HP Elitebook 840 G9
HP Elitebook 840 G9 Review
With the HP Elitebook 840 G9, HP delivers a relatively powerful computer in the preferred form factor for most business users. The wide-ranging options make it ideal for corporate purchases that want to buy in bulk but still meet the needs of varying use cases.
What we like
From its excellent 5-megapixel auto-framing camera to its 14-inch 16:10 aspect ratio 2920×1200 WUXGA display, the HP Elitebook 840 G9 elegantly states that it’s all business. The adoption of the 16:10 offers more workspace than the 16:9 EliteBook 840 Aero G8 which preceded this model. The list price shared during a briefing stated the device will cost between $1,100 and $1,600, depending on the configuration, though the HP website shows several higher-priced configurations.
It’s too bad all workhorse appliances don’t look this good. And given this is an HP business computer, it arrives fully loaded with Wolf Security to complement Microsoft Windows security features.
The 840 G9, at 12.42 x 8.82 x 0.76 inches and weighing in at just under 3 pounds, isn’t the thinnest and lightest laptop from HP, but it is generally the most business-forward laptop that I’ve reviewed. The device and its configurations speak directly to the IT procurement team seeking a laptop for the masses that the masses won’t find disappointing.
At the center of the HP Elitebook, 840 G9 sits a 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1280P vPro® processor running at 1.8 GHz. That’s top-of-the-line for this model. Core i5 is available, as is available an i5-1240 or 1250. Graphics support comes with more or less GPU from the integrated Intel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics associated with the chosen CPU. Most organizations should lean into the i7 configurations to ensure a longer service life and consider the i5s only for less demanding use cases that may also subject the devices to more wear and tear than day-to-day office use.
HP fully admits that the HP Elitebook 840 G9 is a middling performer, but middling is pretty good these days and perfectly acceptable for basic work. For a device likely purchased in bulk, its good battery (up to 13 hours) life and quiet design combine with good enough performance to offer a device that won’t become obsolete or annoying over a two or three-year refresh horizon.
A couple more notes on power: the HP Elitebook 840 G9 employs intelligent charging to optimize charge and battery life, and the HP Power Manager dashboard provides owners with insight into the battery’s performance and its condition.
The 1920×1200 anti-glare screen is bright and clear. The review unit did not ship with a touchscreen, but touchscreens and security screens are available as options. HP even offers a “low cost” screen version, further demonstrating its commitment to this device as a broad-range laptop capable of serving many enterprise workflows.
A key factor, besides its relatively slim and light build, is the optional smart card security slot that anyone inside a corporation or government agency with secrets to keep will recognize, but most people won’t know what it is, let alone what to do with it. The answer is that slot acts as a physical security port for a badge that unlocks the laptop, along with other authentication measures.
For those longing to return to the more-ports-is-better days, HP answered the call with two USB-A ports and an HDMI connector to complement the dual USB-C Thunderbolt ports. The HP Elitebook 840 G9 ships with WiFi 6E and can be ordered with 5G capabilities via an Intel 5000 series modem. The review unit came equipped for 5G, but I could not test the experience as I didn’t purchase an AT&T 5G service contract for this device.
Dual stereo speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen offer decent sound for headphone-less conference calls or video soundtracks. I would, however, suggest headphones or a good external speaker for music. HP’s AI Noise Reduction 2.0 and HP Dynamic Voice help keep out background noise and focus on the speaker. Those who still want to use headphones can connect via Bluetooth® 5.2 or connect wired headphones to the physical 3.5mm audio combo jack.
Our review unit arrived with a 512GB SSD. The unit can be configured with up to 2TB of SSD.
The backlit chicklet-style keys provide a nice tactile push and solid backlighting.
For those worried about laptops that won’t hold up to wear, the 840 G9 went through 19 passes of the MIL-STD 810H tests and 120,000 hours of test processes within HP. And if something does go wrong, the battery, SSD, WWAN, WLAN, and RAM are all IT replaceable.
If hardware loss is a concern, HP integrated tile into the hardware profile, making the device discoverable via their free service. Tile’s tracking service offers additional features for a fee.
HP receives high marks for its environmental efforts on devices like the 840 G9, which incorporates at least 50% recycled stamped aluminum on the covers, 75% post-consumer recycled plastic in the bezel, 50% post-consumer recycled DVDs and CDs in the keycaps and diverts 5% of previously ocean-bound plastic for the speaker enclosure. The packing material is 100% sustainably sourced.
What could be improved
I would like the base model to include an IT webcam to enable Microsoft Hello. (Note: The version reviewed included an IR webcam that supported the Hello facial authentication feature.)
It would also be interesting to see business devices like this lean into Apple’s nearly double resolution screens on their MacBook Pro 14, a device that compares favorably to the 840 G9. The MacBook Pro’s 3024-by-1964 and mini-LEDs offer more real estate and richer colors and blacks than the 840 G9 at a comparable price.
As a work machine, HP should incorporate its collaboration keys (call pick up, call hangup, etc.) into the 840’s keyboard configuration and swap out the physical camera privacy shutter for a virtual one.
HP Elitebook 840 G9: The bottom line
HP has crafted a well-designed, purpose-built laptop that delivers the performance required for general work of any kind. The 840 G9 isn’t for content creators unless those creators focus on words. For those who spend their work lives communicating, collaborating via video conferences and other collaboration tools, analyzing basic data in spreadsheets, managing their local data, or accessing data on a network, the 840 G9 will do that all day, every day without breaking a sweat.
HP provided the Elitebook 840 G9 for review. Images courtesy of HP.
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