Notebookcheck

HP EliteBook 755 G2 (J0X38AW) Notebook Review

Till Schönborn (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 09/23/2014

Promoted to business class. A premium-range laptop for corporate customers that relies on a processor from AMD - we haven't seen that for quite a while now. HP sees its new EliteBook product line as an affordable alternative for the seemingly omnipotent Intel competition without affecting the quality standard. Will this experiment be successful?

For the original German review, see here.

It doesn't matter if it's a Lenovo ThinkPad, Dell Latitude or Fujitsu Lifebook - almost all high-priced business laptops currently feature the latest Intel processors. AMD also knows that and has therefore launched a dedicated CPU line specially designed for corporate customers, which is based on the recently introduced Kaveri architecture.

As the first (and until now) only manufacturer, HP has decided to add the new models in its own product portfolio. The EliteBook 755 G2 is seen as an affordable alternative to the previously tested 850 G1 model, and it shares the casing, input devices, and many other details with it. The 15-inch laptop is equipped with 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, and AMD's A10 Pro 7350B APU, and costs about 100 Euros (~$128) less than its in-house rival based on a Core i5 CPU. Not quite 900 Euros (~$1156) is demanded for the described configuration of the 755 G2. Buyers who need more power will have to opt for the top model with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD for 1150 Euros (~$1478). It, unfortunately, could not be made available to us in time.

Since the swift Kaveri graphics unit clearly loses performance with only one memory module, we undertook a special measure - installing a second 4 GB bar. We want to find out what the new APU is capable of under ideal conditions with that. We used the results of the smaller EliteBook 745 G2 for comparison, which has to go through our test course in single-channel mode.

EliteBook 755 G2 (F1Q28ET) EliteBook 755 G2 (J0X38AW) EliteBook 755 G2 (F1Q27ET)
A8 Pro-7150B A10 Pro-7350B A10 Pro-7350B
4 GB RAM 4 GB RAM 8 GB RAM
500 GB (HDD) 500 GB (HDD) 256 GB (SSD)
Radeon R5 Radeon R6 Radeon R6
1366x768 pixels 1920x1080 pixels 1920x1080 pixels
starts at 850 Euros (~$1092) starts at 900 Euros (~$1156) starts at 1150 Euros (~$1478)

Differences from the EliteBook 850 G1

At first glance, the EliteBook 850 G1 and 755 G2 look absolutely identical - but there are slight differences in the details that we would now like to deal with. The keyboard backlight of the Intel model has been omitted in the 755 G2, although the keyboard itself has been adopted without modifications. HP's website, however, states that other configurations do have this feature. Beyond that, the list of security features is a bit shorter, and the internal M.2 slot has been axed so that installing an additional SSD is not possible. The user can only take out the existing hard drive and replace it with another 2.5-inch drive here.

Striking similarity to the 850 G1...
Striking similarity to the 850 G1...
...though without a backlit keyboard...
...though without a backlit keyboard...
...or M.2 slot.
...or M.2 slot.

Display

Potential buyers of the EliteBook 755 G2 can choose between two different screens. While the basic configuration has to be satisfied with a meager WXGA screen (1366x768 pixels), the two more expensive models are treated to a high-resolution Full HD screen. Alongside the 15.6-inch screen size, the pixel density climbs from 100 to 141 dpi, which results in a visibly sharper display of content. Furthermore, the considerably larger desktop facilitates using projecting Excel spreadsheets and other intricate software.

Surprisingly, our review sample was shipped with a screen from AUO in contrast to the 850 G1 that sports a model from the competitor Chi Mei. However, we can allay any fears that the affordable AMD version of the EliteBook is fobbed off with an inferior quality screen. Quite the opposite: With a maximum brightness of up to 312 cd/m², the in-house rival (292 cd/m² in the first, 264 cd/m² in the second test) is even surpassed marginally. The illumination of a good 85% does not give reason for complaint either.

307
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
313
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
340
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 340 cd/m² Average: 312.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 335 cd/m²
Contrast: 549:1 (Black: 0.61 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.51 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 12.39 | - Ø
53% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.48
755 G2 vs. AdobeRGB (t)
755 G2 vs. AdobeRGB (t)
755 G2 vs. sRGB (t)
755 G2 vs. sRGB (t)

Although the screen is based on the relatively cheap TN technology, the first impression of the image is impressive. With just 0.61 cd/m², the black reproduction is sufficiently rich so that a contrast ratio of 549:1 is achieved. Thus, the 755 G2 outstrips, for example, Lenovo's ThinkPad S540 (346:1), but not a high-quality IPS screen with rates of 1000:1 or more. These screens are now even found in many low-budget consumer devices - and consequently we would expect more from a premium laptop for corporate customers.

