HP Elitebook 1040: Executive Image in Rugged High Mobility Package

Executive Laptop, Purpose Built

For the past several weeks, I’ve had a chance to examine and use the HP EliteBook 1040, a lightweight and powerful machine that shows the increasingly skillful way that HP has segmented the laptop marketplace into enterprise and consumer product.  My day to day Windows machine is the HP EliteBook 8470 and comparison between the two shows how HP is clearly differentiating the offerings for mobile professionals depending upon their computing needs and mobility requirements.

The HP 1040 is designed for executive use – representing the company in a variety of venues without looking like a harried road warrior armored up for battle with a backpack of tech supplies. Without skimping on security and enterprise IT manageability, the 0.63 inch high 14″ screen laptop hits it’s target. And it’s backed with service in over 150 countries.

Here’s what I like about the EliteBook 104o: You can’t beat the size and weight (3.3 pounds) of the HP EliteBook 1040 . It’s the first laptop that I’ve used with the fingerprint reader log-on. While not flawless on the first swipe, it’s never failed on the second swipe of primary or alternate finger. The evaluation unit came with Windows 7, but Windows 8.1 is available as an upgrade.

I miss the LAN port – but understand HP’s drive to thin precluded that choice. Plus, a USB3 dongle can solve that problem if the hotel wifi is underperforming and wired is still an option, as it is in some premium hotel chains that have not yet done their wifi upgrade to business class needs.

The HP Support Assistant is clean, un-obtrusive and manages updates in the background. The only spontaneous reboot and document data loss I had during the evaluation was through the Windows update client that decided to apply itself while I was typing at 30,000 feet.  I chalk that up to Redmond, not to the hardware. The HP Support assistant can schedule monthly restore points, empty the Windows Recycle Bin and Temporary folders combining safety and security tasks.

The view angle is not going to protect the middle seat road warrior from nosy neighbors, but conversely continues to provide a much clearer screen compared with the admittedly out-classed HP Chromebook which also gets a lot of use at my home and office as a “tablet with first class keyboard” for Chrome related tasks.  The Elitebook boots almost as fast, and once running offers an even lighter and more sturdy package and full Windows capability.

HP has hit the mark for the Executive Laptop for the enterprise Windows environment.