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HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Notebook Review

Great display, but expensive. The new EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 is the current premium model from HP. This is also the case for the price, but can the test model justify the additional price over the strong rivals?

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For the original German review, see here.

Besides the normal EliteBooks, HP also announced an update for its premium business notebook we are reviewing today. Contrary to the normal EliteBook 800 series, the construction is inspired by regular Ultrabooks for private users without waiving security features from its siblings.

The EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 is a comparatively small update over its predecessor. The biggest change is the update to Intel's current Skylake platform, but we only get some new ports otherwise. Our test model with the designation V1B14EA is a well-equipped model for a hefty 2,600 Euros (~$2976). Contrary to the rivals, however, we do not get a Core i7, but a Core i5 processor in combination with 16 GB DDR4-RAM as well as a fast NVMe-SSD. One of the highlights is certainly the matte WQHD panel. HP also took care about mobile Internet connections because you also get a SIM-card (HP Mobile Connect) besides the integrated LTE modem. Users get 200 MB free every month for three years; you can book other data plans on a pre-paid basis in other countries (no roaming fees).

The EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 is virtually alone with such a high price tag. The biggest rival is certainly the current Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which uses a very similar concept. However, it is about 600 Euros (~$687) less expensive in a similar configuration. We are therefore eager to see if the Folio 1040 G3 can justify its price. We will also compare the thin notebook with its predecessor Folio 1040 G2, the "normal" EliteBook 840 G3 and other products from Dell and Lenovo.

HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 (EliteBook Folio 1040 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 520, Core: 300 MHz, 20.19.15.4331 WQHL
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2133, Dual-Channel, soldered, no RAM slot
Display
14 inch 16:9, 2560 x 1440 pixel 210 PPI, AUO1136, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Combo, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, LTE
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.8 x 337 x 234.5 ( = 0.62 x 13.27 x 9.23 in)
Battery
45.6 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo speakers, Audio by Bang & Olufsen, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 45-Watt PSU, service brochures, SIM card (HP Mobile Connect Pro), adapter for VGA and Ethernet, MS Office Trial, Skype, Foxit PhantomPDF, CyberLink PowerDVD 12, several HP tools
Weight
1.445 kg ( = 50.97 oz / 3.19 pounds), Power Supply: 309 g ( = 10.9 oz / 0.68 pounds)
Price
2600 Euro

 

Case

The basic chassis construction of the HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 did not change in its third iteration: We still get a very elegant and restrained case, which can be easily integrated in productive environments. Silver-colored metal surfaces are dominant; they have a luxurious feel and fingerprints are not a big problem. The bottom cover is slightly rubberized, which improves the grip. Only the keyboard as well as the matte display frame are black and create a fitting contrast. We can see a small difference at the top of the lid: While the predecessors had a contrasting surface, we now get – similar to some modern smartphones – only a small contrasting stripe. It probably covers the antennas for the WWAN module.

We would call the stability of the base unit good, even though there is certainly some room for improvements. For starters, we can slightly twist the base unit, which will create some minor creaking. The right keyboard area in particular can be warped pretty easily, which is also noticeable during typing. The thin lid can – as expected – also be slightly twisted, but the performance is still good. Pressure from behind in particular is no problem for the lid, and we could not provoke picture distortions, either. The central hinge has absolutely no problem with the light display because it is smooth and at the same time sufficiently taught to prevent bouncing. There is absolutely no criticism for the build quality: All parts are assembled perfectly, and the additional buttons are well integrated. The chassis was tested according to the military standards MIL-STD 810G (includes humidity, temperatures dust etc.) and the keyboard is splash resistant.

With a thickness of just 15.8 millimeters (~0.62 in), the test device is even slightly thinner than the X1 Carbon from Lenovo (16.5 mm/~0.65 in), while the latter has a small advantage in respect of the footprint and the weight. 200 grams (7 oz) might not be a lot, but it is still an impressive achievement on this level.

