Today we are going to take a look at a 14-inch member of HP’s more exquisite business solutions. We are talking about the HP EliteBook 840 G5. You can look at it as the more expensive version of the ProBook 440 G5. For the higher price you get better build quality, more security features and more goodies like the touchscreen and face recognition system.
This particular model comes with several 8th Gen Intel ULV chips to choose from. However, we picked a Core i7-8550U model equipped with a Radeon RX 540 (2GB) and 16 GB of RAM. Actually, the configuration is practically the same (except the screen size obviously) as the EliteBook 850 G5 we tested a couple of days ago. If you are into these type of devices, stay with us to see if the EliteBook 840 G5 suits you well enough.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: http://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-elitebook-840-g5/
HP EliteBook 840 G5 technical specifications table
What’s in the box?
A lot of protection foam is in play inside the box. It surrounds the laptop while the 65W charging unit is placed in a separate compartment.
Design and construction
EliteBook 840 G5 features a high-quality design with aluminum as its main building material. In addition to that, the device feels sturdy and has some weight with its 1.61 kg (3.56 lbs) for the touch version and 1.48 kg (3.27 lbs) for the non-touch. Dimension-wise, it measures at 326 x 234 x 17.9 mm (12.83″ x 9.21″ x 0.70″), which makes it pretty thin.
You can easily open the lid with a single hand. After that, you are met by the glass-protected touch screen panel. On top of it are located the camera, a couple of microphones, as well as the face recognition sensors. As with the bigger model, this one has a pretty strong lid, which is relatively resistant to torsion loads.
Looking at the base, you can see the large speaker grill, housing Bang & Olufsen branded hardware. Underneath is located keyboard that lacks NumPad keys. However, it has a joystick and dedicated mouse buttons beneath. The keyboard is pleasant to type on as it has surprisingly long travel for a device this thin. In addition to that, the feedback is good enough and that leaves us only to mumble about the arrow keys design.
Below the keyboard is a beautiful, fast, and accurate touchpad. It has a glass cover that makes working with it a pleasure. Moreover, there is an NFC antenna embedded into it. On the right, you can see the second biometric security option – the fingerprint reader. It works fast enough and is very accurate. The face recognition sensor itself is fast and secure, but not as fast as the fingerprint.
Last but not least is the I/O. It comprises a single USB 3.0 Type-A with a charging function and a Smart Card reader on the left. They are joined by the hot air exhaust vent. On the other side, things seem more overcrowded. There is the charging port followed by a Thunderbolt 3 port (USB Type-C), a docking connector and an RJ-45 port. Next, we see an HDMI connector as well as another USB 3.0 Type-A port, and a 3.5 mm audio combo jack. There is also a SIM card slot if you are buying the LTE version of this laptop.
Disassembly and maintenance
As we mentioned in the review of the larger HP EliteBook 850 G5 – it is fairly easy to get inside these devices. A set of 8 screws and careful prying up keeps us away from the internals.
In the image below, you can see the cooling solution picked by HP. Sharing two heat pipes between the CPU and GPU already proved insufficient so we don’t expect better results from this device either.
Here are both RAM DIMMs which support up to 32GB DDR4-2400 MHz (2x16GB).
In the following picture, you can see the 512GB Samsung PM981 NVMe SSD. Generally, storage devices are region dependent so you may receive a different SSD from the one we received. It is here that you can also see one of the significant features of the EliteBook 800 series – the ability to change ports.
Last but not least, we got the 3-cell 50Wh battery which is held in place by 5 torx head screws.
HP EliteBook 850 G5 in the configuration we tested is equipped with a Full HD IPS touch-sensitive panel with a model number Chi Mei CMN14D4 (N140HCA-EAC). It has a diagonal of 14.0 inches and a resolution of 1920 x 1080, leading to a pixel pitch of 0.16 x 0.16 mm and a pixel density of 157 ppi, thus making it appear as “Retina” when viewed from at least 56 cm.
Viewing angles are excellent.
We measured a peak brightness of 221 nits in the center of the screen and 212 nits as an average across the surface with 12% maximum deviation. The optimal correlated color temperature in sRGB is 6500K. This device goes very close with 6410K on a white screen and slightly warmer along the grey scale – 6370K. You can see how values change at 142 nits or in other words – 81% brightness.
Values above 4.0 are unwanted and should not be present. The contrast ratio is very good – 1220:1 (1150:1 after calibration).
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
HP EliteBook 840 G5 lacks punchiness in color as it covers only 53% of the sRGB color gamut.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. In the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and reverse.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 26 ms.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
The light emitted from this panel pulsates (uses PWM) up until 60 nits. Moreover, it does it with high enough frequency not to be exceptionally harmful to the eyes. Meaning that the display is comfortable for extended periods of use.
Blue light emissions
Installing of our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
Unsurprisingly, the situation is nearly identical with the larger – 15.6-inch model of the EliteBook 800 G5 series. Although panels from different manufacturers are used, both devices share the same pros and cons, screen-wise. Good contrast, comfortable viewing angles on the bright side – poor color reproduction and slightly presence of PWM – on the other. However, PWM is not aggressive and you can dismiss it completely with the help of our Health-Guard profile.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package is meant for HP EliteBook 840 G5 configurations with 14.0″ Chi Mei CMN14D4 (N140HCA-EAC (Full HD, 1920 x 1080) IPS screen and the laptop can be found at: Buy from Amazon.com
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
HP EliteBook 840 G5 has a crisp sound with clear low, mid and high frequencies.
HP EliteBook 840 G5 comes with a 64-bit version of Windows 10, thus you get all drivers and security utilities preinstalled. However, if you ever need to reinstall you can find the drivers here: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-elitebook-840-g5-notebook-pc/18491271
As always, the battery tests were run with Windows power saving setting turned and Wi-Fi turned on, and the screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits. Being equipped with a 50Wh battery and an Ultra-Low Voltage CPU suggests a good amount of time on battery power. We proved that right with around 11 hours of web browsing and 8 hours of video playback. However, if you are optimistic enough to play games away from the plug, it will set you at two hours flat.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
CPU – Intel Core i7-8550U
The Intel Core i7-8550U is part of the new 8th Generation Kaby Lake Refresh and it’s a direct successor to the Intel Core i7-7500U from the Kaby Lake generation and the Intel Core i7-6500U from the 6th Skylake generation. With the latest alteration to the ULV (ultra-low voltage) processors, Intel doubles the core count from 2 to 4 and retaining the so-called Hyper-Threading technology, keeping the same 14nm manufacturing process and feature the same 15W TDP.
However, due to the core count change, the base frequency of the Core i7-8550U is lowered to only 1.8 GHz while Turbo Boost frequencies remain pretty high – somewhere between 3.7 – 4.0 GHz. This ensures considerably higher multi-core and single-core performance during short workloads before going back to more bearable frequencies considering the 15W TDP but most of the other specs and features remain the same.
The chip also incorporates a newer Intel Gen 9.5 integrated graphics called Intel UHD Graphics 620. The support for Google’s VP9 codec and H.265/HEVC Main 10 is still the most notable feature of the iGPU. Intel claims that the new UHD 620 chips improve the overall power consumption compared to the previous one.
You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/
HP EliteBook 840 G5 CPU variants
Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the HP EliteBook 840 G5 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which HP EliteBook 840 G5 model is the best bang for your buck.
Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
GPU – AMD Radeon RX 540 (2GB GDDR5)
AMD Radeon RX 540 is based on the Polaris architecture and consists of 8 CUs, 16 ROPs, 32 Texture Units and 512 Stream Processors. According to AMD it can go up to 1219 MHz on demand and comes in two variants – 2GB and 4GB GDDR5 memory.
Radeon RX 540’s memory works at 6000 MHz effective and is build on a 128-bit interface. The memory bandwidth is 96 GB/s. This graphics card supports DirectX 12.0, H264/H265/HEVC encoding and 4K on 60Hz via the HDMI port.
You can browse through our top GPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
As with the larger model, EliteBook 840 G5 is equipped with a Samsung PM981 512GB NVMe SSD. While the model of the storage device may differ in some regions, we are pretty sure your unit is going to arrive with an NVMe drive. The model we tested was able to reach 3378.5 MB/s Read speeds and up to 2005.5 MB/s Write which is exceptional.
If you are interested in some minor gaming, you won’t be disappointed by this device. Unfortunately, you can’t disable Vsync, so framerate will be locked. However, the EliteBook 840 G5 maintained solid 60 fps in GTA V with 768p resolution and lowest eye-candy. Moreover, 60 fps were reached in DOTA 2 with Full HD and low graphics settings without overloading the system which means there will be less noise from the fan.
The temperature tests go this way. We use Prime95 and FurMark to torture the CPU and the GPU respectively. This won’t give real-life representation but with our methodology, we try to give you the most optimal results.
The first values from the test are from the 30th second of running the Prime95 stress test, which simulates a heavy task run on your computer (usually lighter tasks take from a part of the second up to a couple of seconds). Next, we take the ones from the 2nd-minute mark, which imitates a very heavy task, run on the CPU. The last values we give you are the ones at the end of the test, which is 15 minutes, simulating the CPU load when rendering a video, for example.
0-15 min. CPU torture test
The 4-core 8-thread Intel Core i7-8550U was idling at 43°C. However, it reached 84°C in the first 10 seconds of torture, which bumped the frequencies from 3.2 GHz down to 1.8 – 1.9 GHz. As a result, the CPU cooled down a little to around 63C.
During the second period (the first two minutes of the test) the device maintained a rather disappointing 1.9 GHz, especially given the temperature which was around 61-62°C. This means there is a lot of headroom and the capabilities of this laptop are not utilized fully.
Moreover, this trend continued to the end of the test, although the frequencies were fluctuating between 1.9 and 2.0 GHz. However, the temperatures were still stable at 63°C. Despite the drawbacks, this approach to thermal handling has one significant advantage – the device remains relatively silent even at extreme loads. This is extremely important in the segment the EliteBook 840 G5 is part of.
0-30 min. GPU torture test
Moving our heads to the AMD Radeon RX 540, we see no difference when compared to the EliteBook 850 G5 at all. Again, at the beginning frequencies fluctuated from 750 MHz to 900 MHz and after a couple of minutes – Bam! Thermal throttling. From that moment to the end of the stress test, frequencies were somewhere between 300 and 350 MHz. Temperature-wise, we got an average of 63.5°C, which is aimed at keeping noise low.
Looking at the surface temperatures, we can assume that EliteBook 840 G5 might also use its body for heat dissipation. As a result, the whole base was warmer than 30°C with the hottest point being in the middle of the keyboard. This itself is not very pleasant but keep in mind this temperature is reached at extreme loads.
With the fifth generation of EliteBook 800 devices, HP is aiming to conquer the whole range of the business segment. However, if it really wants to do so it should give its best – without compromises. Unfortunately for HP, this is not yet the case. While it is fascinating how the EliteBook 840 G5 feels exactly the same as the EliteBook 850 G5 in day to day work, we can’t help but note the identical setbacks.
Once again we have a terrible thermal management that is aimed at lowering the sound from the fan. Usually, the approach is to speed up the fan and lower the frequencies after things get too hot. Here, however, expect longer video rendering times, because the EliteBook doesn’t want to disturb you. Although in some cases this is definitely a benefit, we still find it disappointing.
However, there is only one more drawback that is not connected to the cooling and this is the poor color range. Covering only 54% of sRGB, this is not the best choice for web designers and people whose work is color sensitive. However, for the rest of us – mortals – it is a pretty little screen. As you would expect from an IPS panel – it has a very high contrast ratio as well as good viewing angles. Moreover, it lacks PWM above 60 nits and before that it has a high enough frequency, which means it will not harm your eyes too much. If you want to get completely rid of it, of course, you can get our Health-Guard profile.
In the end, we can say that this is one of the best business laptops for general purpose. It is extremely fast in day-to-day tasks as well as in programs like Adobe Photoshop. In addition to that, the build quality is exquisite and you have the opportunity to upgrade like crazy. However, there is the competition of Acer Swift 5 and one of the best business devices – Dell XPS 13 9370, both having distinctive features that set them apart from the rest. So if you are at a crossroads – think smart!
- Very good input devices
- High contrast screen with comfortable viewing angles
- Easy to get inside and upgrade
- PWM-free across all brightness levels
- Supports super fast NVMe storage
- Backlit keyboard
- Battery life is on point
- Core i7-8550U underperforms in raw benchmarks
- Heavy price tag
- Thermal management is terrible
- Gets warm on the surface under heavy load
- Mediocre color range