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Review Update HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET Notebook

Till Schönborn (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 04/18/2014

Slowed down. Besides the Core i7 processor and the improved memory equipment, it is the dedicated Radeon HD 8750M in particular that is supposed to justify the considerable price of the top version from the EliteBook 850-series. But can the thin chassis actually handle the additional heat?

For the original German review, see here.

You want to get not only the best build quality and precise input devices when you invest a four-digit sum for a high-quality business notebook – the performance should be pretty good as well.

This is also the reason for our review update of the just recently reviewed HP EliteBook 850 G1, but this time we have a closer look at the top version for around 1,600 Euros (~$2212). For an additional charge of 600 Euros (~$830) compared to the base configuration, you not only get a fast Core i7 processor, but also better storage and memory equipment (8 GB RAM, 180 GB SSD) as well as a dedicated AMD Radeon HD 8750M. The display, on the other hand, is identical; both versions use the Full HD SVA panel (standard viewing angle). The more recommendable WVA version (wide viewing angle), probably with an IPS panel, is surprisingly only available in one medium-priced configuration. You can find a small overview about the available models in Germany in the chart below.

We will waive the description of the case, the connectivity and the input devices in this review. All the related information can be found in the original article.

EliteBook 850 G1 (H5G34ET) EliteBook 850 G1 (F1R09AW) EliteBook 850 G1 (H5G44ET)
Core i5-4200U Core i5-4300U Core i7-4600U
4 GB RAM 4 GB RAM 8 GB RAM
500 GB (HDD) 500 GB (HDD) 180 GB (SSD)
HD Graphics 4400 Radeon HD 8750M Radeon HD 8750M
1920x1080 pixels (SVA) 1920x1080 pixels (WVA) 1920x1080 pixels (SVA)
starting at 1,000 Euros starting at 1,400 Euros starting at 1,600 Euros

Display

We do not want to waive the display section completely because even two similar panels are never completely identical, so we want to make a quick comparison with our first review unit. We can actually determine small differences in terms of maximum brightness: The measured 264 cd/m² is around 10 percent lower than the previously determined average brightness (292 cd/m²), even though this deviation is still within the normal range. Subjectively, the user should not see a difference anyway, because the human eye interprets light intensities logarithmically.

We could not determine flickering of the backlight with reduced brightness settings that we criticized in the past.

290
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
263
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 290 cd/m²
Average: 263.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 264 cd/m²
Black: 0.64 cd/m²
Contrast: 413:1

Corresponding with the slightly reduced brightness, the black value improves to 0.64 cd/m², whereas the actual contrast ratio of 413:1 is basically identical. This is not really surprising; the TN panel has the same designation, Chi Mei CMN15C2. Similar products (in terms of quality) are also used by the competition, for instance, in the Lenovo ThinkPad S540. Such a display might the completely sufficient for typical office tasks, but professional users who want to edit pictures or graphics will not be happy about the limited color space (47 percent AdobeRGB, 65 percent sRGB) and the comparatively high DeltaE results. We recommend the installation of a calibrated color profile to minimize the visible blue cast as well as the color and grayscale deviations. As usual, you can download our ICC profile; the link is right next to the brightness distribution chart above.

850 G1 vs. AdobeRGB (t)
850 G1 vs. AdobeRGB (t)
850 G1 vs. sRGB (t)
850 G1 vs. sRGB (t)
850 G1 vs. T540p 3K (t)
850 G1 vs. T540p 3K (t)
ColorChecker (pre-calibration)
ColorChecker (pre-calibration)
Saturation Sweeps (pre-calibration)
Saturation Sweeps (pre-calibration)
Grayscale (pre-calibration)
Grayscale (pre-calibration)
ColorChecker (calibrated)
ColorChecker (calibrated)
Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

Thanks to its anti-reflective display surface, the EliteBook is also well suited for outdoor environments and you can even use the panel under direct sunlight without any significant restrictions. The viewing angles, on the other hand, as typical for a TN panel, are not very good: Especially vertical shifts quickly result in color deviations and reduced contrast, so you should not leave the sweet spot if possible. The situation should be much better with the already mentioned configuration with the WVA/IPS panel.

