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HP’s new EliteBook x360 is worth consideration for your company or professional life.

Here’s what impresses us.

HP EliteBook x360

HP has long occupied an interesting niche for laptops: The company produces just-off-standard professional laptops strictly meant for professionals looking for an option with middle-range pricing – and hopefully some great compatibility with professional services. HP has done all right with the former and very well with the latter, but the EliteBook x360 is something special.

HP EliteBooks have been around for a while, but the x360 G2 is newly fashioned for 2017, and HP has really stepped up in the face of serious competition: The new model is one of the most solid, professional laptops we’ve seen, and if you’ve been looking for a new work laptop – or a whole fleet of them for your company – it’s worth taking a look at what makes it great.

Lightweight and Small – But with Plenty of Power

Like the other brands, HP has been working hard to make their laptops as thin and light as possible – the 13-inch laptop is 14.9mm thick and weighs around 2.84 pounds. Those numbers won’t win any of the smallest or thinnest awards that ultrabooks scoop up, but make no mistake, this laptop is still plenty thin and lightweight. It’s going to fit inside your briefcase or tote bag with no problem. The design itself is actually reminiscent of Microsoft’s new Surface Book or even the MacBook Pro, with a subtle wedge shape that makes it even easier to slide the laptop in and out as you need it.

This complements the hybrid nature of the laptop: Like the Yoga, you can flex it around and use it as a tablet whenever you desire (a stylus is included). It’s an increasingly handy feature for flat organizations with lots of movement and employees who find themselves on the go or doing a surprising amount of work while standing up. If you don’t like the stylus, the touchscreen works just fine with your fingers, too.

Fortunately, HP hasn’t compromised much on power, and the specs for the EliteBook x360 can easily compete with business-oriented contenders. The featured CPU is a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 with an option for both a downgraded i5 version and an overclocked i7 option with Intel Turbo Boost. It’s also got 16GB of DDR4 RAM, enough to tackle even serious software projects without breaking a sweat (all models come with Windows 10 Pro 64, so you probably won’t have to worry about compatibility issues, either).

Plenty of Connections

One of the concerns many companies have is if new laptops will be compatible with their current hard drives, TVs, accessories and so on – so ports become very important. The EliteBook x360 has no problems here, equipped with a USB Type C, 2 USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port (rarely seen in models like these), and a microSD port. That’s in addition to vPro compatibility and remote management for administrator work, so a variety of different connection options are included. Note that the USB ports are all new generation, and if you have very old accessories there may be compatibility issues here – a sign it’s time for an accessory upgrade as well.

Strong Storage Options

The trend right is moving toward ultralight laptops that don’t cost very much and can be used anywhere there’s a wireless connection. Chromebooks and smaller ultrabooks depend heavily on the cloud and have a price point that’s perfect for students…but professionals in the business world may need a little more space than 15-50GB. HP understands this and included options for 128 to 512GB of SSD storage space. Now, some very very high-end laptops out there will get into the TBs if you are willing to pay for it, but HP has sought a middle ground with enough space to store plenty of average work projects without inflating the cost too much. It’s a good move for employee needs, although those with a lot of images or video to deal with may want to invest in an external hard drive.

Already Prepped for Business Communication

It’s a smaller feature, but still a welcome one: The x360 has four speakers that are specifically tuned for clarity during web conferences and other online communication. It’s yet another feature that’s ideal for remote work and on-the-move employees. While it may not be the best for music or movies – and face it, you use headphones for those anyway – it’s perfect for a quick conversation.

Well Secured

One area HP is particularly strong in is security. If you are worried about data safety or need to meet strict compliance requirements, HP makes it easy for you. There’s built-in data backup with Sure Start, a privacy mode for working in public areas, and welcome multi-factor authentication including biometric options – basically, everything a business needs in a laptop. The WorkWise app allows you to protect any smartphones used alongside the laptop, too.

No Frills You Don’t Need

By making the x360 for business purposes first, HP has room to tone down a few of the expensive frills found on more consumer-oriented laptops. A great example of this is the screen: While some EliteBooks come with fancy UHD screens, for this particular model HP has scaled it back with an FHD 13-inch screen, a.k.a. traditional 1080p resolution. That may not be great for crystal clarity on movies or photos, but for average business applications it’s all that’s needed…and that allows HP to drop the price a bit, too.

Easy to Show Off

More so than most post HP computers, the EliteBook is stylish. This is a business laptop that’s also very easy to take home or carry with you to the café for a little remote work. It’s a computer for the gig economy as much as for the experienced professional, seeking a middle ground with the most efficiency possible.

Prices for the EliteBook x360 vary from $1955 to $3421 based on the specs that you want. Not sure how the specs or pricing fit into your specific business goals? We can help you make a decision! Steadfast Solutions works with Melbourne & Brisbane companies on data services and IT solutions, and is an HP partner across Australia. Let us know what we can do with a call to 1300 739_ 335, or send us an email at hello@steadfastsolutions.com.au.

Published on 20th July 2017 by Ian Brady.

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