Review: HP Adds EliteBook 8440w To Workstation Lineup

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HP EliteBook 8440w enters the bantam-weight mobile workstation fray loaded with management extras, but an unremarkable 14″ display

The HP EliteBook 8440w adds a 14″ screen to HP’s mobile workstation lineup along with extended battery life, support for quick web and Outlook access new management extras that should entice power users and IT managers alike.

The EliteBook 8440w is HP’s debut in the 14″ space. The display is unremarkable in terms of brightness and technical colour accuracy but the EliteBook 8440w packs a punch in terms of processor performance and connectivity options in a well-designed form.

The EliteBook 8440w starts at $1,425 (£907) at the HP Online store and started shipping on 1 February. The unit I tested cost $1,649 (£1,050) and was configured with an Intel Core i7-620M, 2.66GHz dual-core processor, the standard life 9-cell, 100WHr Li-Ion battery and 4GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM. The EliteBook 8440w in this configuration comes with a 320GB 7,200 RPM, SATA II drive with HP 3D DriveGuard protection, an integrated 2MP camera, a swipe finger print reader, integrated dial-up modem and 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless support. The system comes with a 3-year warranty. An entended life battery with a 3-year warranty and rated for 1,000 charging cycles is also available although not tested for this review.

The 14″ LED backlit HD anti-glare screen provides 1366 x 768 resolution. There’s plenty of screen real estate but no option in this model for the colour control I’ve seen in larger mobile workstations. This makes the EliteBook 8440w more suited for number-crunching applications instead of creative arts and photo processing. The comparable Dell Presicion M2400 detailed below, offers a screen option that makes it a better choice for presentation intensive applications. 

Get in where you fit in

The HP EliteBook family ranges from 12.1″ ultra-portables to 17″ desktop replacement systems. The EliteBook 8440w now adds a new 14″ form-factor to the lineup for mobile professionals who must frequently travel and yet need a high-performance workstation that can be easily carried and used in a variety of conditions. Travelers will appreciate the fact that the EliteBook 8440w meets the MIL-STD 810G for reliable operation in environments with dust, humidity, temperature variations and vibration. And the modest sized screen means that the EliteBook 8440w can be used while onboard an airplane. There is a neat pop out worklight in the top screen bezel for keyboard illumination.

Dell Precision M2400 configured with an Intel Core 2 Duo P8800, 2.66GHz processor with a 14.1″ WXGA 1200×800 LED display (optional UltraSharp WXGA+ 1440×900 add $90), 3-year warranty (optional 4-year available), NVIDIA Quadro FX 370M graphics card, 4GB of DDR2-800 RAM, 320GB 7,200 RPM drive with free fall sensor, 9-cell battery, 802.11 a/b/g/n mini card for wireless support, optional Bluetooth support, camera and microphone and integrated dial-up modem cost $1,667 (£1,062) – almost exactly the same as my EliteBook 8440w, as tested.

Lenovo makes a slightly larger 15.6″ ThinkPad W500, that with options similar to the EliteBook 8440w, with a P8700, 2.53GHz and 4GB of 1067MHz DDR3 RAM was on sale at $1,653 (£1,053). Clearly the tight price/performance race in this category means that IT managers can make buying choices based on raw performance and technical features along along with considering the additional management and useful (as opposed to bloat-ware) software tools that accompany the system. On this score the HP EliteBook 8440w does not disappoint. But first let me look at some basic performance information.


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