there are components that should keep any road warrior happy, as long as they aren't engaging in specialised tasks (like 3D design) or playing high-end games (stick to Solitaire). The notebook is equipped with an Intel Core i5-540M CPU that runs at 2.53 GHz and 2GB of DDR3 RAM. The CPU has two physical cores, so you will have four virtual cores to play with in total thanks to Hyper-Threading. Turbo Boost can jack the clockspeed up to 3.066GHz automatically. Quite frankly, most office productivity tasks won't require this — the multiple cores are much more important, because they ensure that multitasking will be a breeze.
The HP EliteBook 8440p (WL653PA) has two RAM slots: one is accessible via an easily removable panel on the base, while the other (below) requires you to remove the keyboard.
When we ran our WorldBench 6 test suite, the notebook scored an excellent 107. The MP3 encoding and Blender 3D rendering tests took 58 seconds and 54 seconds respectively to complete, which isn't particularly impressive — these results are slightly slower than the budget Medion Akoya MD98330, a Core i3 notebook for home users. 3DMark06 returned a low score of 1770; this is an unsurprising result from the integrated Intel graphics adapter (though it still falls short of many non-business notebooks that have integrated graphics). Modern games are pretty much ruled out — hardly a surprise for a notebook that means Srs Bsns — but you'll be able to watch high-definition videos.
We tested the battery by disabling power saving, turning up the screen brightness and enabling Wi-Fi, then looping an SD video file. The notebook lasted 2hr 26min. It's a not a bad result for a laptop this size packing decent components under the hood. HP's 15in Probook 6540b only lasted 2hr 13min, while Dell's smaller, 13in Vostro V13 lasted 2hr 1min.
Around the sides you get pretty much everything you'd want from a business notebook: four USB 2.0 ports (one doubles as an eSATA port), an ExpressCard/54 slot, FireWire, a dial-up modem, mic and headphone jacks, an SD card slot, Gigabit Ethernet (there's also 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth), a smart card reader — deep breath — a Kensington lock slot, a DVD burner and a VGA (D-sub) connection and DisplayPort for hooking up an external monitor.
We freely admit to being infatuated with this notebook; we heard strains of Barry White playing every time we came near it. But we think you'll probably love it too: it looks stunning while retaining a functional design, and it offers pretty much everything you'd want from a business notebook. Check it out in store and prepare to be smitten. You'll shell out almost $2700, but for a business notebook of this calibre we think that's a pretty reasonable proposition.
♪Can't get enough of your love, baby♪
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
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo A5X review: A winning blend of long battery, solid performance and low-price
- 2 DJI Mavic 2 Pro review: These glorious heights
- 3 Huawei FreeBuds review: Solid as a value-add, less so standalone
- 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- 5 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveil Galaxy Book 2
- Alienware angle towards portability with Alienware m15
- Razer announces new headset, keyboard and mouse
- IFA 2018: MSI expand Prestige range with new P65 Creator
- IFA 2018: ASUS launch first TUF gaming laptops
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Hands on with Huawei's Mate 20 Pro
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?