The same is true for the color calibration ex-factory. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has failed vigorously here, which is expressed in a visible bluish cast and a very high DeltaE of 10.5 (colors) and 12.4 (grayscale). We would recommend using an adapted color profile (download possible in the chart above), which reduces the shifts to a minimum. Only the limited color space cannot be improved and thus prevents using the laptop as a professional photo or graphics workstation.


Color accuracy (non-calibrated)
Color accuracy (non-calibrated)
Color saturation (non-calibrated)
Color saturation (non-calibrated)
Grayscale (non-calibrated)
Grayscale (non-calibrated)
Color accuracy (calibrated)
Color accuracy (calibrated)
Color saturation (calibrated)
Color saturation (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)

Owing to the carefully applied AR coating and the screen's strong backlight that is also maintained in battery mode, the 755 G2 can be used outdoors without restrictions. It is possible to recognize content even on sunny days, and the brightness can often be reduced slightly in shadowy places.

Outdoors (overcast)
Viewing angles: HP EliteBook 755
Viewing angles: HP EliteBook 755

Finally, we would like to briefly deal with the viewing-angle stability. It is not one of the screen's strengths due to the underlying TN technology. The screen is particularly sensitive to vertical movements and reacts with loss of contrast and color deviations. The user has slightly more elbowroom from the sides. Nevertheless, the EliteBook remains to be an office device for a single user.

Performance

Alongside the identically specified FX-7500, the A10 Pro-7350B is currently AMD's fastest ULV APU. The quad-core chip clocks with 2.1 to 3.3 GHz and is based on the recently introduced Kaveri architecture that should offer a somewhat higher per-MHz performance as well as better energy efficiency than the Richland precursor. As a so-called "Pro" model, the 7350B was designed especially for the needs of corporate customers; AMD advertises the corresponding APUs with a particularly high stability and longer durability. The TDP of the chip built in 28 nanometers is 19 watts, and thus slightly higher than those of the competition (Haswell ULV: 15 watts including chipset).

The actual highlight of Kaveri is doubtlessly the integrated graphics unit dubbed Radeon R6. Having 384 Shader units, it promises a performance on the level of a dedicated mid-range accelerator. We will see whether this results in higher frame rates further below. The GPU's real active clock rate should be the decisive factor because the 553 MHz specified by the manufacturer is only to be understood as the maximum Turbo speed.

As mentioned in the intro, we extended the existing working memory of our EliteBook with a second 4 GB module in DDR3-1600 standard to a total of 8 GB. This is the only way of finding out what AMD's Kaveri APU is capable of without the extreme limitation by the memory interface. Such a modification of review samples will, however, remain to be an absolute exception in future and was primarily due to the fact that the actually desired configuration (F1Q27ET) was, unfortunately, not available at the time of testing. We did not perform any other modifications, for example, with the internal 500 GB hard drive, beyond that.

System information: HP EliteBook 755 G2

Processor

Inadequate utilization...
Inadequate utilization...
...of the Turbo headroom
...of the Turbo headroom

Four CPU cores, a clock rate of up to 3.3 GHz - the technical specs of the 19-watt chip look really impressive at first. However, the notorious "but" follows: First, the performance per clock is still far below that of the competition, and then the impressive Turbo headroom is utilized only very inadequately. The frequency fluctuates only between 2.5 and 2.8 GHz even in the single-thread benchmarks; just 1.9 to 2.1 GHz is achieved when both modules are loaded. That naturally has an impact on the performance. A Core i5-4200U surpasses that by 30 to 60% depending on the application, and the A10 Pro-7350B also has a hard time competing against a Core i3-4030U. We would have definitely expected more here, especially since AMD's even more frugal and cheaper A6-6310 does not calculate very much slower. No performance differences between battery and AC modes were noticed.

