Breaking: HP Elitebook 8740w pic, specs and prices hit HP USA!

HP Elitebook 8740w FINALLY makes its appearance

Don’t say we didn’t tell you something big was coming in mid-end March, because we did! And now it’s here: the HP Elitebook 8740w has just appeared on HP’s USA website – complete with a profile picture, half a dozen pre-built configurations and specifications, including ATI FirePro M7820 professional workstation class graphics appearing in its full glory. You can have one for yourself (the most basic model, of course) for a fairly affordable $1,999, while the almost-fully kitted out Core i7 quad model will cost you $3,899.

We expect prices for certain configurations to be able to hit the $5000 mark and over once more pre-built or configure to order models are released, especially with options for up to Core i7 Extreme (no word yet on whether it’ll be last year’s Intel Core i7 920XM quad core or the forthcoming Core i7 940XM quad core), backlit keyboard, Dream Color 2 and up to 16 GB of DDR3 RAM.

What puzzles me at the moment is why the seemingly high-end ATI FirePro M7820 is available only in the two lower end/cheaper configurations featuring regular Intel Core i5 processors and just 2 GB of RAM… I mean, ATI has always been affordable (versus Nvidia) in most cases, but the huge $1,000 price difference we’re seeing on the pre-built models? That’s just because you’re not getting Core i7 and loads of RAM that the Nvidia Quadro 8740w models have… and that sure makes one wonder WHY?!

And the magical question asked by people who DON’T want/need a 17 inch workstation-class laptop – will HP share some of the Core i7 Extreme and ATI FirePro love with the existing HP Elitebook 8440w and 8540w models? Quite likely.

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21 Comments

  1. Chema March 23, 2010 Reply

    At last the beast made its appearance to the world…

    I love the new design, is one of the most sleek designs I’ve ever seen. It is really a “desire object”.

    The keyboard seems very well designed, even with the Windows Context Menu hot key (on the right of the ALT GR key) and light indicators for CAPS LOCK and NUM LOCK status. The point stick has their own keys, in addition to the touchpad keys. Almost there is no need to use an external mouse. Wow.

    But some critisicing comes here. The RJ-11 port could have been a 5th USB port, since nowadays nobody use a dial-up connection (AFAIK).

    And about the rumoured DreamColor 2 panel features, I think Brad you have got right again. According to the “Benefits” section of the Flash presentation, DreamColor (no mention to 2nd version) will be a 30-bit color panel, with “CRT-class black” and “programmable white”. I hope the programmed color spaces are useful and well pre-calibrated.

    There is something is puzzling me a bit. Now, the “Workstation-caliber” subsection of the “Benefits” section claims the 4 DIMM slots will be only available in certain localizations, but not the backlit keyboard (unrestricted), as the opposite of the HP UK web site. May it be a mistake in the “Disclaimer”?

    All in all, the first impression is very good (I was hoping pretty much this). Let’s see which are the SSD’s shipped with the machine. My main concern is the TRIM support as you know…

  2. Tim March 23, 2010 Reply

    Looks like the 8540w is now showing ATI FirePro M5800 graphics with 1 GB dedicated DDR3 video memory on the summary page.

  3. Chema March 24, 2010 Reply

    Configure to order models are already available on the HP USA website -> http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/pscmisc/vac/us/en/sm/notebooks/8740w.html .

    DreamColor RGB LED panel (Full HD) is already available, but I cannot know if is DC1 or DC2. Also the ATi FirePro M7820 card is cheaper than the Quadro FX2800M. It’s very odd… Is the ATi lower than the Quadro’s?

    For SSD options, only is available a 256G SSD as primary hard drive. You can include a 7200RPM 500G hard drive as the second one.

  4. Jeff March 25, 2010 Reply

    Owners Lounge thread is here:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=470406

    Ordered my 8740w this morning. Sales rep said I was one of the first orders.

  5. John A. March 25, 2010 Reply

    HP has finally put the QuickSpecs of the 8740w on the web site:

    http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13543_na/13543_na.html

    A PDF is available at the site, too.

    I notice that the QuickSpecs says the optional DreamColor screen will be available in May 2010. Since the QuickSpecs don’t include specs of the DreamColor screen, I can’t compare its specs to the 8730w DreamColor.

    – J –

  6. John A. March 26, 2010 Reply

    Just reading the press release about the 8740w (http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2010/100324xa.html) and came across this tidbit that’s about the 8540w:

    “The recently announced HP EliteBook 8540w Mobile Workstation also is now available with optional DreamColor display or with the new of ATI FirePro M7820 graphics adapter.”

    Not to split hairs about the writing but I wonder if this is an ‘exclusive or’ and that the DreamColor is only available with the NVidia graphics and not with the ATI. Or I’m reading too much into it. We’ll see, I suppose.