Viewing angles HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Viewing angles HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET

Performance

Maximum Turbo clock of 3.3 GHz
Maximum Turbo clock of 3.3 GHz

Around 100 Euros (~$138) separates the Core i7-4600U from the popular mainstream Core i5-4200U. In return, you get a couple of hundred MHz more (2.1-3.3 GHz instead of 1.6-2.6 GHz), a bigger L3 cache (4 MB vs. 3 MB) as well as additional features like vPro or VT-d. However, both dual-cores use the same Haswell chip with a TDP of 15 Watts, which is produced in 22 nm. 

The integrated HD Graphics 4400 of our review unit is supported by a dedicated Radeon HD 8750M. AMD’s Enduro technology only activates the Radeon GPU when an application has higher demands in terms of graphics performance – this works (contrary to earlier reviews) pretty well by now and helps to reduce the power consumption and therefore improve the battery runtimes.

A second 4 GB DDR3L-1600 memory module increases the memory capacity of the EliteBook to 8 GB, and the RAM works in the faster dual-channel configuration. The 500 GB hard drive of the less expensive configurations has been replaced by a 180 GB SSD.

System information HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET

Processor

Full 3.3 GHz during single-core load, ...
Full 3.3 GHz during single-core load, ...
...2.6-2.9 GHz during multi-tasking
...2.6-2.9 GHz during multi-tasking

While the slightly bigger L3 cache of the Core i7-4600U usually only results in minimal performance improvements, we can see a noticeable performance advantage due to the higher clock compared to the i5-4200U. The single thread test of Cinebench R11.5 determines an advantage of more than 26 percent, which is not only perceptible in synthetic benchmarks. The CPU was able to maintain the maximum clock of 3.3 GHz during the test. Load for both cores only shows an advantage of 17 percent – the low TDP has a bigger impact on the Core i7 compared to the Core i5, which means that the 4600U has to reduce its clock from 2.9 to 2.6 GHz after around 30 seconds. 

Overall, the 850 G1 almost offers the performance of the significantly less frugal predecessor 8570p (Core i7-3520M, TDP of 37 Watts), but it does not stand a chance against quad-core rivals like the ThinkPad T540p (Core i7-4700MQ, TDP of 47 Watts). Here we can clearly see the different orientations of the two devices: Contrary to Lenovo, HP focused on the mobility in particular, which results in a thinner and lighter EliteBook, but the performance is also much lower in return. 

Battery power only shows the base clock of the Core i7-4600U (2.1 GHz) at first, because the manufacturer only activates the Turbo Boost when the power adaptor is attached. Depending on the application, this can result in a performance drop of up to 35 percent, but this behavior can fortunately be changed with the corresponding BIOS setting "Enable Turbo Boost on DC".

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Radeon HD 8750M, 4600U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
2.91 Points ∼17%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2.49 Points ∼14% -14%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
GeForce GT 730M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
6.77 Points ∼38% +133%
HP EliteBook 8570p-B6Q03EA-ABD
Radeon HD 7570M, 3520M, Hitachi HTS727550A9E364
3.33 Points ∼19% +14%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Radeon HD 8750M, 4600U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
1.43 Points ∼72%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.13 Points ∼57% -21%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
GeForce GT 730M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
1.49 Points ∼75% +4%
HP EliteBook 8570p-B6Q03EA-ABD
Radeon HD 7570M, 3520M, Hitachi HTS727550A9E364
1.42 Points ∼71% -1%
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6892
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
9139
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4744
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
7037 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
12107 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6231 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.43 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
29.12 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.91 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
30.88 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
270 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
126 Points
Help

Storage Devices

SSD performance after several days
SSD performance after several days

It is not surprising that HP equips the EliteBook 850 G1 with the Intel SSD Pro 1500. We already know this drive from the 820 G1 and 840 G1: High power efficiency, high reliability (at least according to the manufacturer) and special features like the hardware-based AES encryption. The drive is therefore a sensible choice for expensive business notebooks – only the storage capacity could have been bigger than the available 180 GB (115 GB can be used).