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
HP EliteBook 755 G2
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10 Pro-7350B, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
0.7 Points ∼0%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.13 Points ∼0% +61%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Radeon HD 8750M, 4600U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
1.43 Points ∼0% +104%
Lenovo ThinkPad S540 20B30059GE
Radeon HD 8670M, 4200U, WDC WD10JPVX-08JC3T5 + Sandisk SSD U110 16GB
1.11 Points ∼0% +59%
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
0.8 Points ∼0% +14%
Lenovo IdeaPad G50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
0.56 Points ∼0% -20%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
HP EliteBook 755 G2
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10 Pro-7350B, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.91 Points ∼0%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2.49 Points ∼0% +30%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Radeon HD 8750M, 4600U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
2.91 Points ∼0% +52%
Lenovo ThinkPad S540 20B30059GE
Radeon HD 8670M, 4200U, WDC WD10JPVX-08JC3T5 + Sandisk SSD U110 16GB
2.5 Points ∼0% +31%
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.03 Points ∼0% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad G50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.98 Points ∼0% +4%
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
4195 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
7582 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
2796 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2100
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
4185
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
5600
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.7 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
23.53 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.91 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
62 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
25.87 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
167 Points
Help

Storage Devices

HD Tune benchmark
HD Tune benchmark

Although the user does not get a swift SSD in the lower-priced configuration of the 755 G2, a small comfort is the fast 500 GB HDD with 7200 revolutions per minute. In contrast to most conventional hard drives, the considerably higher speed of the HGST Travelstar Z7K500 not only improves the access time to an acceptable 16.9 milliseconds, it also ensures remarkable transfer rates. A good 102 MB/s in the HD Tune benchmark is absolutely impressive for a conventional magnetic storage device. However, the EliteBook naturally cannot quite match the responsiveness of an accordingly more expensive SSD system.

Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Transfer Rate Minimum: 54.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 132.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 102.5 MB/s
Access Time: 16.9 ms
Burst Rate: 250.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 1 %

System Performance

Complying with the wishes of corporate customers, HP still preloads Windows 7 Professional as the operating system. Additionally, the more up-to-date Windows 8.1 Pro is included as a free upgrade. The subjective application performance does not give much reason for complaint after the laptop finishes booting in about 40 seconds. The processor has enough performance reserves to easily cope with common office and multimedia tasks. The A20 Pro 7350B can also deal with more demanding software but remains far behind the contenders based on Core i5 CPUs. For example, the EliteBook 850 G1 clearly takes the lead in PCMark 7 with 2821 vs. 2052 points, although neither device sports an SSD or hybrid hard drive.

PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
HP EliteBook 755 G2
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10 Pro-7350B, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2052 Points ∼26%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2821 Points ∼36% +37%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Radeon HD 8750M, 4600U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
5431 Points ∼68% +165%
Lenovo ThinkPad S540 20B30059GE
Radeon HD 8670M, 4200U, WDC WD10JPVX-08JC3T5 + Sandisk SSD U110 16GB
3021 Points ∼38% +47%
Dell Latitude E5540
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3693 Points ∼47% +80%
PCMark 7 Score
2052 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2440 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
2539 points
Help

Graphics Card

Jerky 4K playback
Jerky 4K playback

Of the Kaveri's 512 GCN Shaders, only 384 units are active in the Radeon R6. Only the 35-watt FX-7600P top model offers the full extension of the chip with its Radeon R7. However, the memory interface is more important for the performance, which is the decisive bottleneck. The bandwidth is just 25.6 GB/s even with the ideal dual-channel configuration and DDR3-1600 that the GPU and processor have to share. But then, (almost) every integrated graphics solution struggles with the same problem.

The Radeon R6 conducts its strong Shader power quite well on the virtual lane in the synthetic 3DMark 11, which is comparatively easy on the bandwidth. A lead of approximately 50% on the HD Graphics 4400 (also with dual-channel interface) underlines AMD's superiority in the graphics field. Only the jerky playback of our 4K test video (H.264, 100 Mbps) was disappointing - Intel's contenders do a better job here.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
HP EliteBook 755 G2
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10 Pro-7350B, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1228 Points ∼4%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
687 Points ∼2% -44%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Radeon HD 8750M, 4600U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
1595 Points ∼5% +30%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
HD Graphics 4400, 4600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
831 Points ∼3% -32%
HP Elitebook 745 G2
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10 Pro-7350B, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1140 Points ∼4% -7%
3DMark 06 Standard
5989 points
3DMark Vantage P Result no PhysX
4114 points
3DMark 11 Performance
1306 points
3DMark (2013) Ice Storm Standard Score
32732 points
3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate Standard Score
3787 points
3DMark (2013) Fire Strike Standard Score
837 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Anno 2070
Anno 2070

The difference between the Radeon R6 and HD 4400, both with the same memory configuration, diminishes slightly to approximately 20% on average in the real gaming benchmarks. Although smooth gaming fun will not emerge from absolutely unplayable frame rates, some higher detail settings can certainly be selected. Nevertheless, more than low to medium settings and 1024x768 pixels are only rarely possible in current games.