    – J –

  7. Thecla March 30, 2010 Reply

    I’m pretty confused by the ATI M7820 pricing — I have two quotes from HP with identical machines (i7 820 QM, SSD, WUXGA Dreamcolor (DC1 I assume) display…) except for the GPU, and the M7820-system really is $800 cheaper than the 3800M-system. It seems like a non-brainer to choose the ATI if the gpus really are comparable, but even ATI doesn’t have any infor on the M7820 on their web site.

  8. rex March 30, 2010 Reply

    Anyone want to venture a guess if or when HP will offer the i7-920XM processor to make the 8740W compete head-to-head with the highest end Dell M6500?

  9. Chema March 30, 2010 Reply

    @rex:
    My guess is mid-april, and the model will be the 920XM (according to the quick specs).

    Actually the 8740w is not “officially” released yet. Its official launch is programmed for april (although orders can be already taken in the USA and some countries in Europe).

  10. HP Fan March 31, 2010 Reply

    I hope I can finaly disclose Ati mystical GPU in 8740w, as first 8740w models are coming in on stock. I’ll pick up the only model with M7820 graphics (entry model WD936EA)tommorrow and test 3D Mark 06, and see what Gpu-Z is showing for the card. I’m pretty sure that FX38000 is well outside the reach of this Ati card. But if it catches FX2800 it would be very nice indeed, as that would be price/performance sweetspot.
    As for DC2 display it will be again exclusive to only NV quadro cards, yes it will be 30bit IPS panel. i7-920XM is allready available in my top config program for ordering.
    ps. Chema, look closer in quick specs, 4 dimm is only available with quad cpu’s.
    I’m also eagrely waiting first samples of new ordered Elitebooks with 160G SSD, to see if they ship with Intel G2 drives that support trim and are currently best in class.
    As for 8540w, I still can’t start ordering top config with M5800 graphics, this is also the gpu, that no one know detailed specs, and price point.

  11. Chema March 31, 2010 Reply

    @HP fan:
    Yes, but I said the 4 SODIMM slots, according to HP USA website, will be available only on certain localizations, i.e., countries, not processors. I already knew the 4 slots are only available with quad-core processors. I think is a design restriction (perhaps of the QM-57 chipset).

    And it’s really a shame the M7820 video card will not support the DreamColor 2 screen. Are you completely sure?? I’ve seen on the ATI/AMD website that the FirePro models support full 30 bit rendering…

  12. Thecla March 31, 2010 Reply

    The HP sales rep I asked said that as far as she could find out (and they, perhaps, know less about it than their potential customers 😉 ) the ATI M7820 is comparable with the Quadro FX 3800, and if it is built off the Radeon 5870 that’s what you’d expect. (The Firepro M7740 is already comparable with the FX 2800.)

    Wonder what premium the DC2 display is going to command though.

  13. Chema March 31, 2010 Reply

    @Thecla:

    Thanks for the info. Did you ask to your sales rep if the M7820 will be compatible with the new DreamColor 2 panel?

    BTW, I believe the DC2 panel will cost a *lot* of money. Bear in mind that this panel will be a TRUE 10-bit IPS panel, something *UNIQUE* in a laptop screen (only comparable to FlexView IPS laptop screens of older Thinkpads), like its big brother, the HP LP2480zx (which costs about $2000, and can emulate several color spaces with high precision. Indeed, I think only Very High-End Eizos can achieve this). It’s the price you pay for the best image quality you can get in the market. But if you can afford this thing (I mean DC2), you’ll get an almost PERFECT sRGB emulation on a wide gamut screen, that is, NO more oversaturated colors when working outside color managed environments (Photoshop, Firefox 3, and a few applications more). The old 8-bit TN panel used in DreamColor 1 and the Dell Precision M6500 suffers the oversaturation issue and, according to the reading of several posts related to both, its calibration is a pain in the ass (specially the Dell’s).

  14. HP Fan April 1, 2010 Reply

    @ Chema
    Look at worldwide quick specs, 4 dimm slot depends only on quad cpu, 100% sure that it doesn’t depend on localization. Also chipset got nothing to do with that, as QM-57 is in all configurations. As for DC2, I have inside info that it will only be available for NV quadro models, thats also shame for me, but never the less. DC2 is for DCC,DTP pro users where NV quadro usualy have much better support and optimizations, and also 100% sure that there will be another graphics card added to 8740w series later in the year, probably based on new fermi mobile quadros.

