Valentina Palladino

It has been 10 years since HP launched the unique Elitebook, and the corporate continues to enhance upon this already stellar enterprise pocket book household. This 12 months’s Elitebook x360 1030 is the follow-up to final 12 months’s mannequin and can change the 1020 mannequin within the Elitebook lineup.

The brand new Elitebook has been sprinkled with updates that you just’d anticipate in a convertible that did not have many main issues: HP caught a brand new processor inside, shrank some bezels, made the chassis’ footprint smaller and lighter, added an LTE possibility, and improved the non-compulsory Lively Pen. There have been a couple of sub-par elements concerning the earlier mannequin, so HP addressed them on this system, too. Nevertheless, these enhancements, whereas considerate, might not be essential sufficient to push present Elitebook customers to improve.

Feel and appear

HP modified little concerning the Elitebook x360’s skeleton—it is nonetheless an all-aluminum convertible with a unibody chassis and slick, diamond-cut edges. It now has a 10 % smaller footprint than the earlier mannequin, measuring 15.8mm thick and weighing 2.76 kilos, and the bezels round its 13.Three-inch touchscreen are slimmer than ever earlier than. The facet bezels are 50% thinner, and the chin is 39 % smaller, too.

Specs at a look: HP Elitebook x360 1030 (as reviewed)

Display screen
13.Three-inch 1920×1080 touchscreen

OS
Home windows 10 Professional

CPU
Core i7-8650U

RAM
16GB LPDDR3

GPU
Intel UHD Graphics 620

HDD
512GB PCIe SSD

Networking
8265 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth four.2 combo, vPro, NFC, MiraCast help, Cat9 4G LTE (non-compulsory)

Ports
2x Thunderbolt Three, 1x USB-A Three.1 Gen 1, 1x HDMI port, 1x lock slot, 1x audio combo jack

Dimension
12.04×eight.07×zero.62 in (30.58×20.5×1.58 cm)

Weight
2.76 kilos

Battery
56WHr

Guarantee
Three years

Beginning worth
$1,499

Worth as reviewed
$2,149

Different perks
Home windows Hey IR digital camera, fingerprint sensor, backlit keyboard

The highest bezel stays thick sufficient to incorporate a brand new FHD webcam and an IR digital camera, each of that are essential for enterprise clients to have. Nevertheless, HP did not embrace a privateness shutter over the webcam. Quite a few ultrabooks have embraced the privateness shutter or one other solution to disable the front-facing digital camera to present customers extra management over their privateness. However most ultrabooks which have each a webcam and an IR digital camera for Home windows Hey do not embrace a shutter—I am not stunned that HP left it out within the Elitebook x360, however it will have been a welcome characteristic, particularly on a business-focused convertible like this.

The display is available in FHD (1920×1080) and UHD (3840×2160) choices, with one of many FHD choices geared up with HP’s SureView expertise. The built-in privateness display makes it troublesome for passersby to look over your shoulder at your doubtlessly delicate work supplies. Whereas our overview unit did not have SureView, I’ve seen it in motion and perceive how it will be indispensable for professionals who’re continuously touring or working from unfamiliar areas.

The 2 FHD show choices could be geared up with HP’s new anti-glare coating, making it simpler to learn in direct daylight. Making this a regular characteristic would have been excellent, however some customers hardly ever work exterior or want such a characteristic on their show. Nonetheless, it’ll accompany the 400 nit and 700 nit brightness maximums of these panels properly. The UHD panel is the one possibility that can’t have the anti-glare coating, and that panel reaches as much as 500 nits of brightness.

The diamond-cut edges level to a extra refined design than the earlier mannequin. The brand new angled hinges that join the lid to the chassis do the identical, in addition to the honeycomb speaker grilles on both facet of the keyboard. HP included each top- and bottom-firing on this mannequin, which ought to emit sound properly whatever the place that the convertible is in.

These small modifications convey much more Spectre-chic to the Elitebook line with out being garish. HP additionally designed the system to go MIL-STD 801G stress exams (drop, vibration, shock, temperature, mud, and others), making it each enticing and robust within the face of harsh environments and unintentional drops.

The construct high quality of this Elitebook matches that of final 12 months’s mannequin. Many of the design modifications solely lead to noticeable aesthetic variations, reasonably than modifications felt within the sturdiness of the machine. The bump in MIL-STD certification is a pleasant contact, however most customers will seemingly admire that HP constructed a machine that is each comparatively skinny and lightweight, but in addition has an total stable design that does not give underneath stress.