The graphics unit's performance will likely be boosted noticeably with a higher TDP specification. The core clock drops to approximately 400 MHz during simultaneous CPU and GPU load in order to comply with the 19 watts specified for the entire APU.

HP EliteBook 755 G2
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10 Pro-7350B, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
HP Elitebook 745 G2
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10 Pro-7350B, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
Tomb Raider
-34%
-25%
-11%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x18.310.4
-43%
13.7
-25%
14.3
-22%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x26.317.9
-32%
19.9
-24%
25.1
-5%
1024x768 Low Preset51.537.2
-28%
38.1
-26%
48.6
-6%
BioShock Infinite
-36%
-34%
1366x768 High Preset23.213.9
-40%
15
-35%
1366x768 Medium Preset26.817.3
-35%
17.4
-35%
1280x720 Very Low Preset4631.2
-32%
30.9
-33%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-34% / -34%
-31% / -30%
-23% / -23%
low med. high ultra
Anno 2070 (2011) 64.63119.39.1fps
Diablo III (2012) 54.837.131.420.7fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 51.526.318.38.5fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 4626.823.27fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 20.516.210.15.1fps
Dota 2 (2013) 43.827.615.1fps
Total War: Rome II (2013) 35.526.822.76.3fps
Thief (2014) 12.596.93.6fps

Emissions

System Noise

It is primarily the quiet noise of the fast-spinning hard drive that dominates the background noise in idle. The user will rarely hear the fan; it is usually inactive or spins with such low speeds during basic office tasks that it is only vaguely audible a few centimeters away from the laptop. HP should only improve one point: When the fan turns on, it speeds up to almost 4000 rpm for a short moment - that can certainly be managed more discreetly.

The noise level increases to 34.3 to 37.1 dB(A) during full load, which is barely more than we measured in the EliteBook 850 G1 with a Haswell CPU (33.3 - 36.2 dB(A)). Only marginal differences exist compared with contenders like Lenovo's ThinkPad S540 (33.5 - 36.8 dB(A)) or Toshiba's Tecra Z50 (33.4 - 36.8 dB(A)). The frequency characteristic can be described as pleasantly low-pitched and consistent.

Noise Level

Idle
30.9 / 30.9 / 31.6 dB(A)
HDD
30.9 dB(A)
Load
34.3 / 37.1 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft SL-451 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

The noticed, though not yet distracting, temperature increase of up to approximately 34 °C just in idle was a bit surprising. Since the fans in other contenders remain inactive when idling, this can only be the result of higher power consumption - but more about that in the following section. The average load rates of 38 °C were as we expected and are within an uncritical range. Consequently, the laptop can be used on the thighs without hesitation.

Despite a low core temperature of only 67 °C, the A10 APU throttled heavily in our stress test. A CPU clock of just 1.1 GHz is far remote from the actual base clock of 2.1 GHz. The graphics unit fluctuates between 280 and 410 MHz at the same time - as much as 553 MHz would be possible here. We assume that HP limits the chip's consumption before the maximum 19 watts in order to keep both the noise development and casing temperatures on a low level.

 33.6 °C35.2 °C35 °C 
 32.4 °C35.7 °C34.1 °C 
 30.7 °C31.4 °C33.3 °C 
Maximum: 35.7 °C
Average: 33.5 °C
35.2 °C34.8 °C33.2 °C
34.2 °C35 °C33 °C
32.6 °C31.8 °C31.7 °C
Maximum: 35.2 °C
Average: 33.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  31.2 °C | Room Temperature 23.2 °C | Fluke 62 Max

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Intel has raised the bar quite a few notches for idle and partial load consumption with Haswell (or better said, lowered it). Can Kaveri match that? In scenarios where the 850 G1 was satisfied with 4.9 to 9.3 watts, the EliteBook 755 G2 drains 7.2 to 12.4 watts from its included power supply. This will likely affect the battery runtime.

