HP EliteBook 840 G9 Review: A Fully Upgradeable Laptop

The HP EliteBook 840 G9 laptop, a device that provides extensive upgrade options. You can easily upgrade the RAM, SSD, Wi-Fi card, and even include an optional 5G card. The laptop showcases a beautiful Full HD Plus display and sports an all-metal design in an elegant natural silver color, which effectively repels fingerprint smudges. Its remarkable build quality stands out.

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Specifications

Display14″ diagonal WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 400 Nits Brightness
CPUIntel® Core i7-1280P
GraphicsIntel® Iris® Xe Graphics
Memory16GB (2×8 GB) DDR5 4800 SODIMM
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Battery51Whr Fast Charger 3 Cell Battery
ConnectivityOptional Intel XMM 7560 R+ LTE-Advanced pro Cat 16, Wi-Fi 6E 160 MHz + Bluetooth 5.3, WLAN
Camera5MP IR Camera
Dimensions and Weight12.42 x 8.82 x 0.76 inch, 1.36 Kg
Price$1,444.95 on AMAZON

Design and Build

Design and Build Quality

The build quality of the EliteBook 840 G9 is truly impressive. Its all-metal design exudes durability, and the natural silver color is remarkably resistant to fingerprints, ensuring a clean and professional appearance. The laptop’s chassis is exceptionally robust, with minimal give or flex, further enhancing its overall quality.

Ports and Connections

Ports and Connectivity

When it comes to the ports and connectivity of the EliteBook 840 G9, on the left side, you’ll find an HDMI 2.0 port and a full-sized USB-A port. Although functional, having two full-function USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, supporting data, charging, and display output, would have been beneficial. Additionally, there’s a smart card reader on this side.

On the right side, you’ll see the SIM tray for optional 5G connectivity, followed by a Kensington Lockport, another USB port, and finally, a 3.5-millimeter microphone and headphone combo jack. While this laptop offers a solid selection of ports, it’s worth noting the absence of an Ethernet port and an SD card reader. Nevertheless, the overall port selection is quite robust.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Hinge

Opening the lid of the EliteBook 840 G9 is effortless, requiring just one finger, and the screen can be folded back a full 180 degrees, providing an ideal viewing angle every time. The hinge mechanism is impeccably designed, delivering a snug and secure feel, with minimal screen wobble.

HP EliteBook 840 G9 Keyboard and Touchpad

Regarding the keyboard on the HP EliteBook 840 G9, it excels in terms of tactility, feedback, and key travel, offering a comfortable typing experience for extended periods. Additionally, the keyboard features a multi-stage backlight, enabling effective work in dark or dimly lit environments. The white backlight against the black keys provides excellent contrast and is visually appealing. Moreover, the laptop boasts a generously sized glass Precision touchpad, which exhibits exceptional responsiveness for scrolling and performing various gestures. Overall, the keyboard and touchpad contribute to a seamless user experience.

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User Upgradeability

User Upgradeability

The upgradeable components such as RAM slots for memory upgrades, as well as the option to upgrade the SSD, Wi-Fi card, and even add an optional 5G modem, all accessible to the user.

Regarding the RAM, it utilizes DDR5 RAM running at 4800 megahertz. My review unit included 16 gigabytes of RAM, but it’s capable of supporting up to 64 gigabytes using two 32-gigabyte sticks, providing ample room for expansion. This emphasis on upgradeability is a notable feature of the EliteBook 840 G9.

AllRead (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
SEQ1M
Q8T1
7101.775030.89
SEQ1M
Q1T1
5838.974908.52
RND4K
Q32T1
632.31442.76
RND4K
Q1T1
86.8929.83
PCIe gen 4 SSD Read and Write (MB/s) Speed

The EliteBook 840 G9 showcases impressive SSD performance with its PCIe Gen 4 SSD, delivering impressive speeds for read and write operations as shown in the table above. It’s wireless connectivity features Wi-Fi 6E paired with a Bluetooth 5.3 combo card. Importantly, these components are not soldered in, offering flexibility for future upgrades or replacements. Additionally, the laptop provides the option for mobile broadband, with choices between the Intel XMM 7560r with LT Advanced modem, a Cat 16 modem, or the Intel 5000 5G solution, all of which deliver excellent mobile broadband capabilities.

Display and Speakers

Display Picture Quality

The EliteBook 840 G9 has a 14-inch Full HD Plus IPS display with a resolution of 1920×1200, providing a pixel density of 162 pixels per inch. Notably, this display is matte, reducing glare and reflections, making it suitable for various lighting conditions. With a brightness measurement of 376 nits, it performs well indoors and outdoors, and the lack of gloss further improves outdoor visibility.

In terms of display quality, it boasts an impressive 1050:1 contrast ratio, with excellent white point and a remarkable black level of 0.34. Moreover, it achieves a low Delta E score of 1.39, indicating high color accuracy. A Delta E score below 2 is generally considered accurate, so this display is sure to meet expectations.

Display Color and Brightness

When it comes to the color gamut coverage of the EliteBook 840 G9 display, it offers 100% sRGB, 73% Adobe RGB, 73% of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut, and 67% NTSC. For content creators involved in tasks such as Lightroom and Photoshop editing, video editing, and color grading, it’s a decent choice. While there are displays with broader color coverage out there, this one serves well for business users working on Word documents, spreadsheets, and similar tasks.