    OK back to 8740w and Ati FirePro M7820, I just tested first sample of this notebook with i5-520M M7820 wsxga configuration (entry model in our contry)
    The first thing I did is fireup the latest GPU-z, what a surprise, only blank data in almost all squares, only gpu clock at 700MHz and memory clock at 1000MHz, then I fired up 3D mark 06, default test, and yeeeeeesssssssssssss, this entry configuration scored 12249 point, and ORB recognized graphics as Mobility Radeon M5870, this score is better then my 8730 home system with quadro FX3700. So gamer fan rejoice, as entry graphic in 8740w is one serious gaming card. Still I believe that for professional users Quadros are still better card but also more power hungry. One note on display, again I’m very surprised in quality of this standard LED backlit wsxga display, I compared viewing angle to my DC1 display in 8730w and I have to say they are better, yes colors are better on my older display but never the less, it is not bad at all, and I could even missed DC2 in Ati configuration , and for price differential rather choose,more memory, SSD, quad cpu and other options, that would make such notebook serious machine for average user more focused on gaming and not so DTP,DCC,CAD,CAM
    Also I have to congrats HP on much improved display lid button, as this notebook lid closed much more smother than my 8730w. So all in all 8740w look beautiful, slightly wider (1cm) than 8730w, and is definetly my next system 🙂

  15. rex April 1, 2010 Reply

    Thank you, for the info. So does that mean the rumored/ hoped for 940XM is off the charts, for now?

  16. Chema April 1, 2010 Reply

    @rex:
    The Quick specs only refers the 920XM as the “Extreme Edition” option, so I think yes (so far).

    @HP fan:
    Thanks for all the info. It seems you are one of the few privileged users who are testing the 8740w before its official launch. BTW, you claim the ATI solution will not be compatible with the DC2 screen. Do you have access to the tech specs of the M7820? (on the AMD/ATI website is not mentioned). If so, please see if the card supports 10-bit color component output, because I bet this is the key feature to work with the DC2 panel (I don’t know if GPU-Z can show this type of info).

  17. Chema April 7, 2010 Reply

    Hi all,

    I have breaking news right now!

    The ATI FirePro M7820 WILL be compatible with the DreamColor screen (it will support 30-bit color rendering), it’s already confirmed. Also it’s confirmed the new DreamColor screen WILL be a TRUE 10-bit IPS panel.

    In fact, when you are configuring the 8740w on the HP website with the “DreamColor panel”, indeed you are ordering the NEW panel! An user ordered a configuration with these components earlier this month and its order has been pushed to April 29th. The HP representative claimed the DreamColor option will be available later this month.

    All in all, it seems the new DreamColor panel will be affordable! 🙂 (with a price similar to the old one).

    Info source: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=470406&page=15

    Wooohooo! The BEST screen for, possibly, the BEST laptop!
    Good one HP!! 😉

    Sorry HP Fan, but your info was wrong (hopefully) :p

  18. Aikimox April 13, 2010 Reply

    @HP Fan,
    Could please report the CPU and especially GPU temperatures when at load (gaming, stress-testing,etc)?
    Thank You

  19. Ghuru April 15, 2010 Reply

    Hi,
    I would also very much like to know how hot does the M7820 get when running the 3Dmark06 or Vantage.
    Could someone post their findings, please?
    You could try HWinfo32/HWMonitor/Everest to monitor your temps, though I’m not sure which one will detect the card 100%.

  20. Michelle April 20, 2010 Reply

    I hope I can finaly disclose Ati mystical GPU in 8740w, as first 8740w models are coming in on stock. I’ll pick up the only model with M7820 graphics (entry model WD936EA)tommorrow and test 3D Mark 06, and see what Gpu-Z is showing for the card. I’m pretty sure that FX38000 is well outside the reach of this Ati card. But if it catches FX2800 it would be very nice indeed, as that would be price/performance sweetspot.
    As for DC2 display it will be again exclusive to only NV quadro cards, yes it will be 30bit IPS panel. i7-920XM is allready available in my top config program for ordering.
    ps. Chema, look closer in quick specs, 4 dimm is only available with quad cpu’s.
    I’m also eagrely waiting first samples of new ordered Elitebooks with 160G SSD, to see if they ship with Intel G2 drives that support trim and are currently best in class.
    As for 8540w, I still can’t start ordering top config with M5800 graphics, this is also the gpu, that no one know detailed specs, and price point.

  21. steve m8o May 5, 2010 Reply

    I’ve never been more excited about a laptop/mobile workstation. I put in an order for a machine about 100% more expensive than the high-side of my budget, ordered with the DC2 screen of course.

    And now I expect the order to either get cancelled on me, or I may be forced to cancel, as the DC2 screen has been discontinued before ever hitting the streets [likely due to that LG loss to AUO on the patent infringement _-LG-_ initiated and pressed forward with ]. HP salesfolks are telling buyers the $500 cheaper VG321AV screen is “the same” as the VG322AV DreamColor2 screen… unless you really hold their feet to the fire and try to make them prove it, after which they’re like “ooh, my bad”.

    -steve

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