HP EliteBook 820 G1 review

Sturdy, streamlined, secure: HP packs business features into a lighter-weight, 12.6-inch laptop

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Our Verdict

It's not the cheapest business-grade notebook but it is good value if you need a sturdy, secure but still somewhat stylish option.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Haswell
  • Sturdy and tested to military specs
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Double trackpad buttons for flexibility
  • Chassis opens easily for servicing


  • Needs larger battery for 12 hour life
  • Smartcard or DisplayPort but not both
  • Security options can be annoying
  • No touchscreen option
  • Lots of options so check the spec you order
Scores in depth
Design 3 5
Features 4
Performance 4
Usability 4
Value 4

Not every business user needs a super-light, super-thin notebook, or a hybrid, convertible, 2-in-1 tablet plus notebook option. HP thinks plenty of workers want a sturdy, powerful laptop with good specs that can shrug off fingerprints, stand up to the rigours of the road (and any passing hacker) and keep going all day.

That's the promise of the HP EliteBook 820 G1. It's a 12.6-inch business notebook in functional black and grey that's crammed with ports and security features. It's got options for everything, from a backlit keyboard and SSD storage, to a smartcard slot and 4G. It's also rated to the kind of military specifications that mean you don't have to worry about knocking it off the table or spilling coffee on the keyboard.

HP keyboard
Chunky keys that stand up to a bashing

It's not a clever-clogs like the Fujitsu LifeBook E743, with its component-swapping module that can fit in a Blu-ray player or LED projector. The EliteBook 820 is more straightforward. It's also more up to date than either the LifeBook or the Lenovo ThinkPad S431 Touch. What we've got here is a Haswell notebook that's under three pounds and packing the smallest battery, despite its unibody magnesium alloy chassis (although it doesn't have the touchscreen option of the ThinkPad).

closed lid
Made to stand up to a variety of locks

It's targeting the same business users as the latest Toshiba Portege Z30 and Dell XPS 13 (both with Haswell), but it beats the measly two USB ports of the Dell offering hands down. It's also a little more portable thanks to the smaller screen. The Portege Z30 has the closest spec, but with a larger 13.3-inch screen (although Toshiba's experience in ultraportables means the Z30 weighs a little less than the EliteBook 820, depending on which options you choose).

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4400
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time11.25 Hour
Finger Print ReaderYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEliteBook 820 G1
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-4200U
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Professional Upgradable to Windows 8 Pro
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size31.8 cm (12.5")
Number of Cells3-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.33 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, EU WEEE, IT Eco Declaration, RoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
vPro TechnologyNo
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3L-1600/PC3-12800
Height21 mm
Width310 mm
Depth215.3 mm
Screen ModeHD
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
Product Series820 G1
Product NameEliteBook 820 G1 Notebook PC
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad, Pointstick
Product LineEliteBook
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberH5G05ET#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

Now employees can hit the road with a travel pro. The HP EliteBook 820 G1 industry leading thin and light notebook is ultra-mobile in and out of the office. Work with confidence thanks to proven enterprise technologies and enterprise security, performance and management features that will meet all your business needs.

    Maximum Memory16 GB
    Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
    Package Contents
    • EliteBook 820 G1 Notebook PC
    • Lithium Polymer Battery
    • AC Adapter
    • Power Cord
    • Genuine Windows 8 Pro License Media
    Limited Warranty3 Year