HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2

The hard-work­ing ex­ec­u­tive’s dream ma­chine, with a fine bal­ance be­tween power and porta­bil­ity

PC Pro - - November 2017 Issue 277 -

SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE £1,149 (£1,379 inc VAT) from store.hp.com

It might seem pre­sump­tu­ous to call your pre­mium lap­top line EliteBooks, but HP’s EliteBook x360 lives up to the name. All straight edges and bev­elled cor­ners, milled from CNC alu­minium, it’s a se­ri­ously beau­ti­ful de­vice: slim and light enough to take with you any­where and ev­ery­where, but built like the prover­bial brick out­house. It’s ex­actly the kind of lap­top you’d want if you spend time trav­el­ling or work­ing be­tween sites – but the price means only ex­ec­u­tives will get the chance.

This is also very much a busi­ness lap­top, in which case hav­ing a 2-in-1 con­vert­ible might seem a frip­pery. In fact it makes per­fect sense. With the op­tional ac­tive pen you have a great sur­face for quick sketches and meet­ing notes, while putting the 13.3in touch­screen in a stand or tent mode works for ad hoc pre­sen­ta­tions and other client-fac­ing apps. And when you need to cre­ate those pre­sen­ta­tions or edit spread­sheets and re­ports, there’s a large, back­lit key­board and a good-sized screen to work with.

The key­board is par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive. There’s no give in that solid alu­minium base, and the keys com­bine a short travel and snappy ac­tion to help you max­imise your typ­ing speed. It’s great to see touches such as the tiny ex­tra func­tion keys for open­ing your Out­look cal­en­dar or pick­ing up and end­ing voice and video calls. The EliteBook’s track­pad isn’t a let­down, ei­ther; it’s glassy-smooth and un­err­ingly re­spon­sive. The x360 also packs in some great se­cu­rity fea­tures, in­clud­ing HP’s SureS­tart BIOS pro­tec­tion and a choice of sign-in op­tions. HP hasn’t squir­relled its fin­ger­print scan­ner away, mak­ing it easy to find just be­low the key­board, and if you pre­fer a hands-free ap­proach, you can sign in with your face us­ing the built-in Win­dows Hello camera. You can also or­der this model with an in­te­grated pri­vacy screen, stop­ping any­one sit­ting to the side from be­ing nosy. When it comes to con­nec­tiv­ity, 2-in-1 con­vert­ibles have the edge over the Sur­faces­tyle tablet hy­brids. With a lit­tle more room to play with, the EliteBook x360 can cram in a USB-C and two USB 3 ports, an HDMI port, a head­phone/ mi­cro­phone socket and a mi­croSD card slot. The 720p we­b­cam and built-in mi­cro­phone ar­ray also make this an ef­fec­tive con­fer­enc­ing tool for Skype for Busi­ness. Our re­view model came with a Full HD screen – you’ll have to pay even more for one with a UHD dis­play – but that’s not a mas­sive draw­back for busi­ness users on a screen this size. It

“It’s a se­ri­ously beau­ti­ful de­vice, slim and light enough to take with you any­where but built like the prover­bial brick out­house”

wasn’t a par­tic­u­larly strong per­former in our tests. We mea­sured bright­ness at a mid-range 287cd/m², an av­er­age Delta E of 2.55cd/m² shows that out-of-the-box colour ac­cu­racy isn’t spec­tac­u­lar, and it’s only ca­pa­ble of show­ing 81.7% of the SRGB gamut – this isn’t a screen for photo ed­i­tors.

But, viewed sub­jec­tively in nor­mal light­ing, we were quite happy with its over­all im­age qual­ity, and if you fancy some af­ter-hours film-watch­ing then note the im­pres­sive Bang & Olufsen-branded speak­ers: th­ese de­liver a big sound for a thin-and-light lap­top, with a de­tailed high-end and more bass than you might ex­pect.

Given the high-end style and pre­mium pric­ing of this lap­top, its spec, based around a Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U processor and 8GB of RAM, might seem un­der­whelm­ing. As you can see else­where, though, a Core i7 is no guar­an­tee of high per­for­mance, and the x360 holds its own with all but the fastest lap­tops on test, with a bench­mark score of 49. It’s a shame that the stor­age op­tions top out at a 256GB SSD, but that’s ad­e­quate for most ap­pli­ca­tions and you can plug in an ex­ter­nal drive for desk-bound work.

Mean­while, bat­tery life is ex­em­plary, with the EliteBook x360 man­ag­ing nearly ten-and-a-half hours of video stream­ing, beaten only by the Sur­face Lap­top and Sur­face Pro. This com­pletes the pic­ture of a hard­work­ing lap­top that’s both prac­ti­cal and beau­ti­ful. If you can af­ford it, the x360 is a hard con­vert­ible to beat.

LEFT The EliteBook’s tent mode is handy for ad-hoc pre­sen­ta­tions and show­ing off client­fac­ing apps

LEFT The x360 crams in a USB-C, HDMI and two USB 3 ports, plus a mi­croSD card slot

ABOVE HP’s EliteBook lives up to its name, com­bin­ing good looks with prac­ti­cal­ity

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