That is the word I ascribed to the HP EliteBook 8440w Mobile Workstation when I first laid eyes on it on it at the HP Workstations Global Event on the grounds of the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California. I thought it was a cool system then, and I wanted to lay my mitts on it. So, when the opportunity arose for me to try one a few months subsequent to the event, I jumped at it! (Thanks, C.D.)
Upon unboxing it, I was pleased to reaffirm my initial thoughts of the beauty of the machine.
The EliteBook 8440w
This is one beautiful machine!
For my first review scenario, I decided to use it as a business executive’s desktop replacement system.
My review unit came with a dual-core Intel Core i7 M 620 2.67 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM, a 320 GB hard drive, NVIDIA Quadro FX320 graphics, and an extended battery.
In order to adequately test this EliteBook, I copied the drivers off the system and inserted a Windows 7 Ultimate Edition disc into the optical drive, and did a clean install. I followed that with an install of some elements of the the Logikworx Standard Business Desktop: Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus, Microsoft Windows Live Essentials, and Paint.NET. Since we are still in the transitory period to Windows 7, I installed Windows XP Mode as well.
Once you get past the aesthetics, this system really screams, as befits a workstation.
I installed our management framework, and I have used the EliteBook 8440w as my primary laptop/traveling desktop and desktop replacement unit ever since.
The controls are logically laid out, and the battery life, at an indicated 6 hours, came extremely close in my subjective tests.
In daily use, the benefits of such a well-engineered unit comes to fore: I did not have a single BSOD event throughout this entire initial review phase, despite the fact that it was running mostly beta software of all kinds almost 24/7. It was also the testbed for a lot of the server-class software running virtualized on it.
I have thrown all potential uses at this laptop with a view to breaking it to no avail. I have also tried to bump it, albeit gently, to see if it would skip a beat or quit. No, it isn’t a qiviter also.
One of the cool things I like about the current systems I have been testing is the breadth of driver coverage available with Windows 7. Conversely, that could also mean that mainstream hardware OEMs are no longer giving design wins to obscure companies as a means of saving money, oftentimes saddling endusers with products for which there would never be any software driver updates. The EliteBook 8440w was no exception. All devices loaded on Windows 7 install try #1, a good sign.
I didn’t know what to make of this review device, since I actually wanted to try out the 17”, DreamColor version. (You truly don’t know what you are missing in terms of the number of colors displayed on an LCD monitor panel until you view it in a DreamColor monitor.)
This review also marked a return for me, to a non-touch system as my primary laptop in the past several years. however, the steady and impressive performance of the 8440w made me forget the need for touch functionality about 80% of the time, which is no mean feat!
Subsequently, even for the this first review scenario, the HP EliteBook 8440w Mobile Workstation has been awarded the SmallBizWindows Superstar Award.