Here we can find some changes over the Folio 1040 G2: The DisplayPort was replaced by a full-sized HDMI port, but it only supports the 1.4 standard, so it is not possible to drive a UHD panel at 60 Hz. In addition to the two existing USB 3.0 ports, we also get a USB-C port (Gen. 1). However, it is only a "normal" USB 3.0 port with another connector and without Thunderbolt 3 support. HP did a good job with the port layout on both sides. You can use VGA and Ethernet via the docking port because the necessary adapter is provided. We can measure a good transfer rate of 220 MB/s at the USB 3.0 port with our external hard drive (Samsung SSD 830, 64 GB). We usually also check the performance of the card reader at this point, but the EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 unfortunately does not have one.

front: no ports
front: no ports
right: SIM-slot, USB-C, USB 3.0, HDMI, docking, power
right: SIM-slot, USB-C, USB 3.0, HDMI, docking, power
left: Kensington, USB 3.0, combo audio, SmartCard reader
left: Kensington, USB 3.0, combo audio, SmartCard reader
rear: no ports
rear: no ports

Communication

A very welcome function of the Folio 1040 G3 is the integrated WWAN module plus SIM-card from HP with 200 MB free data per month (for three years). Wi-Fi connections are handled by the popular WLAN module Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8260 from Intel, which supports the fast 802.11ac standard in 2.4 as well as 5 GHz networks and Bluetooth 4.2. The maximum transfer rate is 867 Mbps, and we can determine around 70-80 MB/s (802.11n: 9-10 MB/s) under perfect conditions (1 meter/~3 feet to the router Asus RT-AC56U). Contrary to other test devices, however, we noticed some small performance drops, but there were no problems when we browsed the web. NFC is also available.

The HD webcam in the upper display frame does its job, but you should use your smartphone for decent pictures if possible. The integrated dual-array microphone leaves a better impression and voice recordings are loud and clear.

Security

Fingerprint scanner
Fingerprint scanner

HP does not neglect the security features and equips the EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 with its modern software including Sure Start, BIOSphere, several passwords and Client Security, which can be used to register fingerprints or encrypt the hard drive, for example. Hardware features are the slot for a Kensington Lock, a SmartCard reader, the fingerprint scanner as well as TPM.

Accessories

Besides the usual accessories like the power adapter (45 watts) and the service brochures, we can also find the previously mentioned adapter (VGA, Ethernet) as well as SIM-card from HP in the box. The manufacturer mainly offers generic optional accessories, but also a docking station. The model UltraSlim (product number D9Y32AA) is from 2013, so you can still use pre-existing models. It retails for around 160 Euros (~$183) and can be used for an easy integration of the notebook into the work environment.

Maintenance

Maintenance hatches are not available, but you can easily remove the bottom cover with the corresponding screwdriver (Torx T9). The memory is soldered onto the mainboard, so your maintenance works are limited to the M.2-SSD, the wireless modules and the CMOS battery. The battery is also just screwed in, so it should be no problem to replace it if needed. It is interesting that HP implements two fans with one heat pipe each, which can also be cleaned.

Warranty

Update 28.04.2016: The EliteBook 1040 G3 comes with 3 years warranty in Germany. Other countries may have different service options. 

Input Devices

Keyboard

At first glance, the black chiclet keyboard did not change compared to the predecessor. However, this is only the case for the design, because the keys of the third generation now have a slightly longer travel. The typing experience is actually very similar to the much bigger sibling HP ZBook 15 G3. While we think HP wasted some potential for the full-fledged workstation, the input device is very good for such a thin device. The stroke is fairly soft and slightly absorbed, which results in low noise development without affecting the feedback. Frequent writers should be satisfied with the input as well. Similar to all the other current HP notebooks, the vertical arrow keys are very small and therefore tricky to use. The two-stage white illumination automatically turns off by default when you do not type for a while.

Input devices
Input devices

Touchpad

Here we can find another important difference to the other devices from the EliteBook series because HP once again dispensed with the PointStick for the Folio 1040 G3. This means you can only use the ClickPad for cursor movements, which does not have dedicated buttons. The smooth surface provides good gliding capabilities, but smaller movements in particular are not always executed very accurately. Multi-touch gestures like scrolling or pinch-to-zoom on the other hand were no problem. The lower area of the ClickPad can be clicked, which is very reliable. The clicking sound is not too clattery, and we did not experience issues with unwanted cursor movements.

