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The new HP EliteBook 1020 G2 and 1040 G4 are the brightest business laptops available

The new HP EliteBook 1020 G2 and 1040 G4 are the brightest business laptops available (Source: HP)
The new HP EliteBook 1020 G2 and 1040 G4 are the brightest business laptops available (Source: HP)
The 700 nit panels of the 12.5-inch EliteBook 1020 G2 and 14-inch 1040 G4 are brighter than even the MacBook Pro 13 and over twice the brightness of the XPS 13.

[Update: Made a correction related to the 4K UHD panel and 120 Hz refresh rate. 4K UHD is limited to 60 Hz while the 120 Hz option is available only for the FHD panel.]

In an attempt to appeal more to the millennial generation, the HP EliteBook series has been steadily growing thinner and sleeker without necessarily dropping MIL-STD standards or build quality. It's no surprise, then, that the two latest EliteBooks have even more in common with the flagship consumer Spectre series than ever before.

The EliteBook 1020 G2 and 1040 G4 convertibles succeed the EliteBook Folio and 1040 G3, respectively, with very different specifications between successive generations. First, the 1020 G2 will have vastly upgraded processor performance as it is moving away from the 4.5 W Core m series to the 15 W ULV Core U series. RAM has been doubled, the speakers are now 32 percent larger, and even the battery capacity has been upped from 11.5 hours on the last generation model to 15.5 hours on the latest.

Perhaps the most notable update is to the display itself. The QHD panel will be dropped in favor of FHD and 4K UHD options. It's worth noting here that this makes the 1020 G2 one of the very few 12.5-inch notebooks shipping with 4K UHD with the Razer Blade Stealth being the other model. The 120 Hz FHD panel includes an optional Sure View feature that limits viewing angles for privacy concerns and a 700-nit backlight compared to 300 to 400 nits on most other flagship notebooks. These extra features are unique to the FHD panel and are not available on the 4K UHD SKUs.

Notable drawbacks for the 1020 G2 are its lack of USB Type-A ports, proprietary docking ports, and SD card reader. Users are encouraged to exploit the versatile Thunderbolt 3 connection for port replication.

HP EliteBook FolioHP EliteBook 1020 G2
CPUCore m7th generation ULV Core
GPUHD Graphics 5300HD Graphics 620
Display12.5-inch FHD or QHD (2560 x 1440) touchscreen 12.5-inch FHD 700-nit, 4K UHD touchscreen
RAM8 GB LPDDR3 1600 MHz16 GB LPDDR3-1866
Speakers4x speakers5x speakers
Battery36 Wh49.3 Wh
Ports2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, MicroSD reader, Docking port, 3.5 mm combo audio, Kensington Lock2x USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, 1x HDMI, 3.5 mm combo audio, Kensington Lock
Dimensions15.7 x 310 x 210 mm13.9 x 290 x 203.8 mm
Weightstarting at 1.3 kgstarting at 1.13 kg

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EliteBook 1020 G2
EliteBook 1020 G2
EliteBook 1020 G2
EliteBook 1020 G2
EliteBook 1020 G2
EliteBook 1020 G2
EliteBook 1020 G2
EliteBook 1020 G2

The next system is the 14-inch EliteBook 1040 G4 that brings similar enhancements over the outgoing 1040 G3. Users are treated to FHD and 4K UHD options, a bright 700-nit backlight with Sure View, larger battery capacity, 360-degree hinges, louder speakers, quieter keys, and multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports. Unlike the smaller 1020 G2, however, the 1040 G4 has can house Core U and Core HQ CPUs for faster processing power if required. Full-size USB remains, but it's a bit odd to see no SD card reader on a 14-inch form factor made for business use.

As feature-heavy as these notebooks may be, both are lacking Kaby Lake-R options likely due to the timing of their development and release schedules. Users who want the performance benefits of Intel's 8th generation Core ix may want to consider the consumer Spectre x360 series with dedicated GPUs instead.

HP EliteBook 1040 G3HP EliteBook 1040 G4
CPU6th gen. Core U series7th gen. Core U series or Core i7-7820HQ
GPUHD Graphics 520HD Graphics 620
Display14-inch FHD Sure View or QHD14-inch FHD Sure View 700 nit or 4K UHD
RAM8 GB to 16 GB DDR4-21338 GB to 16 GB DDR4-2133
Speakers2x speakers6x speakers
Battery45.6 Wh67 Wh
Ports2x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, Docking port, HDMI, 3.5 mm combo audio2x USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB Type-A, 1x HDMI, 3.5 mm combo audio, Optional SIM
Dimensions16.5 x 234.5 x 337 mm16 x 232.9 x 328.9 mm
Weightstarting at 1.43 kgstarting at 1.36 kg
EliteBook 1040 G4
EliteBook 1040 G4
EliteBook 1040 G4
EliteBook 1040 G4
EliteBook 1040 G4
EliteBook 1040 G4
EliteBook 1040 G4
EliteBook 1040 G4

See the official press slides and product pages below for more information on the new EliteBook convertibles with our full reviews to follow in the coming weeks.

The 1020 G2 and 1040 G4 are now available starting at $1380 and $1670 USD, respectively.

Sure View, 700 nit backlight, and 120 Hz refresh rate come in one package for both the 1020 G2 and 1040 G4
Sure View, 700 nit backlight, and 120 Hz refresh rate come in one package for both the 1020 G2 and 1040 G4
US pricing guide for the EliteBook 1020 G2, 1030 G2, and 1040 G4
US pricing guide for the EliteBook 1020 G2, 1030 G2, and 1040 G4
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 12 > The new HP EliteBook 1020 G2 and 1040 G4 are the brightest business laptops available
Allen Ngo, 2017-12-13 (Update: 2017-12-15)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.