Spotted: Next-gen HP Elitebook 8440w/8540w in real life and online

rumor new elitebook 1

Photo sent by reader Michael K; next-gen Elitebook using HP's 'round' logo

One of our readers, Michael K, recently sent in two pictures of what seems to be one of HP’s next generation Elitebook models. Clad in a dark gray, and what seems to be metal/magnesium alloy, casing – this mysterious machine seems to be either the 14 inch Elitebook 8440w model or 15 inch Elitebook 8540w (judging by the amount of real estate on the palm rest area, it’s unlikely that this is the 17 inch Elitebook 8740w). UPDATE: Fellow Tweeter and owner of 8510w/8530w notebooks, Nicholas C, notes that the picture below is indeed the 14 inch Elitebook 8440w because of its mouse buttons – the larger 15 inch Elitebook 8540w would have an additional ‘center’ mouse button like its predecessors. Thanks Nicholas! =)

This ties in with the yet-to-be-announced ‘Elitebook 8440w, 8540w and 8740w’ models, which are strangely listed on HP’s own website. There’s also some blurry-looking text inscribed on the left palmrest area but knowing several people who own Elitebook 8530w and 8730w notebooks, I’m pretty sure it says “Mobile Workstation”.

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Photo sent by reader Michael K; next-gen Elitebook (pretty sure that text on the left says 'Mobile Workstation')

This Elitebook is HP’s latest – because any HP fan (such as myself) would know that HP has been using their ’round’ logo on Winter 2008-onwards models (HP started replacing their ‘square’ logo with the ’round’ one with the Mini 1000, if I’m not mistaken). All of HP’s current 2008 Elitebook models feature silver bodies and their ‘square’ logo.

HP's OLD 'square' logo on a friend's 2008 Elitebook 2530p

HP's OLD 'square' logo on a friend's 2008 Elitebook 2530p

He also goes on to mention a few juicy details on what “standard features” to expect from HP’s next-gen, 2009 Elitebooks:

  • Core i7 “will be available for all models”
  • “New” Nvidia Quadro FX Mobile workstation graphics for “w”-variants
  • HP DuraCase, DuraKeys, 3D Drive Guard
  • 7200 RPM hard disks standard
  • Single HP Night Light (no backlit keyboard)
  • VGA and Display Port output ports; no HDMI
  • HP Power Assistant power management software
  • Same batteries from current generation Elitebook models; 2nd extended battery available

Michael also points out that the new Elitebooks will feature yet-to-be-announced Nvidia workstation-class graphics cards for notebooks.

Core i7 will be available as an option for “all models”, I wonder if that includes the 8440p/w 14 inch model? Will this year’s generation of Elitebooks feature incremental upgrades or will they be ‘category crushers’ that blow away the competition?

Screenshot of HP's official website showing Elitebook 8440w (click for larger)

Screenshot of HP's official website showing Elitebook 8440w (click for larger)

In other news, another one of our readers, Dana, has just pointed out that driver and support pages along with profile pictures (!!!) for the HP Elitebook 8440w and Elitebook 8540w Mobile Workstation models are already online on HP’s OFFICIAL website! Check them out here for the Elitebook 8440w and here for the Elitebook 8540w. No news on announcement date but seeing those pages are already up on HP’s website, I would imagine that it won’t take long before they become official. I would also infer from the tip about Nvidia’s new graphics cards that HP’s announcement of their 2nd generation Elitebook models will come after or at the same time Nvidia makes their announcements, I guess?

Elitebook 8440p, 8440w, 8540p, 8540w and 8740w models listed on HP's official site (Click for larger)

Elitebook 8440p, 8440w, 8540p, 8540w and 8740w models listed on HP's official site (Click for larger)

Either way, I can’t wait for official news (and an official announcement date?). Do YOU know something that we all don’t? Post tips in the comments section.

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  1. Dana November 24, 2009 Reply

    I sure hope they’ll still offer an ATI option — the ATI card in my current 8530w was a big reason for my purchasing that laptop. I specifically wanted a card with open-source specs, and I like the ATI windows drivers better than the NVIDIA ones.

    I also hope they’ve fixed the lameness with the TouchStyk — they’ve attached the buttons to the touchpad itself, so you can’t use Stick Scrolling without breaking the touchpad!

  2. Geoff November 24, 2009 Reply

    I’m hanging out for one of these bad boys, I’ve heard that these will be released around May 2010 😀

    • admin November 26, 2009 Reply

      May 2010?! Wow I hope not. Seems they’re already done with the design, based on pictures sent in by readers, and even Nvidia’s new graphics cards are ready, according to sources. One of them is the new Quadro FX380M card, word is it can be found in the 8440w.

      I’m hoping for January 2010, I hope (Edit: During CES 2010?!)