There is, however, no criticism in regard to the performance: The combination of a SandForce controller (SF-2281) and Intel’s own 20 nm MLC flash modules convinces us with very high transfer rates. Both the results for sequential reading and writing as well as the 4K/4K64 tests are at the top of the charts.

Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
Transfer Rate Minimum: 236.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 436.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 375.6 MB/s
Access Time: 0.1 ms
Burst Rate: 117.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 0.1 %

System Performance

The base configuration of the 850 G1 already provided a decent system performance, but the SSD and the faster processor can easily improve the result. This does not apply for only the benchmarks like PCMark 7, where the overall score jumps from 2,800 to more than 5,400 points. Even more astonishing are the improvements in practice like starting Windows or launching applications: While a conventional hard drive often requires a couple of seconds, the SSD essentially executes inputs immediately. You should not try to save any money on this component. It is also very easy to upgrade the storage solution by yourself, and using an HDD and an M.2 SSD at the same time is also possible.

PC Mark
PCMark 75431 points
PCMark 8 Home v24192 points
PCMark 8 Creative v23511 points
PCMark 8 Work v24908 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Radeon HD 8750M, 4600U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
5431 Points ∼82%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2821 Points ∼43% -48%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
GeForce GT 730M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
5009 Points ∼76% -8%
HP EliteBook 8570p-B6Q03EA-ABD
Radeon HD 7570M, 3520M, Hitachi HTS727550A9E364
2235 Points ∼34% -59%

Graphics

Now we have a look at the probably most interesting feature of our review configuration: The AMD Radeon HD 8750M. We have never reviewed this graphics card with the fast 1 GB GDDR5 memory as previous models have used slower DDR3. One would expect faster overall performance, but the 384 shader units (GCN architecture) of the Mars chip have a much higher clock in the DDR3 version (775-825 MHz instead of 620-670 MHz). The larger memory interface does not really lead to higher frame rates as a result. 3DMark 11 or 3DMark (2013) even show almost identical results for both cards, and the performance is roughly on the same level with the GeForce GT 730M or 740M. This is sufficient to beat the HD Graphics 4400 by a factor of 2.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Radeon HD 8750M, 4600U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
1595 Points ∼9%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
687 Points ∼4% -57%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
GeForce GT 730M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
1722 Points ∼10% +8%
HP EliteBook 8570p-B6Q03EA-ABD
Radeon HD 7570M, 3520M, Hitachi HTS727550A9E364
862 Points ∼5% -46%
3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
10331 points
3DMark Vantage7164 points
3DMark 111791 points
3DMark Ice Storm41122 points
3DMark Cloud Gate6303 points
3DMark Fire Strike1241 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme265 points
Help
Mediocre CAD performance
Mediocre CAD performance

The 8750M does leave a mixed impression in the CAD benchmark SPECviewperf 11. The average result of all tests is barely superior to the integrated Intel GPU – this means the Radeon is not suited for complex constructions. The FirePro M4100, which has the identical specs, has a comfortable advantage of around 150 percent because of the OpenGL drivers alone. Those professional GPUs are, however, usually only available in workstations like HP's ZBook-series.

HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
Intel Core i7-4600U, AMD Radeon HD 8750M, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
HP EliteBook 840 G1
Intel Core i7-4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
HP ZBook 14
Intel Core i7-4600U, AMD FirePro M4100, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
HP ZBook 15
Intel Core i7-4700MQ, NVIDIA Quadro K2100M, Hitachi Travelstar 7K750 HTS727575A9E
SPECviewperf 11
-4%
266%
503%
1920x1080 Catia AA:0x AF:0x5.4925.05
356%
42.11
667%
1920x1080 Ensight AA:0x AF:0x12.162.47
-80%
11.29
-7%
28.25
132%
1920x1080 Lightwave AA:0x AF:0x13.2116.07
22%
48.54
267%
48.97
271%
1920x1080 Maya AA:0x AF:0x6.3315.49
145%
37.65
495%
52.85
735%
1920x1080 Pro/ENGINEER AA:0x AF:0x3.021.99
-34%
8.87
194%
17.6
483%
1920x1080 SolidWorks AA:0x AF:0x11.911.43
-4%
37.88
218%
42.39
256%
1920x1080 Tcvis AA:0x AF:0x2.892.7
-7%
13.56
369%
34.27
1086%
1920x1080 Siemens NX AA:0x AF:0x6.41.93
-70%
21.28
233%
31.34
390%