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

HP offers three different displays for the EliteBook Folio 1040 G3, starting with a matte Full HD display, a matte WQHD panel up to a WQHD touchscreen. The normal Full HD panel is called SVA (Standard Viewing Angle) by HP, which suggests a simple TN panel. Much more appealing is therefore the matte WQHD panel of our review unit with 2560x1440 pixels. This results in a pixel density of 210 PPI in combination with the 14-inch screen, so you get fine fonts and images. Subjectively, we are very satisfied with the panel since pictures are rich and crisp. The scaling of Windows 10 worked very well during our review, only a few applications still had problems. The native resolution without scaling is also an option if you have good eyesight.

We determine a very good average luminance of 316 cd/m². The black value is typical for an IPS screen at 0.34 cd/m², which results in a contrast ratio of almost 1000:1. Those values are also good in our comparison group, even though some of the rivals manage even better contrasts. We could not see annoying backlight bleeding.

313
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
334
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 335 cd/m² Average: 316.3 cd/m² Minimum: 26 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 324 cd/m²
Contrast: 934:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.39 | 0.8-29.43 Ø6.4
ΔE Greyscale 4.69 | 0.64-98 Ø6.6
96.71% sRGB (Argyll) 62.52% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.15
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
2560x1440, IPS
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
2560x1440, IPS
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
2560x1440, IPS-Panel
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
2560x1440, IPS
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X23ET
2560x1440,
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
1920x1080, IPS
Response Times
7%
6%
-3%
-7%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
46.4 (16.4, 30)
44 (17, 27)
5%
35.6 (17.2, 18.4)
23%
48 (15, 33)
-3%
45 (15, 30)
3%
Response Time Black / White *
26.4 (6.8, 19.6)
24 (5.2, 18.8)
9%
29.2 (14.4, 14.8)
-11%
27 (7, 20)
-2%
31 (8, 23)
-17%
PWM Frequency
220 (90)
220 (90)
Screen
6%
-7%
15%
6%
5%
Brightness middle
327
272
-17%
257
-21%
380
16%
355
9%
274
-16%
Brightness
316
268
-15%
248
-22%
354
12%
335
6%
263
-17%
Brightness Distribution
87
95
9%
94
8%
81
-7%
82
-6%
85
-2%
Black Level *
0.35
0.32
9%
0.26
26%
0.26
26%
0.28
20%
0.21
40%
Contrast
934
850
-9%
988
6%
1462
57%
1268
36%
1305
40%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.39
2.61
41%
4.59
-5%
3.11
29%
3.75
15%
3.93
10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.27
6.43
12%
9.72
-34%
6.73
7%
8.58
-18%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.69
3.31
29%
6.38
-36%
4.35
7%
4.84
-3%
5.28
-13%
Gamma
2.15 112%
2.35 102%
2.51 96%
2.37 101%
2.33 103%
2.49 96%
CCT
7101 92%
6360 102%
6238 104%
6771 96%
7536 86%
7108 91%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62.52
63
1%
65
4%
62
-1%
63
1%
61
-2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96.71
95
-2%
98
1%
96
-1%
98
1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
7% / 6%
-1% / -5%
6% / 12%
-1% / 4%
5% / 5%

* ... smaller is better

ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration

The average DeltaE-2000 deviations compared to the sRGB reference color space are 4.39 (colors) and 4.69 (grayscale) ex-works. Some of the rivals are better in this respect and manage results below the target value of 3. The display of our review unit benefits heavily from a calibration, because the deviations of the colors and the grayscale will drop to just 0.8 and 0.65, respectively – very good results. The slightly cool color temperature can also be improved by the calibration. Another positive aspect is the almost complete coverage of the sRGB reference (96.7%), while the wider AdobeRGB color space is covered by 62.5%.

AdobeRGB coverage: 62.5 %
AdobeRGB coverage: 62.5%
sRGB coverage: 96.7 %
sRGB coverage: 96.7%

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
26.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 19.6 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 49 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 30 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 73 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (42.1 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9986 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 588200) Hz was measured.

Thanks to the high brightness, which is not reduced on battery power, as well as the matte panel surface, you can use the EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 very comfortably in bright environments. Only direct sunlight should be avoided if possible. The viewing angles of the IPS display are – as expected – very good. You can only see a slight contrast drop from very extreme angles. It is therefore no problem to look at the display with multiple persons.

in the sun (with reflection)
in the sun (with reflection)
in the sun (without reflection)
in the sun (without reflection)
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Because of the thin construction, the EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 is only available with ULV hardware from Intel. You can choose between several Core i5 and Core i7 processors. The memory (DDR4) is soldered, so you should know if you need 8 or 16 GB before you buy the device. All configurations are equipped with SSDs by default.