  3. Chema November 24, 2009 Reply


    Is there any chance the new 8740w can use the Night Light accesory? For me it’s important this, because I’m going to work at night several times.

    Thanks, great blog 😉

  4. Juggs December 1, 2009 Reply

    8440p,8440w announced on 1/25/2010.
    8540p,8540w announced on 1/26/2010.
    Differences are core i7 or i5 processors, LED back lit screens and DDR 3 memory.
    Specs are still under NDA.

  5. Mark December 12, 2009 Reply

    Honestly, the newer generations of ATI cards for both desktop and laptop (4xxx and above) are better. They equal or better Nvidia’s offering while using less power. If the 8540w doesn’t have an ATI card, I hope the 8540p will. For now, my 8530w is still pretty damn awesome!

    • admin December 12, 2009 Reply

      Hey Mark, I haven’t heard anything about what ATI card, specifically, HP plans to use or in which models. But if history is any indicator, we’d probably see ATI “gaming” cards on the “p” models (Elitebook 8440p and 8540p), just like on the current 8x30p offerings. There’s also a slight chance that HP might use ATI FireGL cards in “w” variants (Elitebook 8440w, 8540w, 8740w) seeing other manufacturers (ie Dell) do offer mobile workstation models with choice of Nvidia or ATI workstation graphics selectable before buying.

  6. necrophyte December 18, 2009 Reply

    (talked to a HP product manager)
    8#40p/w models are being announced in january 2010 and are going to be available from february on. the P models are coming with NVIDIA graphics exclusively > FAIL, HP!

    they should have put inside an ATI Mobility Radeon 5650/5670 “Park” GPU, as well as an option for a 5850/5870 “Broadway”.

    since nvidia gf100/gt300 “fermi” DESKTOP isnt to be out till Q1/2010, so the mobile models even later, the nvidia gpus coming inside the 8#40p models are gonna be outdated gt200 gpus.

    again, FAIL, HP!

    i really hoped to get a great successor to my 8510p with a core i7 XM CPU and an ATI Mobility Radeon park/broadway GPU…

    FAIL, HP!

  7. necrophyte December 18, 2009 Reply

    where is my reply i posted yesterday?

  8. necrophyte December 19, 2009 Reply

    why is my post from yesterday missing, although it says 8 comments, but only 7 present and mine not?

    • admin December 19, 2009 Reply

      oops, sorry, the comments system wasn’t updating the page properly. It’s up now. Sounds odd that the p-variants would only come with Nvidia graphics. The “current” generation models have ATI graphics options. Understandably ATI’s line of workstation graphics (mobile) are not that great, but their regular graphics cards (ie Mobility Radeon 4830 on the Envy 15) are fantastic.

      As for the GT200-series, I don’t mind if HP uses them; as long as it’s GT240 and above. Higher end graphics models may or may not be used due to power consumption issues (at least on the 14 and 15 inch models, where HP usually manages to squeeze 4-5 hours off a 6/9 cell battery).

  9. necrophyte December 19, 2009 Reply

    he also told me about the workstation models coming with ati and nvidia workstation gpus (i think the fx3800m was one of them). but the p models only come with nvidia gpus this time, exactly the opposite than until now and exactly the wrong way…

    its the same problem each year… the 8510p models came with a mobility radeon hd2600 when the hd3650 has just been launched, the 8530p came with the 3650 when the 4650/4670 have just been launched, and now the 8540p comes with nvidia gt200 gpus when ati’s mobility 5650/5670 and 5800s are being launched (january!). if they waited for nvidia to launch their fermi mobile parts, ok… but gt200 is outdated, already now.

    and regarding heat and power – there are already plenty of 15” notebooks coming with gtx260m and even gtx280m gpus, so if one prefers graphical power over battery power (not a surprise on top-of-the-line 15” & 17” notebooks), they should be able to get them.

    i am a real hp (mainly notebook) fanboy, but this step by hp really makes me think about an alienware, coming with ati mobility radeon 5800 series soon..

    • admin December 19, 2009 Reply

      That sounds pretty underwhelming, seeing HP considers their Elitebook as their “premium” notebook (on the business/professional use side) and puts fairly high price tags on them. I agree they should/NEED to have ATI graphics options available… and not just ATI cards, but the latest ATI cards. Perhaps they have some pact/agreement with Nvidia? (Just a guess). The ATI 5650/70 series will be equivalent to the Nvidia GTX 250M in terms of power but with reduced power consumption, so they’ll be silly not to put that into their notebooks!

      I understand your disappointment; I have plans to get either the 8440/8540 next year for CAD work, photo/video processing as well as gaming during the weekends. That is IF the GPU choices are satisfactory enough. By the looks of it now from your news, it doesn’t look as if HP is gonna blow away the competition. Hope the situation changes as we enter the new year (or more graphics card options are added after release?). Heard the announcement will be made after CES 2010.

