HP EliteBook 1040 G1 Review

March 19, 2014 by Charles P Jefferies Reads (55,739)


Our review model of the HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 has the following specifications:

  • 14.0-inch display (1600×900 resolution, anti-glare surface, SVA panel)
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • Intel Core i5-4200U dual-core processor (1.6GHz, up to 2.6GHz Turbo Boost, 3MB cache, 15W TDP)
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • 4GB DDR3L-1600 RAM (1x 4GB; 16GB max – 2x 8GB)
  • 128GB SanDisk mSATA SSD (SD6SN1M-128G-100)
  • No internal optical drive
  • Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260 802.11ac (2×2) wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.0 combo
  • Integrated HD webcam
  • Integrated fingerprint reader
  • 6-cell li-polymer (42Wh) battery
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Dimensions: 13.31″ x 9.19″ x 0.63″
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs.
  • Price: $1,299

This is the base configuration for the Folio 1040; higher-priced pre-configured models can approach $2,000 and include the aforementioned FHD (1920×1080 pixels) display; a faster Core i7 processor; up to 8GB of RAM; a 256GB SSD; and up to a three-year warranty.

The performance of the base configuration is perfectly adequate for everyday activities and even more demanding tasks such as code compilation and photo editing. Consider that the fourth-gen Intel Core i5 processor is roughly twice as fast as any dual-core offered a couple years ago. 4GB of RAM is sufficient for most programs and the 128GB SSD is quite fast. The Folio 1040 as mentioned earlier isn’t designed for upgradeability; you’re best off getting it as you want from the factory.

We’d suggest one of the models that include the FHD display if display quality is important; the base display isn’t bad, but the FHD panel is an upgrade in every way.



Security features are one of the Folio 1040’s selling points. It has a built-in fingerprint reader below the right side of the keyboard; it recognized my enrolled fingers every time I used it for the review period; much better than I expected in other words.

HP includes its Client Security software suite with the Folio 1040. In addition to enrolling fingerprints, this suite provides users with a password manager, drive encryption tools, the ability to control access to removable devices and finally HP Trust Circles for securely sharing files with other users.

An additional feature worth mentioning is HP BIOSphere with HP Sure Start. The Folio 1040 actually stores a second copy of the BIOS on the motherboard which can be used to restore the computer to a functioning state in the event of a BIOS level attack.



wPrime processor comparisons (lower scores mean better performance):
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 wprime

PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark and measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 pcm 7

3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphics card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 3dm 11

CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:


Heat and Noise

The Folio 1040’s single internal fan moves warm air out the left side of the chassis. This fan rarely activates, only doing so during the review period when we ran our benchmark suite. The fan has a noise level low enough to go unnoticed in just about any environment. It was difficult to tell if the chassis warmed up even after extended benchmarking periods. The cooling system performs its function well overall.


Battery Life

We use our new Powermark benchmark in Balanced mode to test battery life. This test is a combination of automated web browsing, word processing, gaming and video playback workloads. This test is more strenuous than our previous test and produces expectedly lower battery life numbers.

Powermark “Balanced” battery life test results (higher score means better battery life):
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 powermark

The Folio 1040 lasted 4 hours, 15 minutes; this number is right in line with other Ultrabooks including the Acer Aspire S7. It outruns the Dell Latitude 7440 by about a half hour. Again, note our tests are more demanding than a typical workload; users can expect a couple of hours beyond the numbers we received from this test for everyday usage.



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  1. ShubertSomer

    Very good review. One small error – in your list of specs you indicate the max RAM is 16GB, when it is actually 8GB (you correctly note this in the article body).

    I would also point out that the cost of selecting the max RAM and SSD is very low, when compared to the price of those components in HP’s parts store. I actually found it quite easy to service – the torx screws are a welcome improvement over tiny Phillips head screws such as the Samsung Series 9 has. However, the lack of compatible replacement parts makes opening it up a moot point right now.

    Can you verify if the case is magnesium, or is it aluminum?

  2. HiDesertNM

    This has it all. Matte screen, windows 7, 1080P IPS with solid construction. HP is going back to basics with this one. This is about function. Really the first ultrabook that I can remember with the newest generation Intel chip, and having a matte, non touch screen. Much rather have this then any of the W8 touch systems. This answers the question that many had about whether OEM’s would offer W7 on 5th generation Intel ultrabooks. Yes they can.

  3. sudonaut

    I’m looking for a new notebook and have narrowed my shopping list down to three models: lenovo’s carbon x1; the fujitsu u904; and now this hp elitebook 1040, which from this and other reviews looks like it might be the best of the three.

  4. unpluggged

    The display panel type is TN. SVA stands for Standard Viewing Angle in HP specs, while IPS is designated as UWVA, that is Ultra-Wide Viewing Angle.