Our test model, costing around 2,600 Euros (~$2976), uses a Core i5 processor, 16 GB DDR4-RAM (dual-channel) as well as an NVMe-SSD with 256 GB. This ensures good performance, but the less expensive rivals are often already equipped with faster Core i7 CPUs.

 

Processor

maximum Turbo Boost: 3 GHz
maximum Turbo Boost: 3 GHz

Our review unit is equipped with an Intel Core i5-6300U. This dual-core chip manages up to 3 GHz thanks to Turbo Boost (2.9 GHz for two active cores) and can execute up to four threads simultaneously thanks to Hyperthreading. The TDP is rated at 15 watts, and it supports vPro, which is not the case for the optional Core i5-6200U. The maximum Turbo Boost of 2.9 GHz for two cores can only be maintained for 30 seconds before the TDP limit sets in and reduces the clock to 2.8 GHz. All in all, the processor can therefore not utilize its full potential and the rivals with i7 chips are a bit faster. However, they are usually limited by the TDP as well (except for the T460s), so the more expensive chips are not always worth it. The Core i5 does offer plenty of performance for common office and multimedia applications. 

Similar to the recently reviewed EliteBook 820 G3, the Turbo Boost is by default deactivated on battery to save power (can be changed in the BIOS). HP does, however, go a step further in the case of the Folio 1040 G3 and limits the clock to just 1.9 GHz for two cores (1 core: 2.4 GHz). More benchmarks with the i5-6300U are available here.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel Core i7-6600U
142 Points ∼100% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
141 Points ∼99% +14%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel Core i7-6500U
128 Points ∼90% +3%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U
124 Points ∼87%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
Intel Core i7-5600U
121 Points ∼85% -2%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Intel Core i7-6500U
119 Points ∼84% -4%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
347 Points ∼100% +15%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel Core i7-6600U
334 Points ∼96% +10%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Intel Core i7-6500U
322 Points ∼93% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel Core i7-6500U
310 Points ∼89% +2%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U
303 Points ∼87%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
Intel Core i7-5600U
277 Points ∼80% -9%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
124 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
303 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
40.26 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help

System Performance

Our review unit performs very well in the PCMarks, but iplaces on one of the last spots within our comparison group. This could actually be a result of the slightly slower processor, but you will not notice any differences in practice. Thanks to the fast SSD, the system is always responsive and there are basically no delays.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
4543 Points ∼100% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4442 Points ∼98% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4342 Points ∼96% +2%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
6500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
4275 Points ∼94% +1%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4241 Points ∼93%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4338 Points ∼100% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4150 Points ∼96% +2%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4058 Points ∼94%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
3542 Points ∼100% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
3385 Points ∼96% +2%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
3344 Points ∼94% +1%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3305 Points ∼93%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
6500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
3231 Points ∼91% -2%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
5600U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
3100 Points ∼88% -6%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3305 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4058 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4241 points
Help

Storage Devices

HP uses a PCIe-NVMe-SSD from Samsung in the M.2 format. The drive with the designation SM951 has a total capacity of 256 GB. After the installation of the NVMe driver from Samsung, we were able to determine reasonable results in our benchmarks. One of the advantages of PCIe drives is the high transfer rate, which is – contrary to the SATA interface – not limited by 500-550 MB/s.

Only the ThinkPad T460s (also PCIe/NVMe) can keep up with our review unit within the comparison group, all the other devices are limited by the SATA interface. Still, you will hardly notice a difference between the individual SSDs in practice. More comparisons with other SSDs and HDDs are possible in our Tech section.

HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-56%
2%
-54%
-58%
-55%
Write 4k QD32
376.7
279.2
-26%
277
-26%
191.7
-49%
242.8
-36%
265.3
-30%
Read 4k QD32
559.2
339.6
-39%
561.3
0%
400.9
-28%
388.5
-31%
393.3
-30%
Write 4k
159.9
86.48
-46%
139.3
-13%
110.9
-31%
82.57
-48%
101.2
-37%
Read 4k
53.26
34.05
-36%
51.35
-4%
36.32
-32%
27.02
-49%
28.4
-47%
Write 512
1244
304.2
-76%
1506
21%
214
-83%
241.8
-81%
264.6
-79%
Read 512
1252
299.5
-76%
1339
7%
470.8
-62%
396
-68%
418.9
-67%
Write Seq
1265
308.1
-76%
1530
21%
300.7
-76%
241.4
-81%
264.3
-79%
Read Seq
1649
439.3
-73%
1778
8%
518.2
-69%
497.8
-70%
499.9
-70%
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Sequential Read: 1649 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1265 MB/s
512K Read: 1252 MB/s
512K Write: 1244 MB/s
4K Read: 53.26 MB/s
4K Write: 159.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 559.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 376.7 MB/s

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GPU Performance

Graphics output is handled by the integrated Intel HD Graphics 520. It reaches a core clock of up to 1000 MHz in combination with the Core i5-6300U. The memory of our review unit is running in a dual-channel configuration, so the GPU can utilize its full potential. The benchmark results are on the expected level and therefore just lower than the i7 based rivals, where the core clock of the iGPU is 50 MHz higher. The performance of the chip is easily sufficient for common tasks, and even conversion tasks are no problem thanks to technologies like Quick Sync. More benchmarks with the HD Graphics 520 are available here.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
959 Points ∼100% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
935 Points ∼97% +4%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Intel HD Graphics 520
900 Points ∼94%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Intel HD Graphics 520
800 Points ∼83% -11%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520
744 Points ∼78% -17%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
892 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
863 Points ∼97% +2%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Intel HD Graphics 520
842 Points ∼94%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Intel HD Graphics 520
751 Points ∼84% -11%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520
707 Points ∼79% -16%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
7516 Points ∼100% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
7505 Points ∼100% +12%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Intel HD Graphics 520
6708 Points ∼89%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
Intel HD Graphics 5500
6585 Points ∼88% -2%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Intel HD Graphics 520
6351 Points ∼84% -5%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520
5819 Points ∼77% -13%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
6097 Points ∼100% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
5978 Points ∼98% +9%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Intel HD Graphics 520
5471 Points ∼90%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Intel HD Graphics 520
5346 Points ∼88% -2%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
Intel HD Graphics 5500
5322 Points ∼87% -3%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520
5173 Points ∼85% -5%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
1416 Points ∼100% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
1386 Points ∼98% +1%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Intel HD Graphics 520
1377 Points ∼97%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Intel HD Graphics 520
1327 Points ∼94% -4%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520
1264 Points ∼89% -8%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
Intel HD Graphics 5500
1011 Points ∼71% -27%
1280x720 Performance
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
1600 Points ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel HD Graphics 520
1553 Points ∼97% +1%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Intel HD Graphics 520
1539 Points ∼96%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Intel HD Graphics 520
1468 Points ∼92% -5%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520
1418 Points ∼89% -8%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
Intel HD Graphics 5500
1133 Points ∼71% -26%
3DMark 11 Performance
1539 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5471 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
842 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Modern games cannot be played on the EliteBook 1040 G3, but the performance is sufficient for some older titles. The two games Tomb Raider as well as Bioschock Infinite from 2013, for example, can be played smoothly with our Medium preset. More demanding titles like The Witcher 3, however, will not run properly on the Folio 1040 G3. More gaming benchmarks with the HD Graphics 520 are available in our database.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 6834.923.911.1fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 47.627.622.56.9fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 9.7fps

Emissions

System Noise

Noise measurements (idle/off, maximum load)
Noise measurements (idle/off, maximum load)

The EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 is very restrained in our noise measurements. You cannot hear the fans at all or they are deactivated while idling and with light workloads. We can measure 32.6 dB(A) with medium workloads, which is hardly audible at all. Even maximum load will only result in 37.8 dB(A). All the comparison devices are pretty much on par, only the rival from Dell is much quieter under load. 

We are still not completely satisfied because we can sometimes hear coil whining while idling. We  also noticed this in the review of the EliteBook 820 G3. This means we do not always get a completely silent device, despite the SSD.

Noise Level

Idle
29.1 / 29.1 / 29.1 dB(A)
Load
32.6 / 37.8 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   ECM8000 + Voltcraft SL-451 (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.1 dB(A)
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
6300U, HD Graphics 520
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, HD Graphics 520
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, HD Graphics 520
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, HD Graphics 520
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
6500U, HD Graphics 520
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
5600U, HD Graphics 5500
Noise
-2%
-1%
-2%
-8%
-5%
off / environment *
29.1
29.1
-0%
29.2
-0%
31.2
-7%
31.2
-7%
Idle Minimum *
29.1
29.1
-0%
29.2
-0%
31.2
-7%
31.2
-7%
29.6
-2%
Idle Average *
29.1
29.1
-0%
29.2
-0%
31.2
-7%
32.1
-10%
29.6
-2%
Idle Maximum *
29.1
29.1
-0%
29.2
-0%
31.2
-7%
33.1
-14%
32.2
-11%
Load Average *
32.6
35.6
-9%
33.7
-3%
31.9
2%
36.2
-11%
36.4
-12%
Load Maximum *
37.8
38.1
-1%
38.5
-2%
31.9
16%
37.8
-0%
36.4
4%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

The low fan activity does not really affect the surface temperatures. The Folio 1040 G3 is the warmest device in our comparison group, but it is just slightly warmer than the X1 Carbon from Lenovo. The other devices benefit from their thicker chassis constructions. The test device hardly gets warm while idling and we can measure up to 47 °C (116.6 °F) at the bottom under load. You should therefore not use the notebook on your lap when you really stress it. The top of the base unit also reaches up to 43 °C (109.4 °F), which can also be felt during typing. It is not inconvenient though, and the palm rest always stays cool.

Our stress test with the tools Prime95 and FurMark (for at least one hour) shows the normal behavior for ULV hardware. The maximum performance is only available in the first seconds before the TDP limitation of 15 watts sets in. The processor clock will drop to just 1.3-1.4 GHz, while the graphics card runs at 750-800 MHz. The chip reaches a maximum temperature of 74 °C (165.2 °F). A 3DMark 11 run immediately after the stress test did not determine a lower result.

Max. Load
 41.8 °C43.2 °C36.9 °C 
 37.5 °C36 °C33.2 °C 
 34.4 °C30.7 °C33 °C 
Maximum: 43.2 °C
Average: 36.3 °C
38.6 °C45.6 °C39.6 °C
33.8 °C47.1 °C39.3 °C
31.4 °C33.3 °C33.8 °C
Maximum: 47.1 °C
Average: 38.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  43.9 °C | Room Temperature 20.4 °C | Fluke 62 Max
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
6300U, HD Graphics 520
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, HD Graphics 520
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, HD Graphics 520
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, HD Graphics 520
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
6500U, HD Graphics 520
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
5600U, HD Graphics 5500
Heat
2%
10%
18%
17%
11%
Maximum Upper Side *
43.2
43.2
-0%
40.8
6%
38.2
12%
37
14%
35.9
17%
Maximum Bottom *
47.1
45
4%
40.3
14%
36.5
23%
37.1
21%
42.4
10%
Idle Upper Side *
30.5
30.2
1%
27.6
10%
25.1
18%
25.3
17%
28.5
7%
Idle Bottom *
31.5
30.6
3%
28.7
9%
25.8
18%
26.6
16%
29
8%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

Frequency response speakers (off, 50% volume, maximum volume)
Frequency response speakers (off, 50% volume, maximum volume)

The two speakers are located underneath the perforated grille above the keyboard and direct the sound towards the user. The maximum volume of around 81 dB(A) is quite loud. The sound does not leave a bad impression in combination with the software improvements by Bang & Olufsen, but tends to distort rather quickly at higher volumes. You can adjust several settings in the software, including an equalizer. Bass is, however, basically non-existent. A better sound can be achieved via external sound systems or headphones, which can either be attached via stereo jack, Bluetooth, HDMI or NFC.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