      On a sidenote, I’ve received news that the Elitebook 8440w will have a 1600 x 900 matte display as an option and beta models are currently getting 7-8 hours of light usage using 9-cell batteries using the Core i7 1.73GHz/Nvidia Quadro FX380M config)

  10. necrophyte December 19, 2009 Reply

    i have always been using hp business notebooks and without hp’s business line unfortunately hp would be just a notebook manufacturer to laugh at, considering the brilliant quality of their consumer line notebooks.. my dads company only uses hp business notebooks and i really try them out regularily..

    and the 8510p was the shining star that topped all – i am still using it as my main pc and it still surprises me with its gaming performance (and i dont play anything unless i can play it fluently on maxed settings and the native resolution). regardless to mention the performance of a typical business usage and CAD.. and now would be the time to get a suitable successor, but a 8540p with a dx10 gtx230/250/260 at the time ati has been dominating the market with really amazing dx11 gpus for several months already (i have a 5870 on my desktop so i know what i can miss with an nvidia dx10 card) just isnt a good catch.

    i suppose they will all come with 16:9 displays, but a 16:10 would of course be great, far better…

    i just hope they change their elitebook business strategy and make an upgrade someday, offering mobility radeon 5600/5800 series on the 8#40p models.

    of course, not at the time the radeon 6000 are already being launched, which just would continue the bad business strategy hp does with their really could-be great elitebooks.

    • admin December 19, 2009 Reply

      Someone at HP is probably just too lazy to play around with different CPU/GPU combos or bothered to include ATI by the looks of it. Agreed that ATI is at its ‘high’ right now with some revolutionary/drool worthy products, especially their 56xx/58xx series graphics cards, while Nvidia is the opposite; minor refreshes and renaming of existing graphics cards with nothing much worth talking about. Or maybe ATI isn’t releasing their designs/chipset/mobo spec sheets to HP, so they can’t plan for the new 5000-series yet? Could be possible…

      In regards to display aspect ratios, I think only the 8440 series will get a 16:9 display, because of the high res screen (1600×900); I don’t think any manufacturer makes a 1680×1050 res screen anything smaller than 15 inches (unless HP can develop their own 13/14 inch high res 16:10 panel, which would be costly and time consuming versus buying existing displays off a supplier). The 8540 and 8740 will almost definitely stick to 16:10 because of the 1920×1200 resolution; and especially the 8740w which can re-use the 8730w’s 16:10 DreamColor display without HP having to create and outfit a new 16:9 DreamColor screen. If anything, the w-variants (workstation) will have 16:10 screens while the p-series could possibly feature 16:9 screens. Again, speculation for the 8540 and 8740. The 8440 definitely has a 16:9 screen based on various sources; but 8540/8740 display aspect ratio is currently unconfirmed.

  11. necrophyte December 19, 2009 Reply

    i can only hope they keep the 16:10 displays with the 8540/8740s.. its definitely the most suitable format for balanced entertainment/gaming and business/cad productivity and everyday use of course.

    regarding ATI not releasing their spec sheets to HP – seems to be exactly opposite: ATI released their desktop gpu slides to HP far too early obviously…
    these cards are coming at the same time as the mobile ones do, in january.

    heres a first test of a mobility 5650 powered notebook (wah its ugly… i love hp so much because of their design):

    running dirt 2 28fps on mid settings @1080p is quite impressive for a mainstream notebook gpu IMO. especially when my preferred native resolution is a wsxga+ 1680×1050, which then could be run very well, also with higher details.

    • admin December 20, 2009 Reply

      Yes that is indeed quite impressive. Definitely hope HP keeps the 16:10 displays. 1080p on 15 inch (Envy 15) seems a little “squashed” to me, something about the height of the screen that seems unnatural. Having mid to high end “gaming” graphics (ie non-workstation) in the 8440 and 8540 would certainly help. HP needs to realize not everyone wants/can afford workstation class graphics when ‘gaming’ graphics are getting more and more powerful for mainstream application, yet remaining fairly affordable… they can even be soft-modded into workstation graphics (yes, it’s not the real deal, but better than nothing when it comes to CAD apps and work).

      I wonder how Dirt 2 works out on HP’s current offerings. I know Left4Dead 1/2 does about 40 FPS at 1920×1200 VHigh/High/High/High/8X AA on a nasty Elitebook 8730w, and roughly 25+ FPS on a fully-specced 8530w. 3Ds Max and Adobe CS4 perform excellent on both systems. Envy 15 does L4D1/2 at 60 FPS at 1080p, same quality settings as above. If they would just use the ATI 5650 in at least the 8440/8540 (for 1680×1050 or 1600×900 models), that would translate to some remarkable performance results; perhaps less so with a 1920×1200 display

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