The HP EliteBook 8460w is the newly announced Mobile Workstation model from today. Having a 14 inch screen and measuring not much larger than a traditional document (about 13 by 9 inches), it’s the smallest of HP’s Mobile Workstation models. In terms of design, it resembles its “p-series” twin, the EliteBook 8460p, except it has a gunmetal-gray design.
The EliteBook 8460w is meets MIL-STD 810G “military standards” which is just a really fancy way of saying “business rugged”. HP says the DuraCase construction of the notebook has been tested against drops, vibrations, dust, altitude and high temperature; and specifically talk about the aluminum-alloy hinges and titanium alloy latches this new notebook has (The construction of the preceding 8440w’s hinges and latches is unknown, presumably metal, but it was already pretty solid!)
The EliteBook 8460w will feature options for Intel’s new Sandy Bridge dual core Core i5 processors as well as dual and quad core Core i7 processors, two DDR3 1333 MHz RAM slots (regardless of processor choice) and a single 2.5 inch storage drive bay.
That 14 inch display is one with a 16:9 “widescreen” (ugh!) ratio with your choice of standard 1366 x 768 resolution or high-resolution 1600 x 900 option. These two options appear to be carried over (highly likely the same display panel) from its predecessor, the EliteBook 8440w.
The EliteBook 8460w comes standard with a 1 GB GDDR3 AMD FirePro M3900 workstation-class graphics card and does not have switchable graphics. The graphics card, however, supports multiple display output (AMD Eyefinity) up to four external monitors.
Like all HP’s EliteBook models of the past, the EliteBook 8460w will continue to be compatible with an optional docking station, extended secondary batteries (available in 8 cell or 12 cell capacities) and features an upgrade bay (You can replace the original DVD drive with a Blu-ray drive, secondary hard disk or a blank filler to save weight).
What’s changed on the EliteBook 8460w is the introduction of a new full-chiclet style keyboard (versus partial chiclet on the EliteBook 8440w, though the keyboard layout remains unchanged), an orange colored pointing stick, larger multi-touch trackpad and replacement of the touch-sensitive control strip above the keyboard with hardware keys to HP Quick Web, wireless on/off and mute functions. There is also an updated lid latching system and relocation of the ambient light sensor to the top of the screen (near the webcam), a smart move. The speakers also now have “SRS Premium Sound” branding but we’ll see how good they are when we review the notebook.
Connectivity options include 2 USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 ‘always-on’ port (so you can charge devices like your phone while the 8460w is off), USB 2.0 + eSATA combo port, dedicated headphone and microphone jacks, Firewire, VGA, Display Port, Express Card 54 and SD/MMC slot. HP is quiet so far on whether the EliteBook 8460w will support super high capacity SDXC cards.
Unlike its bigger brothers, the EliteBook 8560w and EliteBook 8760w which have backlit keyboards, the EliteBook 8460w continues to sport the HP Night Light (a small LED light above the display that shines down on the keyboard) and no backlit keyboard.
In terms of weight, the HP EliteBook 8460w is very light, weighing in at 4.9 pounds or 2.2 kg without an optical drive, and 5.2 pounds or 2.4 kg with one.
HP’s unofficial battery life estimate from their press conference is “6 to 7 hours” for the EliteBook 8460w on its 6 cell battery. You can replace the primary 6 cell battery with a 9 cell one, or add on a second 8 or 12 cell battery to greatly extend battery life.
The EliteBook 8460w will start shipping in May with a starting price of $1300.