We can clearly see the impact of the high-resolution and bright WQHD screen. Here we can also see the differences to the similarly equipped X1 Carbon from Lenovo, which uses PWM to adjust the display brightness. Our Folio 104 G3 consumes between 6.3 and 10.1 watts while idling. We can measure up to 49.5 watts in the stress test for a short period, but the consumption will level off at 36.2 watts after the chip throttles. This means the provided 45-watt power adapter does not have a lot of headroom.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.22 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.3 / 9.4 / 10.1 Watt
Load midlight 33.3 / 49.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
6300U, HD Graphics 520
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, HD Graphics 520
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, HD Graphics 520
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, HD Graphics 520
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
6500U, HD Graphics 520
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
5600U, HD Graphics 5500
Power Consumption
21%
17%
12%
29%
35%
Idle Minimum *
6.3
3.8
40%
3.8
40%
5.1
19%
3.8
40%
3.2
49%
Idle Average *
9.4
7.1
24%
7.1
24%
8.5
10%
6.3
33%
6.5
31%
Idle Maximum *
10.1
7.7
24%
7.8
23%
10.1
-0%
6.8
33%
7.4
27%
Load Average *
33.3
30.2
9%
36.3
-9%
35.2
-6%
34.4
-3%
25.6
23%
Load Maximum *
49.5
44.7
10%
46
7%
31
37%
28.3
43%
26.1
47%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

HP increased the battery capacity from 42 to 46.5 watts compared to the predecessor Folio 1040 G2. This does not really help considering the increased consumption, because the rivals have much more stamina. Only the load scenario benefits from the throttling and the reduced CPU clock, where the test model is the most enduring device with 131 minutes.

We determine almost 9 hours under perfect conditions (Battery Eater Reader’s Test), but our two tests with an adjusted luminance of around 150 cd/m² are much more interesting. The Folio 1040 G3 only manages 5 and 5.5 hours in the Wi-Fi and video test, respectively, which are average results at best. Some of the rivals manage much longer runtimes, like the X1 Carbon with more than 7 hours, for example. The predecessor with the Full HD display also managed 7.5 hours.

maximum runtime
maximum runtime
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
video runtime
video runtime
minimum runtime
minimum runtime
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
8h 50min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 9min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
5h 39min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 11min
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
45.6 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
52 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
49 Wh
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
55 Wh
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
46 Wh
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
42 Wh
Battery Runtime
39%
8%
-2%
50%
34%
Reader / Idle
530
942
78%
833
57%
1020
92%
901
70%
H.264
339
510
50%
397
17%
WiFi v1.3
309
429
39%
340
10%
346
12%
453
47%
452
46%
Load
131
115
-12%
62
-53%
112
-15%
146
11%
112
-15%

Pros

+ great WQHD panel without PWM
+ very good build quality
+ thin and light
+ very good keyboard
+ integrated LTE + free mobile data
+ adapter for VGA/Ethernet included
+ very good performance

Cons

- mediocre battery runtimes
- no SD-card reader
- no Thunderbolt 3 support
- price

Verdict

In review: HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3. Test model courtesy of HP Germany.
In review: HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3. Test model courtesy of HP Germany.

 HP’s EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 is certainly no revolution, but this was not necessary when you consider the good predecessor. We are still impressed by the case, even though the stability at the right side of the keyboard should be improved. The ports were updated, but HP does waste some potential with the USB-C port (no Thunderbolt 3). Another improvement is the keyboard with a longer travel, which is also suited for frequent writers. We really liked the bright and matte WQHD panel, which is controlled without PWM, as well as the SIM-card with free data.

The HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 is without a doubt a great notebook, but it has a hard time justifying the additional price over the strong competition.

The higher power consumption has a notable effect on the battery runtimes. Our realistic Wi-Fi test determines 2.5 hours less compare to the predecessor. We would still not recommend the Full HD panel, because it is based on the TN technology according to the spec sheet. There are also some smaller issues like the coil whining or the missing SD-card reader. The warranty period is also limited to just one year and you will have to invest another 140 Euros (~$160) to match the usual 3 years.

This brings us to the biggest issue: the price. At around 2,600 Euros (~$2976), the Folio 1040 G3 is much more expensive than its rivals are, but they are either not or not much worse. There is no reason against the Folio if the price is not important, but some of the rivals offer a better price-performance ratio.

HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 - 04/21/2016 v5.1
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
91 / 98 → 93%
Keyboard
90%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
62 / 80 → 78%
Weight
70 / 20-67 → 100%
Battery
83%
Display
89%
Games Performance
55 / 68 → 81%
Application Performance
86 / 92 → 93%
Temperature
88%
Noise
95%
Audio
64%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
76%
87%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Notebook Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2016-04-28 (Update: 2016-05- 2)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.