Gaming Performance and GPU Throttling

Full GPU clock at the start of the game, ...
Full GPU clock at the start of the game, ...
...performance drop after a longer period.
...performance drop after a longer period.

Before we talk about the gaming performance of the Radeon HD 8750M, we have to mention a couple of smaller and bigger (driver) problems that we noticed during our review. Applications crashed on multiple occasions directly after the launch (PCMark 8) when the AMD GPU was active; the system even froze in some cases and only a hard reset was possible (F1 2013, Company of Heroes 2).

While this could probably be solved by a new GPU driver, there is another issue that might have a much bigger impact: The GPU clock starts to fluctuate after a couple of minutes during gaming – we even determined drops to 300/150 MHz (core/memory clock) for short periods. The result: Heavy micro stutters that can result in an unplayable experience in some cases, even if the average frame rate is above 30 fps. 

This did not have an impact on our comparatively short benchmark sequences, which means the following benchmark results represent the performance of the 8750M. We can once again see that the DDR3 and GDDR5 versions of this graphics card are on a similar level and comparable to a GeForce GT 740M from Nvidia. However, this only applies to AC operation; the performance is reduced by around 50 percent on battery power (clock limited to 400/300 MHz).

low med.high ultra
Anno 2070 (2011) 103.652.529.415fps
Diablo III (2012) 85.257.749.231.7fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 104.449.433.615.3fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 4127.816.37.9fps
Company of Heroes 2 (2013) 2822.1122.1fps
Dota 2 (2013) 99.353.929.5fps
Total War: Rome II (2013) 62.35040.47.9fps
Fifa 14 (2013) 229.4147.9142.397.5fps
F1 2013 (2013) 80543723fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 48.73322.48.1fps
Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013) 35.332.714.3fps
X-Plane 10.25 (2013) 59.833.31411.7fps
Thief (2014) 2114.811.1fps

Emissions

System Noise

Our first review unit was mostly passively cooled during idle; only the mechanical hard drive prevented a completely silent operation. This component is now replaced by an SSD, so you cannot hear our review configuration during light office and multimedia workloads. The lowest fan setting is also very slow, which means you can hardly hear the slight murmur from a distance of a few centimeters. 

Maximum load, on the other hand, results in a higher system noise, because the additional heat of the Radeon GPU has to be dissipated as well. 37.2 dB(A) during 3DMark 06 is still very restrained; the result is decent when you consider the thickness and the performance of the notebook. More noise is only produced in our impractical stress test.

Noise Level

Idle 29.0 / 29.0 / 29.0 dB(A)
Load 37.2 / 40.9 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft SL-451 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

Compared to our previous test, case temperatures are also noticeably higher. We can measure more than 30 °C (86 °F) at some spots during idle, but this is primarily a result of the barely rotating fan – the temperatures are definitely not inconvenient or worrying. A bigger problem is the results under load: 45 °C (113 °F) in the center of the keyboard is just tolerable. However, we want to mention that these temperatures are only reached in a few extreme scenarios. 

Our one-hour stress test with Prime95 and FurMark results in temperatures of around 80 °C (176 °F) for the processor and the graphics card. While the CPU is able to maintain a clock of 2.4 GHz, we can see even bigger fluctuations of the GPU clock than in our gaming benchmarks. It is interesting that the throttling does not seem to be influenced by the core temperature – this is probably a deliberate design decision to limit the power consumption.

