Review: HP’s EliteBook Revolve 810 Works Well in Both Notebook and Tablet Mode

This convertible device is a worthy choice for mobile users both inside and outside the classroom.

The HP EliteBook Revolve 810 ultralight convertible notebook combines a sleek design with the toughness for which HP is known, making it an ideal choice for on-the-go teachers and students both inside and outside the classroom.

End-User Advantages

The Revolve just feels right in the hands. Measuring 8.3 inches wide by 11.2 inches long, at 3 pounds and less than an inch thick, it's comparable in size to a pad of paper. The keys on the backlit, spill-resistant keyboard are light and slightly textured. A single-click touchpad with multigesture support allows users to easily enlarge or shrink on-screen content.

Microsoft Windows 8 Pro comes pre-installed, making user interaction with the touch screen especially i­mportant. To that end, HP coated the screen with a material that helps fingers glide across its surface. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor and 1,366x768-pixel ­display are sufficient for watching high-definition movie trailers in full-screen mode.

To convert the notebook to a ­tablet, simply twist the screen to the left and fold it back flat over the keyboard. A stylus is optional for those who prefer one.

The Revolve offers more connectivity options than most notebooks, including a 10/100/1,000 megabit-per-second Ethernet ­network interface controller; 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 4.0; Micro SD and Micro SIM slots; and two USB 3.0 ports. The side docking port is unusual but welcome, as most ­notebooks of such shallow depth ­offer third-party, USB-style docking stations, which tend to be clumsier than native docks.

Why It Works for IT

A dual-core, third-generation Intel i5 (or i7) processor powers the notebook, providing all the oomph that users could want. Four gigabytes of DDR3 RAM come standard, with an expansion slot for 8GB of RAM available to those who need it. The notebook also can handle up to a 256GB solid-state drive.

Native security and management tools are especially important to ­organizations that don't deploy a ­centralized solution. The HP BIOS Protection module helps prevent root kits from tampering with the system's BIOS settings. HP Client Security ­encryption secures data if the device is stolen or lost. IT departments can purchase the LANDesk Management Suite to manage a fleet of devices from a single interface, if needed.

The Revolve also is certified ­compliant with MIL-STD-810G, which means it's been tested in ­military conditions and can survive extreme temperatures, humidity, ­ballistic shock and drops from certain heights. That last point could be important for schools that opt to put the device in the hands of their youngest students.

Disadvantages

During testing, I downloaded a product specifications PDF from the HP website. Double-clicking the file name automatically launched PDF Complete Care Corporate Edition, which had trouble displaying the file. I finally just installed Adobe Acrobat Reader and opened it that way.

A six-cell battery makes the Revolve lightweight, but I could never achieve the device's advertised ­maximum battery life of eight hours. Watching a YouTube trailer on a ­continuous loop drained the battery in less than three hours. Using the Revolve for traditional office ­functions, such as opening and ­editing documents or surfing the web, nearly doubled that number. But users shouldn't expect a full day's work out of the device without charging its battery during the day.

Oct 15 2013

Sponsors