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HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 review

Security from every angle

HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

While it comes at a fairly high price tag, the HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 is a very good laptop for long hours of work, with a host of security features built right in. It’s lightweight, offers good battery life, and can promptly fold into a tablet for presentations or to enjoy a quick spot of Netflix at an airport lounge. With all of this under its belt, it’s a worthwhile investment to make for any smart business users.

Pros

  • +

    Good battery life

  • +

    Convenient security features

  • +

    SIM support

Cons

  • -

    Fixed memory

  • -

    Still no Ethernet port

As far as business laptops go, the HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 ticks all the right boxes. It’s got a sleek design, strong battery life, a plethora of security features, and can double as a tablet in a matter of seconds. That last feature is something to dwell on – a tablet form factor in the business environment is fast becoming a reality, and the 2-in-1 capabilities of the EliteBook x360 are impressive to say the least.

Security is a high priority with the EliteBook x360 1040 G8, and there are a number of features here that will appeal to business customers. From fingerprint access to Windows Hello support and a physical camera shutter, prying eyes can definitely be kept away from this laptop with ease.  

Price and availability

The HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 is available now, although local pricing was not available at the time of publication.

Design

SPEC SHEET

Here is the HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Core i5-1135G7 (2.4 GHz base frequency, up to 4.2 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 8 MB L3 cache, 4 cores)
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe (integrated)
RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X-4266 SDRAM memory (soldered down)
Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) touch
Storage: 512GB SSD (PCIe, NVMe, M.2)
Ports: 2xThunderbolt 4 with USB4 Type-C, 2xUSB Type-A, headphone/microphone combo, 1xHDMI 2.0,  Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2), Bluetooth 5
Camera: Hybrid 720p HD IR camera with integrated electronic privacy shutter, HP Sure Shutter
Weight: 2.9 pounds (1.3kg)
Size: 12.57 x 7.98 x 0.65 in (31.9 x 20.2 x 1.65cm; W x D x H)

The EliteBook x360 1040 G8 looks pretty much like previous ones in the series. Its silver aluminium chassis will look great in any boardroom, with absolutely no loud colors or lights anywhere on the device. It’s thin enough to easily carry around or slip into a messenger bag, and the included power adapter is also compact with a sturdy braided cable.

Despite its slim looks, HP haven’t skimped on connectivity. You get two USB Type-A and Type-C ports, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, full-sized HDMI port, and a SIM card slot. The only missing component here (as with earlier models) is an Ethernet port, which might warrant the need for a USB network dongle for businesses with wired networks in their offices. It’s a small gripe that can be easily fixed with the right accessory, but still worth mentioning.

At the bottom are two long rubber feet that stabilize the laptop on your desk and also help elevate it slightly to encourage proper air flow via the large vent towards the rear. Two downward firing speakers are also present here, powered by Bang & Olufsen technology, while two more speakers sit on either side of the keyboard.

HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8

(Image credit: Future)

Open up the EliteBook x360 1040 G8 and you’ll find a comfortably spaced keyboard at your disposal, with some great key response. The power button is also located among the keys at the top right corner, which we’re honestly not a fan of. Too many times in our tests we hit the power button instead of the delete key (which are next to each other), simply because the power button is located above the backspace key. Other than this, the keyboard is responsive and great to type on, with good key travel.

HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8

(Image credit: Future)

There’s also a fingerprint reader by the spacebar, making it easy to get into your laptop without the need to enter a password. Also included is a programmable key, which lets you launch an application, file, or folder with just one press. You can also include more combinations with the Ctrl, Shift, or Alt key to further expand on available shortcuts.

The trackpad is spacious and responsive, and optionally comes with a hidden NFC coil to connect to smartphones and other devices with just a simple tap. It’s firm to press down on, and responded great to our clicks and taps with ease.

HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8

(Image credit: Future)

At the top of the screen’s bezel, you’ll find a 720p camera, along with a number of hidden IR sensors. The camera itself is acceptable for quick video calls, but lacks much clarity in the absence of proper lighting. Videos can look sluggish and grainy, so we would definitely use this in conjunction with a small ring light to make images look clearer.

As the name suggests, the screen can be folded all the way back to transform into a tablet, or can be propped up in a number of other ways for optimal viewing.

Performance

BENCHMARKS

Here’s how the HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Cinebench R20: 3887points
3DMark Night Raid: 13757
GeekBench 5: 1388 (single-core); 5319 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 4717 points
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 11 hours 10 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 10 hours 37 minutes

Our review unit was aptly kitted out, and HP does offer a few different customizations to build the laptop that meets your needs. With up to 32GB of RAM and a Core i7 processor, you can walk away with a pretty powerful laptop – the only downside is that you’ll be stuck with whatever RAM you configure, as it’s soldered to the motherboard. 

With up to 2TB 2 TB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD available during configuration, you’ll have blazing-fast storage at your disposal for all your needs. There’s also minimal bloatware installed on the laptop, which is exactly what you want for a business device.

Under a normal day of working which involved plenty of web browsing, light image editing, and word processing, we found the EliteBook x360 1040 G8 to be perfectly up to the task. The fans mostly remain whisper-quiet unless you attempt to open a ludicrous amount of browser tabs in Google Chrome. Using the laptop as a tablet was also great, especially when writing notes or generally using the touchscreen to navigate around Windows.

HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8

(Image credit: Future)

Security

The HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 is big on security, and has a number of features to ensure data is as safe as possible. HP Sure Start ensures that the BIOS is not compromised, and that attacks can be stopped at the firmware level.

The display also features HP’s Sure View privacy feature, which can be activated by pressing F2. This applies a thin screen to the display, making it harder to view on-screen text and images when the laptop is viewed from nearby angles. As a trade-off, it also significantly reduces the brightness of the display, so use it as you see necessary.

HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8

The camera during normal use (L) and with the privacy shutter (R) (Image credit: Future)

Privacy measure continue with the ability to switch off the build-in microphone with a keypress, as well as apply a shutter to the camera to physically lock it out from any applications that may attempt to use it without your knowledge.

You can even configure the laptop to automatically lock the screen after several seconds of it detecting that you’re not in front of it, which is especially great if you’re paranoid of anyone snooping at your screen when you’re away. Combined with Windows Hello, your laptop can unlock in a few seconds just by sitting in front of it, making security extremely efficient and quick.

The ability to sign up for a SIM data plan is an added bonus, allowing you to use your laptop anywhere you travel. We weren’t able to set this up during our time testing, but once you sign up for a data plan with a supported provider, you can enjoy Internet access anywhere you go without having to look around for public Wi-Fi hotspots and their various security problems.

HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8

(Image credit: Future)

Battery life

For everyday work use, the EliteBook x360 1040 G8 served us well, clocking in just under ten hours of battery life (50% brightness, Wi-Fi on, Bluetooth off). That’s enough time to almost get through an entire workday without needing to charge things up, but even if required, the slim charging brick is easy to carry around as well.

Buy it if…

You need a truly secure laptop
With a ton of security features under the hood, the EliteBook x360 1040 G8 is perfect for business users who want to keep their data safe at all times.

You’re looking for good battery life
For working through the day without reaching for a charger, the EliteBook x360 1040 G8 gives you plenty of juice to keep going through meetings and travel.

Don’t buy it if…

You need to upgrade later
With fixed RAM, you’re stuck with whatever configuration you buy this laptop in, so ensure you’re picking something that will serve your needs for at least the next few years.

You need a sharp display
While the screen is great to keep prying eyes away, it’s not entirely crisp at times, and occasionally suffers from dull images when running on battery.

A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys reviewing PC components, 3D Printers, projectors, and anything shiny and expensive. He can also be found baking up a storm in the kitchen, which we are more than happy to encourage.