Max. Load
 40.4 °C41.6 °C35.6 °C 
 34.6 °C45.1 °C34.1 °C 
 30.7 °C32.0 °C33.0 °C 
Maximum: 45.1 °C
Average: 36.3 °C
41.8 °C47.8 °C45.8 °C
38.1 °C41.8 °C37.8 °C
34.0 °C35.0 °C32.6 °C
Maximum: 47.8 °C
Average: 39.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  55.3 °C | Room Temperature 22.7 °C | Fluke 62 Max

Energy Management

Power Consumption

A minimum consumption of 4.1 up to 9.3 Watts of our review configuration is even more frugal than the previously reviewed entry-level configuration (4.9-9.3 Watts) – despite the additional memory module and the AMD GPU. The latter is however automatically deactivated (Enduro) during idle, while the additional memory is compensated by the more efficient SSD.

This advantage is obviously gone as soon as you use the dedicated GPU. Despite the throttling, the HD 8750M increases the load consumption to 42.8-48.6 Watts, around 15 Watts more than the integrated processor graphics. The provided 65-Watt power adaptor is still more than sufficient and should not be responsible for the limited performance.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 4.1 / 8.6 / 9.3 Watt
Load 42.8 / 48.6 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft Energy Check 3000

Battery Runtime

Our battery runtime measurements reflect the previously determined consumption values: The Battery Eater Reader’s test (energy-saving mode, minimum brightness, and wireless off) runs for almost 10 hours. This is 1.5 hours longer, despite the identical 50 Wh battery. 

A more realistic scenario with an adjusted display brightness (17/21, 139 cd/m²) during web browsing or HD movie playback results in a runtime of around five hours for the EliteBook. These results are very similar to the previous review.

The runtime of the Battery Eater Classic test (high-performance, maximum brightness, and wireless on) is nearly identical with little more than two hours. This test does, however, use the Intel GPU – using the Radeon GPU will affect the result. Convenient: The powerful 65-Watt power adaptor reduces the charging time by around 30 minutes.

Reader's Test
Reader's Test
WLAN Test
WLAN Test
H.264 Test
H.264 Test
Classic Test
Classic Test
Charging
Charging
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 55min
WiFi Surfing
5h 56min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 14min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 11min

Verdict

HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET

One step forward, two steps back: It might be irritating at first that the top version of the 850 G1-series is actually one percentage point behind the base configuration in our ratings – but the reason is simple when you have a closer look. 

But let’s start with the positive aspects: The fast SSD in particular improves the performance of the EliteBook, not only in the synthetic system benchmarks, but also (and especially) in practice. Twice the amount of memory (8 GB) is also sufficient for excessive multi-tasking. The powerful processor is usually sufficient as well, even though the performance is still slightly behind the predecessor with a standard voltage CPU.

We were eager to see the impact of the Radeon HD 8750M, which is supposed to improve the 3D performance of the 850 G1. This would have worked, but the observed clock fluctuations prevent it. We still hope that HP solves the problem with an upcoming BIOS update – but this would certainly increase the temperature and noise development in return.

So what is the recommendation for potential buyers? The EliteBook is still an excellent device in terms of build quality and input devices as well as mobility, and there are not many comparable 15-inch rivals. As a result, possible alternatives include the comparatively inexpensive base configuration, which can be upgraded with an SSD and other components.

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In Review: HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET, courtesy of HP Germany
In Review: HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET, courtesy of HP Germany