However, we would first like to look at the maximum consumption that was slightly lower than expected. 32.6 watts in 3DMark06 and 39.6 watts in the stress test (dropped to 33.7 watts after a short time) are relatively low for an APU of this TDP category. This backs our thesis that the rate AMD specifies is not fully exhausted, which again explains the throttling we observed.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7.2 / 10.1 / 12.4 Watt
Load midlight 32.6 / 39.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Extech Power Analyzer 380803

Battery Runtime

Just like the casing and input devices, HP also adopted the 50 Wh battery of the EliteBook 850 G1 in the 755 G2. However, our review sample only achieved consistently shorter runtimes with the simultaneously higher power consumption.

The 755 G2 was drained after almost 7 hours in Battery Eater's Reader's test using the energy-saving mode, minimum brightness, and disabled radio modules. That is roughly 1.5 hours sooner than the 850 G1. This test is only of little significance for practical use being a pure idle scenario and only illustrates the theoretical maximum runtime.

Our Wi-Fi and H.264 assessment using the energy-saving mode and a screen brightness of approximately 150 cd/m² is more interesting. The EliteBook has to be recharged after 3 to 4 hours at the latest, in contrast to the Intel model that lasted at least 1.5 to 2 hours longer.

We ascertained the smallest difference in Battery Eater's Classic test using the high-performance profile and maximum brightness. Here, the 755 G2's runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes oppose the 850 G1's two hours. In a nutshell, this is at most a middling result for a high-priced business laptop. It will hardly last a whole workday with only one battery charge even with longer standby phases.

Reader's test
Reader's test
Wi-Fi test
Wi-Fi test
H.264 test
H.264 test
Classic test
Classic test
Charging
Charging
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
6h 56min
WiFi Surfing
3h 54min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
3h 9min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 34min

Verdict

HP EliteBook 755 G2 (J0X38AW)
HP EliteBook 755 G2 (J0X38AW)

Same quality, lower price: As to the casing's build, the screen or the input devices' properties, HP's EliteBook 755 G2 is an equal match for the at least 100 Euros (~$128) more expensive 850 G1. Well, almost because we do not want to keep the omitted keyboard backlight and axed M.2 slot a secret at this point.

Informed readers will have guessed that the A10 Pro-7350B cannot quite keep up with a swift Core i5 processor even before this test. The advantage of a Core i5-4200U ranges with about 30 to 60% according to our benchmarks and is thus also occasionally noticed in practical use. It would, however, be foolhardy to call the Kaveri APU sluggish - the chip has more than enough power for common office tasks and light multitasking. The tide turns when it comes to the graphics unit. AMD's relatively fast GPU will rarely pay off in a pure office device because the modern HSA concept hardly shows its assets in current applications. Furthermore, Intel's HD Graphics 4400 is only slightly behind the Radeon R6 that is apparently slowed down by memory and consumption limitations.

We deem the short battery runtime to be by far the biggest drawback of the 755 G2. The EliteBook shuts down in under four hours in everyday use, which makes having the power supply at hand essential. That is the main reason why it is difficult for us to give the laptop an unconditional purchase recommendation. Potential buyers would be well advised to wait for the announced EliteBook 750 G1, which is a somewhat less expensive version of the 850 G1 and thus a direct contender of the 755 G2.

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In review: HP EliteBook 755 G2. Test model courtesy of HP Store.
In review: HP EliteBook 755 G2. Test model courtesy of HP Store.

Specifications

HP EliteBook 755 G2
Processor
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri), Core: 553 MHz, Memory: 800 MHz, 13.352.1004.1001
Memory
8192 MB 
, 2x 4 GB DDR3-1600, 2 of 2 slots filled
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, AUO35ED, TN screen, LED backlight, glossy: no
Mainboard
AMD A76M
Storage
Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630, 500 GB 
, 7200 rpm, 32 MB cache
Soundcard
ATI/AMD Kaveri - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: headset jack (3.5 millimeter), Card Reader: SD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Broadcom BCM43228 (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 21.5 x 375 x 254 ( = 0.85 x 14.76 x 10 in)
Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3 cells
Operating System
Windows 8.1 Professional (64 Bit) + Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit)
Camera
Webcam: 0.9 megapixels
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Windows 8.1 DVD, driver DVD, quick start guide, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.95 kg ( = 68.78 oz / 4.3 pounds), Power Supply: 195 g ( = 6.88 oz / 0.43 pounds)
Price
900 Euro

