Hands on: HP Elitebook x360 1030 G2
20 June 2017 | 0
By the time Microsoft brought out the Surface Pro 3, any doubt as to the validity of the tablet hybrid as a form factor for a business device was truly dispelled.
Since then, many manufacturers, including Microsoft itself with its Surface Book, have tried various different form factors to go beyond the old laptop as a mobile device.
The Surface Pro has got better and better with more capable Type Covers, as well as the likes of Lenovo, Dell and others going with full touch screen laptops, foldable, or revolving screens and detachable tablet/screen options.
Many seemed like half-baked notions, and it must be said some were.
Fast forward to early this year and HP applied its Elitebook moniker to a device that has a full 13.3” (338mm) touch screen, and a proper metal chassis but clever hinges that allow the screen to fold all the way back, flush against the bottom of the keyboard section of the body for full tablet mode.
The Elitebook x360 1030 G2 is sleek, beautifully finished and nicely balanced in terms of spec for power and good battery life. The battery is a 3-cell, 57 Wh Li-ion item, with a claimed up to 16 and a half hours life.
Running Windows 10 Professional, there are a number of inbuilt security features, from a fingerprint reader, the Windows Hello compatible camera and an optional, built in privacy screen that can be activated at a button stroke. A smart card reader adds to the enterprise-grade measures.
At its core, a seventh generation Core i5 7300u with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD ensure that things zip a long quite nicely. However, there are throttling capabilities via the HP software suite that comes integrated, as well as security management, interface manager and apps for work integration. Graphics are via an Intel 620 HD GPU, driving a 1920 x 1080 UWVA, Gorilla Glass screen.
There is the usual range of HP apps, such as Sure Start Gen3 to protect BIOS and start-up against malware and viruses, Multi-factor Authenticate, and the Manageability Integration Kit (MIK).
HP’s Workwise is a security app that notifies the user if the device is being tampered with and can automatically locks the device when not being used, while Device Access Manager provides protection against data leaving the device, intentionally or otherwise.
There are the usual features for connectivity, from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth, as well as USB and USB Type C. A nice feature is the Bang and Olufsen speakers and control panel, and a proper 3.5mm headphone jack.
As a laptop, the x360 works very well, as well as any in the form. But as a tablet, or anywhere in between, it performs as just as well. It is a little hefty at 1.28kg, but sitting down at least, it works well as a tablet and easily transitions between modes via Windows 10 Continuum.
The hinges are smooth, stepless and with just enough friction to make it easy to position without being stiff. This encourages using the device in whatever angle desired, whether fully open as a laptop, or folded back to stand up, or fully revolved to be a tablet.
This versatility for use is real boon for anyone who wants to have just one device. On a plane, it can be in tablet only, or any angle of laptop to suit the space available, be that the back of a cattle-class seat, or the lie-flats of a transatlantic business cabin.
In a hotel room or departure lounge it can be work machine or media consumption device, freestanding or hand held.
The biometric, multifactor authentication means you know it will stay safe and the various encryption and data protection features and apps means that it will be safe, while connecting to just about anything, wired or wireless.
All of which leaves us with just the price. Starting at €1,701 ex-VAT, this is no lightweight in monetary terms. However, its versatility, combined with power, manageability and security features make this an ideal device the business traveller who needs to get things done, wherever, right down to the hardware buttons for opening or closing a Skype call.