Surprise, HP just announced a brand new member to their EliteBook line a few minutes ago. Introducing the HP EliteBook Revolve, a convertible tablet that runs Windows 8. On the outside, the EliteBook Revolve looks a lot like a EliteBook 2170p with a 2560p convertible tablet form-factor mixed with a little of HP’s Envy design language sprinkled in.
The Revolve has a chiclet-style keyboard that’s backlit and a fairly large buttonless trackpad (with no pointing stick to be found) and just about all its ports are on the back (2 USB, hopefully both are 3.0, a full-sized Display Port, Ethernet port and charger port that takes the standard-sized HP charger. The EliteBook Revolve also has a combo headphone + microphone jack, microSD slot (yup, microSD, you read that right) and Expansion Port 3 for a docking station on its right side.
On the inside, the EliteBook Revolve has 1 soldered 4 GB RAM module to its motherboard along with an empty RAM slot to add additional memory – something that will delight a lot of folks who have been upset about the fixed/soldered memory in most ultrabooks and thin form-factor machines. There’s going to be a choice of Core i3, i5 and i7 processors with no specifics as to which processor models, though it’s not hard to guess that they will be of the low-voltage variety. The EliteBook Revolve will be available with up to 256 GB of solid-stage storage (though no word on whether it is mSATA or a proprietary solution).
Connectivity options include WiFi, a SIM card slot with antennas for LTE and HSPA+ and NFC support. There’s also TPM which is a must for business users that utilize the EliteBook Revolve for company matters and such.
The EliteBook Revolve lives up to MIL-STD 810G standards and is still made of magnesium-alloy… but on the inside. On the outside, the convertible tablet is covered with a plush-feeling rubber coat that will definitely be more scratch resistant than the brushed metal of previous EliteBook models, though no doubt less industrial looking. The EliteBook Revolve sports an 11.6 inch touchscreen layered with Gorilla Glass. Unfortunately, the resolution is a paltry 1366 x 768 pixels, which is unimpressive, especially for a premium-looking business notebook. The display is also glossy – I think this is the first EliteBook model we’ve seen that lacks a matte or anti-glare display.
The EliteBook Revolve looks awesome, sounds awesome (Especially that expandable RAM slot) and did we mention it even has a quick-access service panel on the underside like its bigger EliteBook siblings (which can be opened via a single switch). Now we’re just secretly hoping that HP will look into bringing that display up to more impressive standards (a Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel 11.6 inch non-touch LCD certainly does exist out there on some competing ultrabooks but we’re wondering if a touch-enabled variant has been in the works by suppliers) by the time they bring the EliteBook Revolve to the market in March.
Yes, March of 2013! That’s a 4 month wait period for us to twiddle our thumbs. HP doesn’t have a price tag for the EliteBook Revolve just yet, but we’re willing to guess a starting price of $1299. What’s your guess? We’re also not sure if this is HP’s answer to folks wanting a successor of the EliteBook 2760p (Which wasn’t updated earlier this year with the rest of the EliteBook family) or if they have an EliteBook 2790p waiting sometime in the 2013 horizon…