With an attractive and robust design, the EliteBook 8440p certainly has its plus points, but the decision to go with 32-bit Windows and the poor battery life hamper overall appeal. And with a similarly specified, but slightly smaller-screened 13in MacBook priced around the same mark, many business users may prefer Apple's alternative.
Rugged design; decent keyboard; built-in mobile broadband module; powerful processor; good range of features.
Poor battery life; touchpad buttons awkward to use; 32-bit version of Windows means 1GB of RAM is effectively wasted.
Intel Core i7-620M, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, 14in display (1,600 x 900), Nvidia NVS 3100 graphics, three USB, Smart Card reader, memory card reader, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 2.1, DVD-RW, Windows 7 Professional 32-bit, 336 x 236 x 31mm, 2.1kg
The EliteBook 8440p from HP is a powerful laptop aimed squarely at business users, with decent core specifications and a solid build.
The brushed-silver lid looks great and is attached to the main body by two strong hinges, giving the laptop a sturdy feel.
Thanks to its magnesium alloy chassis, the rugged design of the EliteBook 8440p means it should be able to cope with the knocks and bumps picked up during regular business travel.
Being aimed at business users, it's no surprise to find that the 14in, 1,600 x 900 resolution display has a matte coating instead of the glossy alternative often seen on consumer laptops.
Although this means that colours aren't quite as vibrant, it won't attract reflections (something for which glossy screens are notorious) and is therefore perfectly suited to an office environment with overhead lighting strips. We also found that it performed well outside, even on bright days.
The EliteBook 8440p achieved an overall Windows Experience Index score of 4.3, but this is slightly misleading since it's the graphics result that holds it back.
The processor test score of 6.6 gives a better indication of the laptop's capabilities, which is down to the powerful Intel Core i7-620M. This is a dual-core processor running at 2.66GHz, but which quickly ramps up to 3.3GHz when required using Intel's Turbo Boost technology.
The fact that the 8440p includes 4GB of RAM will no doubt appeal to business users looking to run multiple applications simultaneously, but in a bizarre move HP has opted for the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Professional; the end result is that only 2.93GB of memory is reported as usable by Windows.
With 64-bit driver support widespread, we can't fathom why HP has chosen the 32-bit version of Windows 7.
The amount of storage is a little on the low side at 320GB considering the price of this laptop. However, HP has gone for a 7,200rpm drive, which gives a noticeable performance boost over standard 5,400rpm models, and allowed the EliteBook 8440p to score an impressive 7.7 in the Windows Experience Index hard disk test.