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HP EliteBook 845 G7 review: High speeds and competitive prices

Tim Danton
8 Mar 2021
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,126
inc VAT

AMD again proves its worth, with this fast laptop available for an appealing price - at the expense of screen quality

Pros 
Fantastic battery life
Speedy AMD Ryzen 7 processor
Stunning, lightweight design
Cons 
Mediocre webcam
Average screen quality
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The HP EliteBook 845 G7 fans the flames of AMD's ongoing resurgence, and it does so despite choosing to remain neutral. Like Switzerland in the midst of war, HP is equally happy to supply AMD or Intel chips in its business laptops. The EliteBook 845 ships with Ryzens and the otherwise identical EliteBook 840 uses Intel Core processors – although "otherwise identical" is a bit of an exaggeration since (spoiler alert) the Ryzen variant is the more powerful, more power-efficient laptop.

With an AMD Ryzen 7 under the hood and a price tag to make you look twice, the HP EliteBook 845 G7 is fiercely competitive in spite of its neutrality. This is a business laptop with more than enough oomph for your daily grind.

HP EliteBook 845 G7 review: Connectivity

These EliteBooks are as well built as they are attractive, with a highly respectable weight of 1.39kg for a 14in laptop with an all-metal chassis. HP also packs in the ports, as shown in the images below. Both USB-C ports support USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3, and can be used for charging.

The only omission of note is an Ethernet port. The keyboard is quiet, backlit and unexceptional: while HP has given the keys plenty of travel, they don’t have the tactile pushback of the best keyboards. The touchpad’s smooth finish makes it pleasant to use – and note the trackpoint tucked between the G, H and B keys.

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HP EliteBook 845 G7 review: Features

I’m more taken by the speakers HP squeezes next to the keyboard’s edges. Unusually for such a slim laptop, there’s enough bass to make music pleasant to listen to and it can reach a good volume without distortion. With such attention to detail, it’s surprising that HP hasn’t made a greater effort to improve the mics and camera.

There’s an echo and clipped nature to your captured voice, while videos are drab, fuzzy and far below what I expect of a modern business laptop. For review, HP sent a custom version of the EliteBook 845 fitted out with its undeniably clever Sure View technology. Press F2 and your screen essentially becomes invisible to onlookers. The sacrifice is that even in normal mode your viewing angles are curtailed, and I always felt like I was looking through a thin gauze.

HP EliteBook 845 G7 review: Display

HP ships four different screen types with the 845. The 250cd/m² screen is only certified as 45% NTSC (the US TV colour standard), and if my experience with previous HP laptop screens is anything to go by then it will look drab. Your best bet is the 400cd/m² version, which is rated to 72% NTSC just like the Sure View screen I’ve tested here.

That’s a good sign because I have no technical complaints about the panel I tested: 95.6% coverage of the sRGB gamut is excellent, as is an average Delta E of 0.85. In short, colours are accurate. Screen aside, if your business is committed to HP laptops then your big decision is whether to choose the AMD-powered 845 series or the Intel-only 840.

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HP EliteBook 845 G7 review: Performance

While we haven’t yet tested the EliteBook 840, I can safely say that the Ryzen 4000 Series is much faster. The model on test includes an eight-core Ryzen 7 Pro 4750U processor and 16GB of RAM, and it swept through our benchmarks with a score of 231.

Or consider its Geekbench 5 multicore score of 6,449, or a result of 3,228 in Cinebench R20. Ryzen’s other benefit is 3D acceleration, which was borne out by a result of 42fps in F1 2020 at the screen’s native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 at High settings. Metro: Last Light returned 37fps, but Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider both proved to be too tough a test for the EliteBook, with scores of 11fps and 16fps respectively.

Much more importantly for a business laptop, it passed our video-rundown battery test in exemplary style: 12hrs 43mins is a brilliant result. With AMD’s Pro chips offering guaranteed availability, as well as a similar set of management and security tools to vPro, there’s no obvious reason not to add Ryzen Pro laptops to your shortlist. 

HP EliteBook 845 G7 review: Verdict

This model falls short of a Recommended award due to the uncertainty over screen quality; all the models I’ve seen on sale so far include the untested 250cd/m² screen. But if your HP reseller can supply a 400cd/m² screen, or speed is of greater value to you than image quality, the price and performance combine to form a compelling proposition.