The HP EliteBook 8760w is a massive desktop-replacement 17 inch Mobile Workstation. It is HP’s flagship notebook for the 2011 model lineup. At 1.47 inches thick and a footprint of 16.4 by 10.7 inches, this isn’t a machine you would want to carry to Starbucks and on your shoulder all day (well I guess if you worked in the comfy offices of Dreamworks, which happens to be my dream I hope to accomplish one day, you wouldn’t need to and the 8760w can just sit on your desk all day with the occasional trip to the meeting room).
The EliteBook 8760w is also MIL-STD 810G business-rugged and has a gunmetal gray exterior design. Having been a user of the now-outdated EliteBook 8740w for 5 months (and used other various other models), I can testify that fact: the EliteBooks are built like tanks and run like sports cars.
Just like the 8460w and 8560w, the EliteBook 8760w utilizes Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors; letting you pick from the 2.5 GHz dual core Core i5-2520M all the way up to the 2.3 GHz quad core Core i7-2820QM. A fact that will delight many is the very powerful 2.5 GHz quad core Core i7-2920XM Extreme Edition processor IS an option on the EliteBook 8760w. You get two DDR3 1333 MHz RAM slots with any dual-core processor and four with any quad-core option.
Unique to the EliteBook 8760w are two 2.5 inch storage drive bays which you can populate with any hard disk and solid state drive combination. You can also have up to three (!) storage drives if you replace the removable DVD drive with an optional disk bay (you can also go for optional Blu-ray drive and ‘dummy drive’ options instead). The HP EliteBook 8760w officially supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5.
The EliteBook 8760w gives not one, not two, not three, but a whopping four workstation-class graphics options. It’s interesting to note that the AMD option here is the same as the one available for the smaller EliteBook 8560w… will we see a flagship AMD FirePro M7850 in the future? Time will tell… Going from low to high, here are the graphics card options:
- 1 GB GDDR5 AMD FirePro M5950
- 2 GB GDDR5 Nvidia Quadro 3000M
- 2 GB GDDR5 Nvidia Quadro 4000M
- 4 GB GDDR5 Nvidia Quadro 5010M
Most noteworthy is Nvidia’s flagship workstation-class graphics card for notebooks: the Quadro 5010M with an insane 4 GB of memory and pipelines/clock rates that will blow your mind (and rival most high end desktop cards). While the lower three options will be available when the EliteBook 8760w becomes available in May, you’ll have to enjoy summer for a little while and wait till June if you want that juicy Quadro 5010M.
AMD’s Eyefinity technology will allow you to connect an AMD graphics equipped 8760w to up to five external monitors, but again, no word on the number of external monitors the Nvidia options will support. There is also no mention of switchable graphics on the EliteBook 8760w.
Just like on the other two EliteBooks, there are only two display output ports on the 8760w (VGA and Display Port). If you want to really connect all five displays to the EliteBook 8760w, you’ll have to shell out for an optional docking station that HP has to offer.
One of the biggest (and most disappointing changes) is the display of the EliteBook 8760w. While it’s nice HP is giving the 17.3 inch panel of the EliteBook 8760w 1600 x 900 ‘basic’ resolution, with the option to step up to a Full HD 1920 x 1080 option, and step up again to a Full HD DreamColor display (a color-precise display for working with photos and videos), the new 16:9 ratio of the screen is a definite downgrade in terms of height and resolution compared to the EliteBook 8730w and 8740w models which have 16:10 ratio displays up to 1920 x 1200 resolution. You may shrug at a ‘mere’ 120 pixels of difference but power users and 16:10 loyalists can and definitely will notice the difference. Using an EliteBook 8740w myself, I can notice the difference and prefer its 1200 pixel height over the 1152 pixel height of an external Dell display I have.
The EliteBook 8760w has a new full-chiclet style keyboard (which continues to give you an optional backlit keyboard option), orange pointing stick, larger multi-touch trackpad and does away with the 8740w’s touch sensitive controls by replacing them with hardware keys.
I’ve got both good news and bad news. The good news is the EliteBook 8760w will have that cool circular radial metal finish and backlit HP logo… but the bad news is you will also get that cheesy silver bar at the bottom of the notebook like on the 8560w. Maybe HP is saving a true “all black” design for the 2012 EliteBook 8770w =) !
The EliteBook 8760w shares the same port selection as its smaller 15 inch sibling; having 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 ports (one of them is an ‘always-on’ port, for charging devices when the PC 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 gave an unofficial battery life quote of 4 hours for the EliteBook 8760w with its 8 cell battery, which sounds a little optimistic because the EliteBook 8740w I use (which shares the same battery type) gives me about 2 hours of light use on a new battery. You can extend battery life with the optional secondary 8 or 12 cell battery options, but I’m not sure if you’re going to be going anywhere far for more than a few hours with the EliteBook 8760w’s 7.8 pound (3.5 kg) weight.
The EliteBook 8760w start selling in May, starting at $1900.