Hands on: HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 review

This is HP's hybrid laptop for business on Haswell

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Product features

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

View full specification

For

  • Sturdy and sightly magnesium chassis
  • Haswell powered
  • Swivel hinge hides keyboard well

Against

  • Subpar display resolution
  • Little to no design changes
  • Still no storage for stylus

Microsoft's Windows 8 has inspired a slew of hybrid laptop designs, but the most seemingly practical approach is the swivel hinge. HP is doubling down on this design with the EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 for business users, announced during HP Discover 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.

Little, if anything, is different about the EliteBook Revolve's design. The big picture here is what HP has changed on the inside of this convertible laptop. Intel's Haswell has become the de facto standard chip, and the EliteBook Revolve follows suit.

HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2

Design and specifications

Users will still enjoy the sturdy and attractive magnesium alloy shell and Gorilla Glass screen covering the 11.6-inch, anti-glare UWVA LCD. However, that the panel on the EliteBook Revolve is still set to 1366 x 768 resolution is a bummer, especially considering the $1,364US/$1,499EU starting price. (We're still waiting on UK pricing and availability.) Competing convertible laptops, like Lenovo's ThinkPad Yoga, come sporting 1080p for the same or less.

Of course, the swivel-hinged screen is the star of the show, transforming this 22.2mm thin and 1400g laptop into a Windows 8 Pro-equipped tablet at a moment's notice. HP includes a hefty stylus with every EliteBook Revolve. During our brief time with the stylus, it proved accurate, and the screen was more than snappy and responsive enough to the index finger. What's worse is that there is still nowhere to store the stylus on the device -- we'd trade this in for a smaller pen if it meant room to store it in the chassis after use.

HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2

As for the ultimate input, HP's spill-resistant, backlit (optional) chiclet keyboard remains unchanged, with a clever drain system to get rid of moisture quickly. In a quick test, we noticed a bit of flex in the center of the keyboard, but nothing that would be noticeable in everyday use. The single-button touchpad remains the same as well, and all the standard Windows 8 gestures worked swimmingly.

But again, what this EliteBook Revolve revision is all about is the inside. Business folk should be excited that the second generation can house up to a dual-core, 2.1GHz Intel Core i7 4600U CPU with Intel HD Graphics 4400. Backing that are up to a whopping 12GB of DDR3 RAM at 1,600MHz and an SSD as spacious as 256GB. The priciest configuration would make for one seriously snappy convertible laptop, but would surely be overkill.

HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2

Rounding out those specs are 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0 as an option. A 4G LTE radio is also on offer, if you're willing to pay extra. And HP brought its A-game when it comes to I/O, with two USB 3.0 (one with charging capability), an RJ-45 port, DisplayPort, headphone/microphone combo jack, a side docking connector and a microSD card reader.

Spin me right round

The swivel-hinge approach to the hybrid laptop design is one of the more elegant solutions around for the form factor. It's easy to appreciate the disappearing keyboard without having to detach and put it down somewhere else. The super responsive, capacitive multitouch screen certainly helps the EliteBook Revolve make its case as a tablet, too.

That said, the swivel hinge still fails to solve the dilemma all convertible laptops face: While 22.2mm and 1400g make for quite a thin and light laptop, it makes for a rather plump tablet. A thinner stylus that you could store within the convertible laptop shell would be helpful, especially to creative professionals. But we're already talking about a rather small audience that might already be using Wacom tablets in the office and iPads on the go.

HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2

Early verdict

The HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 takes the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," to heart -- perhaps a little too close. Little has changed here in terms of design, and that's a good thing, though it still doesn't surmount hybrid laptops' biggest hurdle.

Aside from hopping onto Haswell and adding room for tons of RAM, this convertible laptop hasn't changed enough on the inside, either. A sharper display would help the EliteBook Revolve catch up with the full HD competition at the very least. We'll see whether this hybrid laptop stacks up regardless in our full review.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet PC
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time8.25 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
DisplayPortYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyHSPA
Product FamilyEliteBook Revolve 810 G1
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor Modeli5-3437U
Operating SystemWindows 8 Pro
Brand NameHP
Form FactorConvertible
Processor Speed1.90 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory8 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.40 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, IT Eco Declaration, ENERGY STAR
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
ConstructionRugged
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Height20.3 mm
Width285 mm
Depth211.8 mm
Screen ModeHD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series810 G1
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product NameEliteBook Revolve 810 G1 Tablet PC
Product LineEliteBook Revolve
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberH5F12EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing InformationBusiness is constantly changing. Adjust accordingly.

Work doesn't always adapt to you. So we designed an HP EliteBook that does. It's an ultra-thin notebook that rotates to become a tablet in an instant. Get more done-with a twist.

Maximum Memory12 GB
Package Contents
  • EliteBook Revolve 810 G1 Tablet PC
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Power Cord