HP Elitebook Revolve 810 review

The HP Elitebook Revolve 810 combines industrial-strength construction with portability and convenience, making it a solid convertible laptop for the business user on the go.
Photo of HP Elitebook Revolve 810

A convertible tablet for the business set, the HP Elitebook Revolve 810 applies the Elitebook’s design sensibilities—rugged industrial-strength construction, business tools like vPro—and applies them to the latest trend of small, portable Windows 8 convertibles. The small size is extremely portable, and the convertible form factor makes it easy to use at a business site or on the road.

Design
The Elitebook Revolve 810 takes its name from the convertible tablet design, featuring a touch screen that flips around 180 degrees and folds flat. While it’s far from the first of such tablets—the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist (3347-4HU) comes to mind—HP has clearly taken pains to ensure that the Revolve 810 offers all of the sturdiness and reliability seen in the rest of the Elitebook line.

Though it measures only 0.87 by 11.22 by 8.35 inches (HWD) and weighs a mere 2.98 pounds, this compact portable is no lightweight. From the magnesium-alloy chassis to the Gorilla-Glass-covered touch screen, the Elitebook Revolve 810 is built to last. The all magnesium-alloy chassis is coated with HP’s scratch-resistant DuraFinish, with a rubberized coat of black paint on the underside for easy grip. The hinges are beefed up with stainless steel construction. The backlit keyboard is spill resistant to keep liquids from seeping into the internals and a built in drain in the bottom of the case to get moisture out faster. It’s tough inside and out, designed to meet military toughness standards for drops, shocks, vibration, altitude, and temperature.

The 11.6-inch rotating/folding display offers capacitive touch with 10-finger tracking, and its 1366-by-768 resolution is more than adequate for all of your business uses, though it doesn’t match the 1080p displays seen on the Microsoft Surface Pro or the Kupa UltraNote X15 Ultra. The integrated speakers feature DTS Studio Sound, and the speakers themselves produce fairly clear sound, but there is no bass—The Knife’s Silent Shout sounded like a completely different song without the usual thumping bass in the intro. What the audio, however, should be fine for video conferencing services like Skype. In addition to the stereo speakers, a dual-microphone array picks up voices clearly while quieting keyboard noise and ambient sounds.

Features
With all of the ports grouped along the right and rear of the chassis, the compact Elitebook Revolve 810 is fairly well equipped, with a Gigabit Ethernet port, a full-size DislayPort, one USB 3.0 port, a stereo headset jack, and a microSD card slot. A docking connector lets you connect up to an HP dock, and physical buttons and switches for power, volume, and screen rotation lock. In addition to the usual features seen on a laptop, the Elitebook Revolve 810 also boasts sensors more commonly associated with mobile devices, like a gyroscope, accelerometer, e-compass, ambient light sensor, and Near Field Communication for instant wireless and Bluetooth pairing.

As a business PC, the Elitebook Revolve 810 is also equipped with Intel vPro technology, which lets IT departments remotely manage machines over a network connection, and disable a machine that is lost or stolen. It also has a micro SIM slot tucked away behind the removable battery, providing optional wireless broadband.

Our model of the Revolve 810 came equipped with a 128GB solid-state drive, which provides about 60GB of usable space out of the box. While this doesn’t provide much space for locally stored work files, it will be fine for those using networked storage, and can always be supplemented with either an external drive or with a micro SD card.

There are a few programs preinstalled on the Revolve 810, but they are all business focused, with offerings like HP Protect Tools (which includes drive encryption and recovery tools), HP Wireless Hotspot (for use with mobile broadband), Box online storage, Evernote, Skype, and the option to purchase Microsoft Office 2013. HP also covers the Elitebook Revolve 810 with a three-year warranty, with extended service plans available.

Performance

Armed with a third-generation 1.9GHz Intel Core i5-3437U processor and 4GB of RAM, the Elitebook Revolve 810 is a full class ahead of Atom-based tablets like the Dell Latitude 10 Enhanced Security, and is on par with other business tablets and convertibles like the Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro and Lenovo ThinkPad Twist (3347-4HU). In PCMark 7 the Revolve 810 scored 4,510 points, ahead of the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist (2,749 points) and the Kupa UltraNote X15 Ultra (4,487 points) but behind the Microsoft Surface Pro (4,768 points). The same was true in Cinebench, where the Revolve 810 scored 2.68 points.

Multimedia tests suggest that real-world performance will be more than adequate, completing Handbrake in 1 minute 23 seconds and Photoshop CS6 in 5:43. The integrated Intel graphics aren’t going to provide enough oomph for demanding graphics applications, like AutoCAD or gaming, but for most office applications and web browsing tasks, it will be more than adequate.

Due to an unexpected software issue we were unable to test the battery life using our normal battery rundown test, but HP estimates that the 6-cell, 44Wh battery will last “up to 8 hours and 15 minutes” and our own use of the machine—unplugged, online via Wi-Fi—supports this estimate.

If your business use demands the convenience and portability of a tablet, but can’t afford to sacrifice durability and business features, the HP Elitebook Revolve 810 is a solid performer with rugged construction and a business-minded feature set. Whether it’s as a tablet or a laptop, it provides a blend of productive capabilities and business-focused features that put it on par with the Editors’ Choice Microsoft Surface Pro.

Specifications
Touchscreen Yes
Operating System Microsoft Windows 8 Professional
Weight 2.98 lb
Graphics Card Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen Type Widescreen
Type Business
RAM 4 GB
Networking Options 802.11n
Processor Speed 1.9 GHz
Primary Optical Drive External
Screen Size 11.6 inches
Storage Capacity (as Tested) 128 GB

Verdict
The HP Elitebook Revolve 810 combines industrial-strength construction with portability and convenience, making it a solid convertible laptop for the business user on the go.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc