HP EliteBook Revolve review: first look

5 Dec 2012

If you're not already sick of hybrid laptop/tablets -- like PC Pro's features editor David Bayon -- HP's adding another one to the pile here in Frankfurt: the business-focused EliteBook Revolve.

Unsurprisingly given the name, the Revolve's 11.6in touchscreen display pivots on a hinge on the rear, swivelling round to be laid flat against the keyboard, turning the device into a tablet. The display is a fraction smaller than the keyboard part, giving it a stacked looked when folded up.

Unfolded, it's a slim, good-looking, Ultrabook-style laptop. It feels light but sturdy; HP says it weighs 1.4kg, which is far heavier than a standalone tablet, but in line with the A-List Asus Zenbook Ultrabook. The device is 22.4mm thick, making it slightly fatter than an Ultrabook, however.

Inside, it'll come with a choice of Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors from the Ivy Bridge generation (not next year's much anticipated Haswell refresh), and up to 256GB of SSD storage, 3G and USB 3 ports.

The 1366 x 768, 11.6in touchscreen seemed sharp enough under the dim show lighting, but the touch capability was oddly missing -- the demo version appeared to be missing the relevant drivers.

The backlit scrabble tile keyboard and touchpad were working, however, allowing us to have the briefest of dabbles with Windows 8, but we'll wait until we get a fully working version into our Labs before drawing any firm conclusions on performance.  HP doesn't seem entirely sold on Microsoft's new OS though -- it's intriguingly also offering a Windows 7 Pro version, catering for enterprises that haven't (or won't) make the transition to Windows 8.

Pricing hasn't yet been revealed, and US availability isn't until next March, so details could still change.

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