For media consumption on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, or YouTube, the experience has been quite satisfactory with no noticeable issues. Additionally, for those sensitive to screen flickering or PWM, there’s good news—none was detected. It’s worth noting that it lacks a 4K option and an OLED option, which could have been nice but might have come at the expense of battery life. In conclusion, the Full HD Plus panel on this laptop is excellent for productivity tasks, and you won’t be disappointed.

One pleasant surprise with the EliteBook 840 G9 has been its audio quality. Equipped with Bang and Olufsen Tune speakers, the sound is quite impressive. The mid-range frequencies are clear, the volume output is ample, and the bass, while not exceptional, is decent. These speakers manage to provide overall good sound quality, with the ability to fill up a room effectively. All in all, a really good audio experience.

Webcam and Fingerprint Scanner

Webcam and Fingerprint Scanner

The front-facing camera is a 5-megapixel IR camera, offering convenient face recognition login and a physical shutter switch for enhanced security and privacy. Additionally, there’s a fingerprint scanner located on the right side below the keyboard.

The camera features HP Presence and Auto Frame functionalities. Auto Frame ensures that you stay in the frame, providing an option for upper body focus, which widens the field of view. The camera also includes auto detection and auto lighting features, reflecting HP’s consistent commitment to improving camera technology over the past year. As a result, it delivers 1440p video recording at 30 frames per second, showcasing the capabilities of this five-megapixel HP Presence camera.

Performance and Gaming

PCMARK 105,996
GEEKBENCH 5 (Single-Core)1,772
GEEKBENCH 5 (Multi-Core)11,323
CINEBENCH R204,371
CINEBENCH R151,991 CB | 108.3 FPS
CINEBENCH R23Single-Core 1,796 | Multi-core 9,875
3DMARK Time Spy2,063
3DMARK Fire Strike5,251
Intel Core i7-1280P (14 Cores) Benchmark

In terms of performance, the EliteBook 840 G9 is powered by the Core i7-1280P, a chip with 14 cores, including eight efficiency cores and six performance cores. This configuration results in a significant performance boost. As shown in the benchmark results above, the laptop delivers excellent single-core and multi-core performance, placing it on par with or ahead of others in its category. It’s a testament to the impressive job they’ve done with this machine.

LaptopScore
HP EliteBook 840 G911,323
ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 108,155
HP EliteBook 845 G97,665
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-16,779
GEEBENCH 5.4 Multi-Core
LaptopScore
HP EliteBook 845 G911,520
HP EliteBook 840 G99,875
ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 107,485
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-17,385
CINBENCH R23 Multi-Core

For everyday tasks such as using Microsoft Office, email, and web browsing performs smoothly. Watching movies on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube is enjoyable. However, when it comes to gaming, it’s important to set realistic expectations. While you can enjoy occasional games by lowering some settings, it’s worth noting that the laptop relies on integrated Iris Xe Graphics without a discrete GPU. This means it may not smoothly handle AAA titles on their highest settings.

The Iris Xe Graphics, though capable, may not meet the demands of the latest gaming releases. We’ll have to wait and see what the 13th generation has to offer in terms of upgraded graphics in 2023. Nevertheless, for light gaming, the EliteBook 840 G9 can certainly hold its own.

Surface Temps and Fan Noise

Thermals, Surface Temps and Fan Noise

The thermals pleasantly surprised me; even under heavy loads, it managed to maintain decent temperatures without excessive throttling. Surface temperatures remained relatively cool, adding to the overall comfort during use. When the laptop was put under a heavy workload, the fan did kick in, but it never exceeded 38 or 39 decibels in terms of noise level. This effective cooling system strikes a balance between keeping the laptop cool and maintaining a quiet environment, showcasing good engineering.

Battery Performance

The EliteBook 840 G9 features a 3-cell 51-watt-hour battery, performing admirably by lasting an impressive 9 hours and 27 minutes on the PC Mark 10 Modern Office battery test. This test simulates a typical workday for an average user, including tasks like video conferencing, writing, web browsing, and idle periods. It provides a fairly accurate representation of real-world usage, making the result commendable.

Conclusion

Reflecting on the HP EliteBook 840 G9, several standout features come to mind. Notably, it offers exceptional upgradeability, allowing users to easily upgrade the RAM, SSD, Wi-Fi card, and wireless WAN. This level of customization is a significant advantage. The laptop excels in terms of its keyboard and touchpad, providing an outstanding input experience. The 14-inch display is bright and sharp, enhancing visual quality, and the inclusion of a 5-megapixel webcam enhances the video conferencing capabilities, making it an attractive choice for remote work.

Moreover, the it’s impresses with its ability to maintain a quiet and cool operation even under heavy workloads, thanks to its effective thermal management. The performance, driven by the 12th-generation processor, has been consistently strong. It’s worth noting that we can expect an upgrade to the 13th generation in 2023, further enhancing its capabilities.

In terms of drawbacks, the absence of a 4K or OLED display option is notable, although understandable for a business laptop focused on maximizing battery life. Additionally, the lack of an Ethernet port and an SD card slot may be seen as minor inconveniences.

So, if you’re in the market for a dependable business-class laptop, the EliteBook 840 G9 is a compelling choice. It competes directly with other premium models like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 and Gen 11, and it holds its own admirably. Without hesitation, I recommend the EliteBook 840 2023. Its all-metal design is a testament to its quality in every aspect.

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