 

HP's premium line for corporate customers - the EliteBook...
HP's premium line for corporate customers - the EliteBook...
...is now available with AMD processors. (pictures: EliteBook 850 G1).
...is now available with AMD processors. (pictures: EliteBook 850 G1).
Although the 755 G2 weighs just below 2 kilograms...
Although the 755 G2 weighs just below 2 kilograms...
...the chassis is extremely rigid.
...the chassis is extremely rigid.
The display hinges are also very solid,...
The display hinges are also very solid,...
...though the maximum opening angle is not exceptionally generous.
...though the maximum opening angle is not exceptionally generous.
The connectivity not only includes 4x USB 3.0,...
The connectivity not only includes 4x USB 3.0,...
...but also Gbit LAN,...
...but also Gbit LAN,...
...a display port,...
...a display port,...
...and the older VGA out.
...and the older VGA out.
The SD card reader is awkward to reach.
The SD card reader is awkward to reach.
An optional docking station adds more interfaces.
An optional docking station adds more interfaces.
A fingerprint reader and SC reader are a must.
A fingerprint reader and SC reader are a must.
Like in the contenders, the mouse can be controlled via the touchpad...
Like in the contenders, the mouse can be controlled via the touchpad...
...and with the TrackPoint.
...and with the TrackPoint.
The dedicated Wi-Fi and volume buttons are handy extras.
The dedicated Wi-Fi and volume buttons are handy extras.
The 4 GB of working memory...
The 4 GB of working memory...
...can be extended via a second module (tested with 8 GB of RAM).
...can be extended via a second module (tested with 8 GB of RAM).
The sole fan rarely has to be enabled,...
The sole fan rarely has to be enabled,...
...and it discharges the waste heat with little noise.
...and it discharges the waste heat with little noise.
The user can choose between Windows 7 and 8.
The user can choose between Windows 7 and 8.
Convenient:
Convenient:
The underside can be opened to a wide extent without tools.
The underside can be opened to a wide extent without tools.
The M.2 slot of the EliteBook 850 G1...
The M.2 slot of the EliteBook 850 G1...
...is not a feature of the 755 G2.
...is not a feature of the 755 G2.
Lacking a dedicated graphics card,...
Lacking a dedicated graphics card,...
...the EliteBook is satisfied with a small 45-watt power supply.
...the EliteBook is satisfied with a small 45-watt power supply.

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Links

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Pro

+Lightweight and high-quality casing
+Decent input devices
+High-resolution, outdoor suitable screen
+Satisfactory application performance
+Very quiet fan
+36-month warranty
 

Cons

-Relatively short battery runtimes
-Audible hard drive noise
-Throttling in high load
-No keyboard backlight
-Additional SSD cannot be installed

Shortcut

What we like

Buyers who want quality but are looking for a relatively affordable office device can save a good 100 Euros (~$128) with the EliteBook 755 G2 in contrast to the 850 G1 sister model. No other manufacturer currently has an equally high-quality AMD laptop in its lineup.

What we'd like to see

Unfortunately, the compromises are not only limited to a slightly lower CPU performance compared with Intel's contenders. The omitted M.2 slot, the axed keyboard backlight, and above all the considerably worse battery runtimes are painful restrictions.

What surprises us

The integrated Radeon R6 GPU of the Kaveri APU puts Intel's HD Graphics 4400 in its place, though the advantage is slighter than we expected and also hoped. Gaming fans will still need a dedicated graphics solution.

The competition

HP EliteBook 850 G1

Toshiba Tecra Z50

Lenovo ThinkPad S540

Fujitsu Lifebook E754

Dell Latitude E6540

Rating

HP EliteBook 755 G2 - 09/14/2014 v4(old)
Till Schönborn

Chassis
91 / 98 → 93%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
90%
Connectivity
74 / 81 → 91%
Weight
64 / 67 → 94%
Battery
81%
Display
80%
Games Performance
60 / 68 → 88%
Application Performance
61 / 92 → 66%
Temperature
83%
Noise
91%
Audio
63%
Camera
53 / 85 → 62%
Average
75%
83%
Office - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > HP EliteBook 755 G2 (J0X38AW) Notebook Review
Till Schönborn, 2014-09-23 (Update: 2016-02-18)