Specifications

HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
:: Memory
8192 MB, 2x 4 GB DDR3L-1600, 2 Slots
:: Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon HD 8750M - 1024 MB, Core: 670 MHz, Memory: 1000 MHz, 128-bit GDDR5 memory, Treiber 13.101.1.0, Enduro
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Chi Mei CMN15C2, TN-Panel, LED-Backlight, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H, 180 GB , 115 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
4 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: Headset port (3.5 mm stereo jack), Card Reader: SD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader,
:: Networking
Intel I218-LM Gigabit (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-N 7260 (a b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 21.4 x 376 x 254
:: Weight
2.033 kg Power Supply: 0.247 kg
:: Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3-cell
:: Price
1600 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit) + Windows 8 Pro (64 Bit)
:: Additional features
Webcam: 0.9 Megapixel, Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 45 Watts power adaptor, Windows 7/8 DVDs, Driver DVD, Quick Start Guide, HP Client Security, Drive Encryption, Recovery Manager, Absolute Data Protect, Theft Recovery (Computrace), 36 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The new EliteBook 850 G1...
The new EliteBook 850 G1...
...is a bold move from HP.
...is a bold move from HP.
The 15-inch business notebook...
The 15-inch business notebook...
...only uses efficient low-voltage CPUs from now on.
...only uses efficient low-voltage CPUs from now on.
The frugal hardware...
The frugal hardware...
...enables a significantly lighter and thinner case.
...enables a significantly lighter and thinner case.
Very solid display hinges, ...
Very solid display hinges, ...
...but the maximum opening angle is not very generous.
...but the maximum opening angle is not very generous.
A rubber lip protects the display during transport.
A rubber lip protects the display during transport.
The SD card reader is tricky to access.
The SD card reader is tricky to access.
More ports are available via optional docking station.
More ports are available via optional docking station.
Safety first: SmartCard reader...
Safety first: SmartCard reader...
...and fingerprint reader are mandatory. (Picture: 850 G1-H5G34ET)
...and fingerprint reader are mandatory. (Picture: 850 G1-H5G34ET)
Similar to the competition, you can use the cursor via touchpad, ...
Similar to the competition, you can use the cursor via touchpad, ...
...and also via TrackPoint.
...and also via TrackPoint.
The keyboard has a pretty soft pressure point...
The keyboard has a pretty soft pressure point...
...and is illuminated by white LEDs.
...and is illuminated by white LEDs.
A handy feature are the special keys for WLAN and sound.
A handy feature are the special keys for WLAN and sound.
At the bottom of the notebook...
At the bottom of the notebook...
...is a small lever, ...
...is a small lever, ...
... which allows the tool-less removal of the bottom cover. (Picture: 850 G1-H5G34ET)
... which allows the tool-less removal of the bottom cover. (Picture: 850 G1-H5G34ET)
In addition to the 2.5-inch drive you can integrate an M.2 SSD.
In addition to the 2.5-inch drive you can integrate an M.2 SSD.
The single fan does not work very often...
The single fan does not work very often...
...and dissipates the heat quietly.
...and dissipates the heat quietly.
The user can choose between Windows 7 and 8.
The user can choose between Windows 7 and 8.

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Pro

+Light and high-quality case
+Good input devices
+Outdoor-capable display with a high resolution
+Very good application performance
+Easy maintenance
+Quiet fan
+36 months warranty
 

Cons

-Card reader tricky to access
-Speakers lack bass
-GPU throttling
-High price

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What we like

An SSD and 8 GB RAM finally deliver the performance that we expect from a high-end business notebook like the EliteBook. The 20% higher performance of the Core i7-4600U is also a nice addition.

What we miss

A high-quality IPS panel with wide viewing angles and accurate colors would be the icing on the cake for the 850 G1 – unfortunately, it is only available in other configurations.

What surprises us

Why integrate an additional graphics card if you cannot use the full potential? Considering the uncritical hardware temperatures we also don't see the reason for such a drastic throttling.

The competition

There are not many comparable rivals, the Toshiba Tecra Z50 and the Lenovo ThinkPad S540 (more of a prosumer notebook) are the biggest competitors for the 850 G1. Another alternative would be a 14-inch notebook, for instance the Dell Latitude E7440ThinkPad T440s or Toshiba Tecra Z40.

Rating

HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET
04/12/2014 v4
Till Schönborn

Chassis
91 / 98 → 93%
Keyboard
90%
Pointing Device
90%
Connectivity
74%
Weight
63 / 67 → 91%
Battery
86%
Display
78%
Games Performance
75 / 85 → 88%
Application Performance
89%
Temperature
84%
Noise
92%
Audio
63%
Camera
45 / 85 → 53%
Add Points
-1%
Average
73%
84%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Update HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G44ET Notebook
Author: Till Schönborn, 2014-04-18 (Update: 2014-04-25)