Road warriors have a new weapon in their arsenal of computer technology. The HP EliteBook 2740p combines both a tablet, and a laptop and together they make a potent combination.
A new twist on business computing:
- Use the pen or the pen and finger touch (with multi-touch gesture support) to easily navigate applications, turn pages and complete tasks.
- 12.1-inch diagonal WXGA UWVA LED display with or without multi touch. Additional optional Outdoor View display with multi-touch for easier viewing in natural light
Built for work on the go:
- Lightweight, yet rugged design with aluminum surface meets military standards (MIL-STD 810G) for vibration, dust, humidity, altitude and high temperature
- Extensive wireless connectivity options—HP Mobile Broadband, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ WLAN and Bluetooth
- Global Positioning System (GPS) identifies your location around the world and guides you where you need to go
Smart solutions for mobile security and productivity:
- Access and modify e-mail, calendar, contacts and websites without waiting to boot up using HP QuickLook 3 and HP QuickWeb
- Hard-drive data is protected from drops and sudden impact with HP 3D DriveGuard
- Enhanced security with integrated TPM chip, HP ProtectTools software—data encryption and HP Fingerprint Sensor
Better designed for you and the environment
- Reduced environmental impact thanks to smarter power management, the optional HP Long Life Battery solution, greater recyclability and fewer substances of concern
Because the 2740p is designed for the traveling business person, and can be used as a tablet or laptop, it is important that is has a usable, yet rugged design. The HP EliteBook 2740p is lightweight, rugged, has an aluminum surface, and meets military standards (MIL-STD 810G) for vibration, dust, humidity, altitude and high temperature.
The right side of the 2740p has a couple of quick launch buttons for QuickWeb, and QuickLook, a headphone jack, SmartCard reader, 2 USB ports, phone jack, and a Kensington lock slot. I would really like to see the removal of the phone jack, is anyone still using a dial-up modem?
On the left side is the Wi-Fi switch, Firewire, and another USB.
On the back is the power plug, Ethernet, and VGA port. Above those, on the back of the lid is a rocker switch, esc button, screen rotate button, and a small hole for ctrl-alt-delete, these are used when in tablet mode. The rocker switch will move the cursor up and down, and the screen rotate button switches between portrait and landscape mode.
As mentioned above the 2740p has a few durability features and a couple of those are found on the keyboard. The keyboard is spill resistant, and the keys are coated with a special material that prevents the print from rubbing off. I really like how the keyboard goes from edge to edge. This shows that HP is really trying to maximize the available space and make typing a comfortable as possible. They keys also have a very nice feel, and they provide good feedback when pressed.
HP also includes both a pointing stick and a touchpad. The pointing stick does its job well by providing accurate navigation, but personally I don’t like them, so I didn’t use it for very much.
The relatively small 1.1″ x 2.75″ touchpad is adequate for moving around the screen, but does not provide enough room to move around comfortably. I would prefer to remove the pointing stick and its buttons, and in their place make the touchpad a lot bigger. If you look at the picture above you can see that without the pointing stick buttons HP could make the touchpad an inch taller and wider. On a side note, both the pointing stick and touchpad buttons have a nice rubbery feel and they are easy to press.
The screen on the 2740p is a 12.1-inch WXGA resolution ultra-wide viewing angle (UWVA) display. I was very excited to see that the screen has a matte finish. I really dislike the glossy screens that seem to have taken over laptops.
Above the screen is the usual webcam, and the HP exclusive keyboard light (I only say this because I have yet to see any other laptop maker include a keyboard light). Along the top of the bezel of the screen is a flip out wireless antenna. It is spring loaded, so as soon as you flip the switch it automatically comes out like a pocket knife.
To convert the laptop into a tablet it just takes a quick turn of the screen, and then it lays flat on top of the keyboard. Be careful though, because the screen only swivels one direction. If you try and swivel the screen the wrong way it will break. It would be nice if the screen could swivel either way, but currently that is not an option. I do like how securely the screen locks into place when in tablet mode, it uses the same locking mechanism in both laptop and tablet mode.
When the the 2740p is first put into tablet mode the screen may not be facing the correct direction. As far as I could tell there was no automatic way for it to rotate to fit the way it was being held (no gravity sensor), so you may have to press the screen rotate button several times to get it correct. It would be nice if the screen would automatically change as the tablet is rotated.
Once in tablet mode the screen can be used with either your finger or the supplied pen/stylus. I found using my finger was better for most functions, but when trying to press small buttons I had to use the pen.
The screen is also multi-touch, so you can use up to two fingers with some programs. Unfortunately, not all programs support multi-touch so it is trial and error process to find the ones that do. HP supplies a couple games and one of them does support multi-touch.
The biggest complaint I have about the tablet is the OS. I’m sorry, but no matter what Microsoft and others say, Windows 7 is not a tablet OS. Many of the buttons are too small (for example minimize, maximize, and close buttons), and just try and touch any of the icons down by the clock, they are so small it is almost impossible. It would be so much better if the OS would switch to a more touch friendly interface (i.e. larger icons) when in tablet mode.
The sound is adequate, but not great. I could hear movies, but not clearly, and when I was in a noisy room I could not understand anything. The speakers are down facing, which could explain why the sound was not very clear. However, HP is in a tough spot because up facing speakers would only work when in laptop mode, and not when in tablet mode. The only solution would be to put the speakers around the edge of the display. However, I don’t know how much room there is for speakers, so it may not be possible.
To test the performance of this machine I am going to run several tests. These tests include a battery, graphics, and full system test. However, before I get to that lets take a quick look at the specs of the EliteBook 2740p.
|Processor||Intel Core i5-560M @ 2.66GHz|
|Memory||4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics|
|Hard Drives||250 GB 5400 rpm 1.8-inch SATA II|
The first test is 3DMark06. This test focuses on testing the graphics system. The EliteBook 2740p got a score of 1936. At first this seems fairly low, but as I went back and compared it to some other laptops I have reviewed it actually seemed really good. The only laptop, of similar size, that got a higher score was the Asus F6Ve.
The next test is PCMark Vantage. This test is an overall system test and does not focus on any particular system. The EliteBook 2740p got a score of 5929. Again, not a spectacular score, but when compared to other laptops of similar size it comes out near the top, with only the Asus F6Ve getting a higher score.
The last test is the battery test. To test the battery I use MobileMark 2007, with WiFi off and the screen brightness set to 50%. As you can see from the image below the laptop came in at 322 minutes (5 hours 22 minutes) of run time. This is exceptional for a laptop this size and I am extremely impressed. This is better than any other laptop I have tested, including the Asus F6Ve.
As I ran these tests I paid attention to the noise level and the heat that was produced. I never felt like there was an excessive amount of either.
Support and Warranty
HP backs the 2740p with a three-year warranty and a one-year warranty on the primary battery. This includes pick-up or carry-in, and toll-free 7 x 24 hardware technical phone support. On-site service and warranty upgrades are also available.
I really like this laptop, it is powerful, and versatile. If you travel a lot then the EliteBook 2740p would be great because of its compact size. If you need a tablet, but you also need something more powerful than an iPad or Android tablet, the 2740p would also be a great fit. All in all the EliteBook 2740p will fill many shoes and work well in any situation.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|