The HP EliteBook 8770w workstation is a behemoth. Resting at around 8 pounds (depending on the build) the EliteBook offers a sturdy design that is sure to hold up to the test of time; but it comes at the cost of the machine’s portability. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-3720QM 2.6GHz processor and AMD FirePro M4000 dedicated graphics the workstation offers consistent levels of performance capable of taking on most computing tasks. Add in its beautiful display, comfortable keyboard and touchpad and you have a device that is a pleasure to use.
Build and Design
The HP EliteBook 8770w is a mobile workstation that looks the part. Its large frame is covered by a protective smudge resistance alloy that spans over the majority of the device. The alloy coat is complimented by black protective plastic that outlines the face of the display and the bottom of the chassis.
The grey and black finish of the chassis provides an understated look that is perfect for business, while still maintaining a smooth aesthetic. Additionally the metallic finish is resistant to fingerprints, which is welcomed as users will have to grip this hefty device to transport it.
As a mobile workstation and desktop replacement the EliteBook 8770w does have some weight to it. With its generous 16.4″ x 10.7″ x 1.47″ dimensions the large device will certainly not fit in some carrying cases. Also the notebook can prove to be a bit of a burden with its weight starting at 7.66-lbs. That being said, the added weight and girth of this device is what users would expect. It may not be extremely portable, but it’s still a lot easier than lugging a desktop around.
For all its added size and weight the HP EliteBook does offer exceptional build quality. The metallic and plastic coating stubbornly resists incoming pressure, as the chassis did not bend or move at all in our testing. The display easily matched the durability of the device’s body also holding up to adequate pressure without bending at all. The display did give slightly to extreme pressure, but even then no noticeable rippling occurred on the display.
Thanks to its large power source and easy access to its components the HP EliteBook 8770w is one of the few notebooks that make upgrading easy. Users can quickly remove the two push tabs at the bottom of the chassis to access the devices components. However, depending on the build of the machine there may be limited space to add components. For example, our device has a 500GB HDD and Optical Drive which greatly reduces our ability to add components if desired.
While the HP EliteBook certainly has some weight to it, its well-built exterior provides users with assurance when traversing with the device.
Ports and Features
As expected this mobile workstation is all about connectivity and it has the ports to prove it. Taking advantage of its large chassis the HP EliteBook offers a slew of ports littered along the right and left side of its chassis. Despite offering a cornucopia of ports, each port is adequately spaced and easy to access.
The right side of the device offers separate headphone and microphone jacks, a charging USB 2.0 port along with another USB 2.0 port, an optical drive, VGA connector, and Smart Card Reader. At the rear of the device there is a RJ-11 port and a power jack. The left side of the device offers an Ethernet, display port, USB 2.0/ESTA combo port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a 1394a port. The notebook also SD/MMC reader on the front, along with a secondary battery connector and docking connector located at the bottom of the chassis.
Left: Ethernet, display port, USB 2.0/ESTA combo port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a 1394a port
Right: headphone and microphone jacks, a charging USB 2.0 port and USB 2.0 port, optical drive, VGA connector, and Smart Card Reader
The mobile workstation also offers a fingerprint scanner for additional security. Simply swiping your finger over the reader will cause the setup software to activate. Activating the fingerprint scanner is easy enough and it works with solid accuracy. As with most readers sometimes swiping your finger at an odd angle will cause it to misread. It’s a nice little addition for added security, but it can be easily ignored if desired.
Screen and Speakers
Another merit of the HP EliteBook’s large frame is that it allows the device to house a 17.3-inch LED-backlit HD+ WVA anti-glare display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The spacious full HD display offers crisp image quality with vibrant color contrast making it a pleasure to view. The display is also perfect for multi-tasking thanks to its large resolution and screen size.
Best of all the display looks fantastic no matter what angle it is viewed from. The EliteBook 8770w offers extremely generous viewing angles, with the image quality staying in tact till about 180 degrees. The display fairs just as well on the vertical plane as well with little to no image deterioration. Additionally the anti-glare display lives up to its name resisting strong in-door lighting to provide a clear view.
The pristine full HD display makes this mobile workstation a viable desktop replacement, and it pairs wonderfully with the machine’s impressive GPU capabilities.
The HP EliteBook is also quite boisterous as well. The device has three speakers two which are located at the front end of the chassis and another located on the bottom left of the device. At 50 percent capacity the speakers are able to produce clear and crisp audio quality that is more than loud enough for individual use. The speakers also hold up very well at higher capacities, as the sound quality was barely diminished at 100 percent. Additionally, at full capacity the speakers are loud enough to provide audio for an entire room, though users who want a premium audio experience would be best served with external audio equipment.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The HP EliteBook 8770w offers full Chiclet style keyboard complete with number pad. The braised textured keys add a tactile feel that helps create friction while typing. Again thanks in part to the machines large frame; it offers deep key compression allowing users to assuredly know when a key has been struck. With the keyboard’s responsive tactile feedback it’s no surprise that this device offers an excellent typing experience. The only noticeable drawback is that the frame of the machine is so large and thick that some users may feel that they have to reach to keyboard, which is located about 3 or 4 inches in from the chassis.
Keeping in line with the rest of the device, the Touchpad is large. The generously sized multi-gesture touchpad uses a Synaptics driver and offers three mouse buttons both below and above the pad. The touchpad itself is smooth to touch and highly responsive. Additionally, the touchpad is a bit more sensitive than most pads which seem to allow the cursor far more freely around the screen.
While testing the device there were one or two incidents where the touchpad’s response would briefly lag, but it quickly snapped back into place. Honestly, users will likely only notice the irregular lag if they are performing precision intensive programs, and users are best served with aUSB mouse for that anyways.