- Durable simplistic design
- High quality touchpad
- Mediocre display
- Inconsistent battery life
The HP EliteBook Revolve 810 is a business hybrid notebook with a classic rotating hinge design.
Windows 8 has ushered in a slew of new hybrid notebook designs, but HP looks to return to basics with the EliteBook Revolve 810’s classic rotating hinge design. It would be easy to see the business oriented Revolve as a regression, but there’s a certain elegance to its simplicity. With a strong portable design and mSATA SSD, the EliteBook Revolve focuses on providing a solid level of usability in its versatile form factor.
However, with the device costing $1,450 (at the time this review was written) the notebook’s standard resolution display is a tough sell. Is the HP EliteBook’s return-to-basics a step in the right direction? Read the full review to find out.
The HP EliteBook Revolve employs an eye-catching layered design, with its smaller 11.6-inch display dropping off onto the larger bottom portion of the chassis. The magnesium soft-touch finish is comfortable to hold and helps to provide a clean aesthetic. Nothing is really new here; if anything, the device’s twisting display hinge is a regression in favor of a more traditional convertible notebook design. However, that doesn’t stop this notebook from feeling fresh. Where many ultrabooks opt for smooth curves the EliteBook Revolve embraces a squared angular design and stands out because of it.
Hybrid Notebooks often fall into a weird limbo where they are light for a notebook, but heavy for a tablet and the HP EliteBook is no exception, measuring in at 11.2″ x 8.4″ x 0.8″ and weighing in at just a hair over 3 lbs. Weighing more than 3 pounds, some users may find the device uncomfortable to use as a tablet for an extended period of time, but the HP EliteBook Revolve still offers impressive portability on par with most competing notebooks.
The added weight from the magnesium chassis proves to be well worth it as the compact device boasts impressive build quality. The device has passed seven MIL SPEC-810G tests, including those focusing on drops, vibration, dust, altitude and temperature. As expected, the bottom half of the chassis proves stubborn to incoming pressure with little to no flex. The back display panel gives slightly to applied pressure, but no noticeable rippling occurs onscreen.
Ports and Features
For a convertible notebook, the EliteBook Revolve offers a solid level of connectivity. The majority of the ports are located along the back-edge of the chassis. There the device houses two USB 3.0 ports, a Kensington lock slot, a Display port, and an Ethernet port. The right side of the device also offers a few additional ports and buttons including; a proprietary dock port, a microSD slot, a headphone jack, independent volume controls, an auto-rotate display button, and a power button.
|Rear view: Ethernet Port, Kensington lock slot, display port, two USB 3.0 ports, and power jack|
|Front right side: power toggle, auto-rotate button, volume controls||Rear right side: headphone jack, dock port|
Screen and Speakers
The EliteBook Revolve offers an 11.6-inch LED-backlit display with a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. The limited resolution is certainly a weak point for the device, especially considering its $1450 price tag. Despite the low resolution though, the EliteBook Revolve offers an adequate viewing experience with solid color contrast and a clear easy to read image.
As a convertible notebook the display also offers touch controls. Swipes, clicks, and multi-finger gestures are responsive and read quickly. However, due to the limited resolution of the display, detailed gestures such as highlighting text or selecting links can prove more difficult.
The display also boasts impressive viewing angles with images holding well past 180 degrees. The flexible viewing angles are a nice addition to the device, especially while using it as a tablet. Unfortunately the glossy finish of the display does make it somewhat susceptible to reflections and direct light. In heavily lit areas the display’s propensity for reflecting background images can greatly diminish the display’s viewing angles (especially along the vertical axis).
The HP EliteBook Revolve houses two DTS Studio Sound speakers along the bottom right and left portions of the chassis. The HP EliteBook certainly isn’t boisterous, but the two speakers manage to provide enough amplification suitable for a small group of people or a modest-sized room. The device offers consistent sound quality with no noticeable distortion even at 100 percent capacity.
Thanks to the extend bottom half of the chassis, the HP EliteBook Revolve is able to offer more spacing than expected from a 11.6-inch notebook on its Chiclet Style keyboard. It still isn’t spacious by any stretch of the imagination, but there is adequate room to ensure that users can work quickly and efficiently.
Each key offers a braised smooth texture which provides additional friction. Key-depth is fairly standard and it’s easy to tell when a key has been fully compressed. The consistent feedback makes up for the lack of depth, providing a comfortable experience with keys quickly snapping back in place.
The moderately sized touchpad is devoid of mouse buttons, instead relying on multi-finger touch controls; with a single finger click acting as a left-click and two fingers for a right click. First with the Samsung ATIV Book 9 and now the HP EliteBook Revolve, it’s nice to see PCs adopting Apple’s touchpad controls. It’s a simple change, but it can really make a big difference to the notebook’s overall usability.
The touchpad which is equipped with Alps drivers performs well, reading swipes and gestures accurately with no lag. The pad’s smooth surface and tight precision makes more delectate gestures like highlighting text easy as well.
The only issue with the touchpad is its lack of customization options. It would be nice if HP offered more robust configurations, but the touchpad still works admirably as is.