A Smart Buy for Small Business Execs
HP’s 3.3 pound Elitebook 1040 is a serious buy for small business owners, especially for trade shows. Here’s some observations from several trips with the ultralight notebook to seminars and trade shows. The only downside is the double-takes from other attendees when they glance over, then glance back and realize it’s a real Windows machine — and a very nice one, at that. The slim (0.63 inch) package is an ideal folio-style carry in to talks, seminars and panel discussions. If you want, you can go the “business suit, white shirt, no tie” exec look with ease, and avoid telegraphing “backpack geek with powerstrip” as the first impression of you and your company. With a full keyboard and six cell battery life, it’s good for a full day of conference work with the 256GB SSD allowing full power off and start up while the water is getting poured as you settle into the workshop seats. For serious note taking or monitoring email – the Elitebook has the endurance and capacity for heavier duty tasks as well. One thing that small business owners will really appreciate is HP’s decision offer this premium product without bloatware. The screen load of “free trial” “lite” and “Eval Editions” that confound and slow the system on so many laptops are markedly absent.
Trade show techniques
1. Prize drawing you can afford. The screen size is a good balance between portability and legibility. I’d not want a larger unit overall, and in the end if I were working on a lengthy Word editing session or webcam scale video streaming engagement I’d take advantage of the Display Port and add a second screen. If your booth is small, a premium give away is a good way to build traffic. Careful shopping at the local big box store can often score a nice monitor for just over $120 – use it for the week at the hotel and then offer it as a “must be present to win” drawing the last day of the show.
2. Don’t overlook the ability of the HP Elitebook to team with the $35 Google Chromecast and stream YouTube content of your product to any HDTV where you can get access to plug in the Chromecast dongle, which is about the size of a standard USB thumb drive.
3. Remember that video production systems such as Wirecast and Tricaster have free lightweight apps that you can download and add to your Elitebook 1040 to source your Powerpoint slides or desktop directly to video webcasting or live video streaming sessions through a wifi network at the venue.
4. The Elitebook 1040 has optional 3G and LTE modules, eliminating the need to tether to your phone. But the phone tether trick is still available to you if your other connections are poor.
All in, the HP EliteBook 1040 has hit the mark for an enterprise-focused executive notebook for Windows. Small Business owners and consultants may have found their ultimate machine.