Hardly any changes. HP now ships its business notebooks with Kaby Lake processors as well, but the rest is pretty much unchanged. This is also the case for the display, which is quite bright, but it disappoints in all other areasThe EliteBooks from the 800-series are premium business notebooks from HP. There are two more expensive EliteBooks with the additional Folio designation (1040, G1), but they have a bigger focus on mobility. The EliteBook 840 with its 14-inch display is already the fourth generation (G4), but there are only minor changes compared to the previous EliteBook 840 G3. More precisely: You only get a new processor from Intel’s current Kaby Lake generation.
Our test model carries the designation Z2V49ET ABD and is a mainstream model from the 840 G4 lineup when you have a look at the available components. HP equips the test model with an Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, a 256 GB NVM-SSD as well as a Full HD display. The latter is unfortunately not an IPS screen but is based on TN technology, which was already the case for the previous model.
Is that enough to keep up with some of the completely reworked rivals? We already reviewed many new business laptops, including the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 & T470s and the Fujitsu LifeBook U747. Dell also offers the updated Latitude E7480, which is currently in review.
The elegant case of the EliteBook 840 G4 did not change this year. HP once again uses a combination of magnesium alloy and painted aluminum, only the bottom is made of dark plastic. The palm rests are therefore cool to touch and fingerprints are no problem. We really like the design with the mixture of black and silver. The lid has a silver HP logo, but there are otherwise no design elements. HP uses a visual trick, because the chassis gets a bit slimmer towards the front, so the laptop itself appears thinner than it actually is.
The stability of the base unit is also good and only a lot of pressure can warp the surfaces, which also results in slight creaking sounds. The thin lid is not as stable and can easily be twisted. Pressure from behind will also create ripples on the screen. The hinges have black plastic covers and are smooth, but they have some play and the display will quickly bounce. The maximum opening angle is sufficient at ~145 degrees. We can hear some creaking from the hinges when we adjust the angle, but it is not as bad compared to some shown in user videos on the Internet. Obviously we cannot check the long-term effects during our short review period.
This is the second model year with the same chassis, but it still holds up very well in our size comparison. The footprint is very similar between all comparison devices. This is also the case for the height, except for the noticeably slimmer EliteBook Folio 1040 G3. At ~1.9 cm and a weight of around 1.5 kg, the 14-inch laptop is very portable and can easily be stored in a bag or backpack.
The ports did not change compared to the previous model. The EliteBook 840 G3 was already equipped with a modern USB-C jack, but it is still just a “regular” USB 3.1 port without support for Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, or power supply. At least you get all the other important components including two video outputs (DisplayPort 1.2, VGA) as well as a docking port. These connectors are very important for office environments.
The port layout is not perfect, because they are at the center of the two sides. If you do not use a docking station and still attach external devices, you will have to manage some cables. The performance of the USB ports (2x USB 3.0, 1x always-on) is decent at 310 MB/s on average (Samsung SSD T3), but it could be better.
Intel Core i5-8250U Processor 1.6GHz (6M Cache, Up to 3.4GHz)