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HP EliteBook 8440p review

HP EliteBook 8440p
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1916
inc VAT

Excellent performance makes this the ultimate business ultra-portable, but the price is prohibitively expensive

There’s no mistaking HP’s latest EliteBook ultra-portable for anything other than a business laptop. The sharp angular chassis has been built using a mixture of rugged black plastic and tough metals which, despite feeling incredibly durable, doesn’t exactly stand out from the crowd.

Underneath the plain looking exterior however, the 8440p uses some powerful components. The processor is a mobile version of Intel’s Core i7, running at 2.66Ghz. Turbo Boost support will increase the clock speed further for improved performance in single-threaded applications. This alone is enough to fly through most tasks, but HP has gone a step further, installing Windows 7 Professional to a 160GB solid-state hard disk. The effects are dramatic; performance in our multimedia benchmarks exceeded our reference desktop system. While 4GB of memory is present, the 32-bit operating system can’t access it all. Multitasking was still impressive though thanks to the processor’s multiple cores.

While performance might be electric, in everyday use the EliteBook 8440p was unimpressive. The keyboard has flat, rubberised keys that provide very little tactile feedback when typing. While the majority are full size, the function keys feel squeezed in at the top of the keyboard tray. Many of the standard shortcut keys have been moved to a row of touch sensitive buttons above the keyboard that light up when activated, but the indicator icons are very small and difficult to see – it takes a while to learn what each is for. Mouse input can be controlled either the touchpad or the central touchstick. There are two separate sets of mouse buttons, so you can take your pick.

Connectivity on the 8440p is excellent. One of the four USB ports will also function as an eSATA port, there’s mini FireWire, a multi-format card reader, an ExpressCard /54 slot and a DVD re-writer. HP has chosen to add DisplayPort output rather than HDMI, but VGA is also included. There’s even a fingerprint reader for security. We especially liked thoughful touches such as the light mounted above the screen to illuminate the keyboard when working in dim lighting.

The 14in screen has a matte finish, which diffused reflections well, keeping the screen visible even under bright office lighting. Viewing angles were very good; colours became inaccurate only at extreme angles. Over 180 degrees of tilt ensures a vertical angle to suit all environments. Image quality was average, though, with medium brightness and slightly dull colours.

HP EliteBook 8440p

It might be a powerhouse, but the 8440p managed nearly six and a half hours in our battery test. This is very impressive for a laptop with this much performance. It was quiet during normal use and stayed surprisingly cool even after several hours’ use.

While this might be the one of the fastest laptops available – and one that comes with a long three-year warranty – you’ll need a good reason to splash out almost £2,000 for it. Unless you have specific processor-hungry applications that you need to run on the move, or money is no object, there’s little reason to buy the HP over much cheaper thin-and-light models such as the Toshiba Satellite Pro L630-14C which costs less than £600.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7 620 M
Processor clock speed2.66GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad, touchstick


Viewable size14 in
Native resolution1,600×900
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics
Graphics/video portsVGA, DisplayPort
Graphics Memory384MB


Total storage capacity160GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Total Firewire ports1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 32-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore disc, burn own restore disc

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB