Review: HP EliteBook Revolve takes the Ultrabook for a spin

Professional-grade laptop-tablet convertible combines solid build, superior performance, and a surfeit of business features

HP continues to experiment with hybridizing business-class notebooks by putting them in elegant, consumer-style form factors. The newest case in point is the EliteBook Revolve 810, a functional competitor to Ultrabook-cum-tablets like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. By default, the Revolve is a three-pound, 11.6-inch laptop, but flip the display around and you get a tablet that's only marginally heavier than other convertibles of its size.

The specs for the Revolve put it firmly in HP's corporate lineup, starting with the choice of processor (Core i3 through i7, all on the Mobile Intel QM77 Express chip set) and the presence of TPM-based security and antitheft options. The unit ships with your choice of Windows 7 or Windows 8, though it's clearly been optimized for the latter. The on-board 256GB SSD provides plenty of room for documents and programs; a MicroSD slot and two full-sized USB ports are available for further expansion if you need it. The battery provided enough juice for a full five hours in my Netflix rundown test.

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The more "rugged" Ultrabooks typically tout Gorilla Glass displays or a magnesium chassis, both of which are found on the Revolve. But the Revolve also sports an illuminated spill-resistant keyboard, complete with drains in the underside of the unit. (No, I didn't have the nerve to try this out with my coffee; here's hoping you never have to, either.) Typing with that keyboard is comfortable. Although the keys don't have much travel distance, they land with a solid enough click to make up for it.

I suspect the drainage ports along the bottom are the reason for the relocation of the CPU's heat vent. It's not on the rear, though, as per some other Ultrabooks I've seen recently. Rather, it's on the left side, with the rear bezel reserved for the power, USB, RJ-45, and external SATA connectors.

InfoWorld Scorecard
Value (10.0%)
Performance (20.0%)
Security and management (20.0%)
Usability (30.0%)
Build quality (20.0%)
Overall Score (100%)
HP EliteBook Revolve 810 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0
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