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HP's 1000-nits Sure View panel is bright, but the picture quality is compromised

HP EliteBook 865 G9
HP EliteBook 865 G9
A built-in privacy filter can be very handy on the go and prevent unwanted eyes on sensitive data, but there are a couple of limitations. This is also the case for the HP EliteBook 865 G9, which would offer a better overall package with the regular IPS screen.

HP is a forerunner when it comes to integrated privacy filters and offers laptops with Sure View displays for many years. By the push of a button, you can limit the viewing angle stability and prevent unwanted views from other people. HP offers the fourth generation since last year and it offers very high brightness values. We just reviewed the 16-inch version in the EliteBook 865 G9 and we measure almost 900 nits, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

The viewing angles are already very limited even when the Sure View function is not turned on. There are quickly drops in brightness and contrast if you are not sitting in the (rather small) sweet spot directly in front of the screen, so the subjective picture quality suffers. This is combined with a slightly grainy picture impression on bright surfaces as well as the steady PWM flickering.

The second issue is the brightness control, because Sure View only works in a much lower brightness range. We summarized the measurement results from the center of the screen at different brightness levels in the table below:

Brightness center in cd/m²
Brightness 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
Sure View turned off 865 729 634 535 436 332 252 216 180 142 105
Sure View turned on 157 146 136 125 115 104 94 83 72 62 51

You can see that the maximum brightness is limited to 150 cd/m² when Sure View is turned on, which is hardly sufficient in bright areas. Sure View will be mainly used on the go (like public places, on the train, etc.), so the usability is somewhat limited. Then there is the issue with the dark environments, because you can only lower the brightness to ~100 nits without Sure View, which can be too bright in some situations.

The built-in privacy filter can obviously be handy, especially when you are often on the go and work with sensitive data. We recommend you try the display if possible and see if you are okay with the subjective picture quality. The regular IPS screen will probably be the better choice for the majority of users (especially on a 16-inch laptop). We already reviewed this panel in the workstation sibling HP ZBook Firefly 16 G9 and it left a good impression with lower consumption values.

The Sure View panel also has a negative effect on the overall rating of the EliteBook 865 G9, even though it performs very well in other sections and has the potential to be one of the best business laptops. Please see our comprehensive review for more information on the EliteBook 865 G9 including measurements and benchmark results:

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 12 > HP's 1000-nits Sure View panel is bright, but the picture quality is compromised
Andreas Osthoff, 2022-12-28 (Update: 2022-12-28)