The new HP EliteBook 1020 G2 and 1040 G4 are the brightest business laptops available
[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 Folio||HP EliteBook 1020 G2|
|CPU||Core m||7th generation ULV Core|
|GPU||HD Graphics 5300||HD Graphics 620|
|Display||12.5-inch FHD or QHD (2560 x 1440) touchscreen||12.5-inch FHD 700-nit, 4K UHD touchscreen|
|RAM||8 GB LPDDR3 1600 MHz||16 GB LPDDR3-1866|
|Speakers||4x speakers||5x speakers|
|Battery||36 Wh||49.3 Wh|
|Ports||2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, MicroSD reader, Docking port, 3.5 mm combo audio, Kensington Lock||2x USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, 1x HDMI, 3.5 mm combo audio, Kensington Lock|
|Dimensions||15.7 x 310 x 210 mm||13.9 x 290 x 203.8 mm|
|Weight||starting at 1.3 kg||starting at 1.13 kg|
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 G3||HP EliteBook 1040 G4|
|CPU||6th gen. Core U series||7th gen. Core U series or Core i7-7820HQ|
|GPU||HD Graphics 520||HD Graphics 620|
|Display||14-inch FHD Sure View or QHD||14-inch FHD Sure View 700 nit or 4K UHD|
|RAM||8 GB to 16 GB DDR4-2133||8 GB to 16 GB DDR4-2133|
|Speakers||2x speakers||6x speakers|
|Battery||45.6 Wh||67 Wh|
|Ports||2x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, Docking port, HDMI, 3.5 mm combo audio||2x USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB Type-A, 1x HDMI, 3.5 mm combo audio, Optional SIM|
|Dimensions||16.5 x 234.5 x 337 mm||16 x 232.9 x 328.9 mm|
|Weight||starting at 1.43 kg||starting at 1.36 kg|
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.