Since Microsoft launched its Windows 8 operating system last year, PC makers have been racing to figure out the best way to use its touch-focused interface. A variety of tablets and hybrid laptop/tablet devices has been the result.
The HP EliteBook Revolve 810 is the latest development in this industry evolution. Unlike Microsoft's own Surface Pro, which is primarily a tablet that can be turned into a laptop replacement with an attachable keyboard, the Revolve is a primarily a laptop.
Combined with its customisable internal specifications, this means that it could be one of the most flexible Windows 8 choices available to businesses.
Design and build
The Revolve 810 follows the same design philosophy as many other swivel-top convertibles, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11. This design allows users to change the Revolve 810 into a tablet by rotating the screen around. But unlike the colourful consumer-focused Yoga, the Revolve 810 is an unashamedly work-focused machine: the top and sides are coated in a silver magnesium alloy, while the bottom is made of black plastic.
We were very impressed with the Revolve 810's build quality. The metal top and sides proved scratch and bump resistant, and the hinge connecting the screen to the keyboard section is one of the sturdiest we've ever used.
But while the metal alloy makes the Revolve 810 feel sturdy, it also makes it heavier than many other laptops that are comparable in size, weighing in at a hefty 1.4kg. By comparison, the all-metal Microsoft Surface Pro weighs 907g.
That said, HP has done a great job by equipping the Revolve 810 with a selection of ports, including a micro SD slot on its side as well as two USB 3.0 ports, a single RJ-45 Ethernet port and DisplayPort on its back.
We were also fairly impressed with the trackpad and keyboard. The trackpad proved bigger than we expected and was suitably responsive and accurate. The Revolve features a backlit keyboard with suitably responsive keys that are pleasant to type on. The only issue we had is that it the keyboard feels slightly cramped, though in fairness there's little HP could have done about this without intruding on the trackpad's space.
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