The choice of ports on the brand new Elitebook x360 modified a bit: now, it contains two Thunderbolt Three ports, one USB-A Three.1 Gen 1 port, one HDMI port, one nano SIM slot (solely on some fashions), one audio-combo jack, and one lock slot. Gone are the additional USB-A port, the microSD card reader, the sensible card reader, and HP’s proprietary charging port. Nixing the final of these is a welcome change—there is not any motive to take up house with a proprietary charging port when a USB-C/Thunderbolt Three port prices the system and does extra by way of information switch and peripheral connectivity.

Some will probably be annoyed by the opposite ports that did not make the minimize. Nevertheless, I am blissful that HP saved one of many two Sort-A ports as a result of all customers (and their workplaces) have not made the swap to USB-C but. MicroSD card slots definitely aren’t out of date, however the brand new nano SIM slot is extra essential for HP’s imaginative and prescient for this system. Very similar to the brand new Spectre x360 and the Acer Swift 7, LTE connectivity is turning into a preferred non-compulsory characteristic on ultrabooks like these. It permits professionals to get on-line wherever they’ve respectable mobile service, and it lessens their dependence on public Wi-Fi (which poses safety dangers for these working with delicate data). Non-obligatory LTE stands out as the new characteristic that persuades current Elitebook customers to think about this improve, and it’ll put the Elitebook x360 on the radars of latest clients who want LTE of their subsequent laptop computer.

Keyboard, trackpad, and Lively Pen

The keyboard on the brand new Elitebook x360 is simply nearly as good because the one on final 12 months’s mannequin, which is to say it is implausible. I might say these keyboards are second solely to Lenovo’s keyboards on units just like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Typing on the Elitebook x360 was snug and straightforward, and I like which you could hear the chiclet keys as you kind, however they emit a subdued, softer sound than different keys. I additionally like the complete Fn row of keys on the prime of the keyboard, even when a lot of these keys are geared towards skilled applications that I do not use a lot, just like the default Home windows calendar or Skype.

Under the keyboard are the Precision trackpad and the fingerprint reader, each of which have been current on the earlier Elitebook mannequin. Not a lot has modified with both: the trackpad remains to be responsive and nice for Home windows-specific gestures, whereas the fingerprint reader enhances the IR digital camera to present customers two Home windows Hey biometric authentication choices.

A $76 Lively Pen, however for whom?

Whereas the non-compulsory Lively Pen appears to be like an identical to the earlier one, it has a couple of essential enhancements. For one, the Pen recharges by way of a USB-C port hidden beneath a flap of grey silicone close to its prime. That is a lot better than the earlier mannequin, which used a AAAA battery for energy. Contemplating the Elitebook x360 prices by way of USB-C itself, customers can cost each the convertible and its pen utilizing the identical cable.

I am not loopy about the truth that the Lively Pen prices additional and would not include the Elitebook x360—except there’s one thing distinctive or spectacular about it, I feel convertibles ought to include their pens as a result of inking talents are a number of the largest promoting factors about such units. HP’s Lively Pen is a stable stylus that reveals little (if any) latency in a number of sketching apps, and it is much more stress delicate than the earlier pen. It additionally responds properly to tilted enter, making shading and nuanced sketching straightforward.

However creatives are the customers who demand such options, and there are a bunch of robust opponents within the convertible and removable house which will attraction to creatives greater than the Elitebook x360—a few of which embrace a stylus of their costs. Those that solely want normal inking talents may go along with a tool just like the $1,299 Lenovo C930 two-in-one, which features a fundamental stylus that lives in its chassis.

HP got here up with a intelligent solution to preserve its Lively Pen alongside the Elitebook x360 always: it attaches magnetically to 3 of the 4 sides of the convertible’s chassis (it would not connect to the again edge, close to the hinge, for apparent causes). All of its three buttons could be custom-made within the Pen Settings to open numerous ink-friendly applications like SketchPad, Ink Workstation, and others. Fast actions like going dwelling or launching a particular app can be assigned to any of the buttons.

HP’s radial menu, a circle that seems on the display with extra fast actions which you could provoke by way of contact or Pen enter, is sort of helpful while you’re primarily utilizing the Lively Pen. By assigning one of many Pen’s buttons to open the radial menu, you basically get a bunch of actions which you could shortly carry out when the keyboard is not accessible, comparable to pausing/enjoying music, adjusting the amount, and taking a scribble-ready screenshot. It is just like Samsung’s Air Command, which is certainly one of my favourite items of software program that is distinctive to Samsung units just like the Pocket book 9 Pen—now, HP has an equal.

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