HP EliteBook 8440w Notebook: "W" For Workstation

The HP EliteBook 8440w notebook isn't cheap, but then it claims to offer the equivalent of a workstation in a portable package. Does it live up to its claim?

It's spelled out in the w suffix: HP considers its EliteBook 8440w to be not just a notebook computer but a full-fledged workstation, carrying ISV (independent software vendor) certifications for demanding CAD, engineering, and scientific applications and packing professional-grade Nvidia Quadro FX 380M graphics.

We've seen mobile workstations before, but they've almost always been luggables rather than laptops -- hefty systems with 17-inch or larger screens to show off design or rendering software. The 8440w is truly portable -- a tad under six pounds, with a screen measuring just 14 inches diagonally.

According to HP, the paradox is by popular demand: Design pros asked for a workstation that packed plenty of power when deskbound with a couple of monitors at a docking station, but that could be carried easily enough to show work at a client's site or conference room. And though the EliteBook's screen is small(ish), its resolution is high -- 1,600 by 900 bright, sharp, eye-pleasing pixels, enough to give the 512MB Quadro FX adapter a workout.

The EliteBook 8440w costs $1,649 as tested. That high-end price gets you a high-end Intel CPU -- the Core i7-620M, a dual-core, four-thread processor that runs at 2.66GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.33GHz, with two 256K Level 2 caches and 4MB of shared Level 3 cache. It's matched with 4GB of DDR3/1333 memory; a Seagate 320GB, 7,200-rpm hard disk; and a LightScribe DVD±RW drive.

Read the rest at Hardware Central.

Tags: netbooks, Notebook, netbook, workstation, notebook review

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