HP EliteBook 650 G9 review

HP’s EliteBook brand is a far more recognizable business notebook among the high profile user. It is very reliable and feels really premium. Now, the EliteBook 650 G9, which we have with us today, is something that feels a bit in the gray zone.

Ever since HP makes the business 600 series, it has been calling it a ProBook. However, in 2022, it transferred the model to the more premium EliteBook family. We are yet to see if the laptop belongs to the ProBook, or can really be considered as an EliteBook.

Looking at the specs sheet, we get positive notes. You can find the machine with 15W or 28W Alder Lake processors. You can even configure it with a dedicated graphics card, which would be the NVIDIA GeForce MX570.

According to HP, this laptop can still be found with a 768p TN display option. This is not what an EliteBook should look like, and we strongly advise you to skip this panel. Instead, go for the 1080p IPS device.

Before giving any advice, though, it would be good to know what we are in for. Let’s take a dive into this review, and see if you should even consider having it.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-elitebook-650-g9/

Contents


Specs Sheet

HP EliteBook 650 G9 - Specs

  • LG LGD071E
  • Color accuracy  4.5  4.1
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 512GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 1x 2280 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 + 1x 2230 M.2 PCIe  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 16GB
  • OS
  • Windows 11 Pro, Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Home
  • Battery
  • 51Wh, 3-cell, 42.75Wh
  • Body material
  • Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 359.4 x 233.9 x 19.9 mm (14.15" x 9.21" x 0.78")
  • Weight
  • 1.74 kg (3.8 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), Sleep and Charge
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 4.0, Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 2.0
  • Card reader
  • Nano SIM
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.2
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • HD / FHD / IR
  • Backlit keyboard
  • optional
  • Microphone
  • Dual Array Microphones
  • Speakers
  • Dual Stereo Speakers
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot
  • Kensington Lock

What’s in the box?

Inside this device’s packaging, we found some paperwork, as well as a 45W power adapter. There is also a 65W charger supplied with high-power models.


Design and construction

Unlike the “real” EliteBooks out there, the 650 G9 doesn’t come with curved edges. Instead, it features a body, ripped off the ProBook 450 G9. Again, it weighs 1.74 kg and has a profile of 19.9mm.

Although both the lid and the base show some flex, when we tried twisting them, it is definitely not too much. Both panels are made out of aluminum, which feels cool to the touch.

Here, the lid can be opened with a single hand. Once you do that, you will see thin bezels all around it. Well, the top one is a bit thicker, but it houses the HD Web camera with its privacy shutter. The device is also offered with an IR face recognition scanner as an option.

Moving to the base, we see the speaker grill right above the keyboard. By the way, the keyboard is both backlit and spill-resistant. It also features pretty good key travel, and clicky feedback, making it a really good unit for typing.

On the right side of the palm rest area, there is a fingerprint reader. The touchpad, on the other hand, is placed in its orthodox position. It comes with a pretty smooth surface, adequate response, and relatively accurate tracking.

Looking at the bottom panel, we see only the ventilation grill. Hot air, respectively, is being exhausted through a vent in between the base and the lid.

Ports

On the left side of the machine, you will find a security lock slot, followed by a LAN port, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an optional Smart Card reader. Then, on the right, you get the power plug, a USB4 (Thunderbolt 4) connector with Power Delivery and DisplayPort 1.4 functions, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, an HDMI 2.0 connector, an Audio jack, and an optional SIM card tray.


Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

To open this notebook, you need to undo a total of 5 Phillips-head screws. Three of them are captive and will remain attached to the bottom panel. After that, take a plastic tool and pry the panel, starting around the hinge gaps.

Our configuration is equipped with a 42.75Wh battery pack. It lasts for 9 hours of Web browsing, or 7 hours of video playback. To remove it, unplug the connector from the motherboard, and undo all 6 Phillips-head screws that keep it in place.

Here, we see two SODIMM slots for up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, working in dual-channel mode. Storage-wise, there is one M.2 PCIe x4 slot that supports both Gen 3 and Gen 4 SSDs. There is a second M.2 PCIe slot, which fits either a WWAN card or a secondary SSD.

This laptop’s cooling comprises a single heat pipe, a heat sink, and a fan.


Display quality

HP EliteBook 650 G9 in our configuration is equipped with a 60Hz Full HD IPS panel with a model number LG LGD071E. Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution is 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

The viewing angles are excellent. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The measured maximum brightness of 259 nits in the middle of the screen and 252 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 8%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6440K – almost matching the sRGB standard of 6500K.

In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is good – 1140:1.

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 on HDTV and 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.

The yellow dotted line shows HP EliteBook 650 G9’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 51% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

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 in factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of the HP EliteBook 650 G9 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

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. On 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 vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 28 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


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.

HP EliteBook 650 G9’s display doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness levels at any point. This makes it comfortable for use during long work periods, without harming your eyes in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing 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.

Gloss level measurement

Glossy-coated displays are sometimes inconvenient in high ambient light conditions. We show the level of reflection on the screen for the respective laptop when the display is turned off and the measurement angle is 60° (in this case, the result is 22.8 GU).


Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for HP EliteBook 650 G9 configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS LG LGD071E.

*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

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.

Health-Guard

Health-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.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

HP EliteBook 650 G9’s speakers produce a sound of average quality. We found slight deviations across the entire frequency spectrum.


Drivers

All drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-elitebook-650-15.6-inch-g9-notebook-pc/2101000640/model/2101314688

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with the Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. Our configuration is equipped with a 42.75Wh battery pack. It lasts for 9 hours and 15 minutes of Web browsing, or 7 hours and 17 minutes of video playback.


CPU options

This device can be found with a Core i3-1215U, Core i5-1235U, Core i5-1245U, Core i7-1255U, Core i7-1265U, or the more powerful Core i5-1250P, and Core i7-1270P.


GPU options

In terms of graphics, you can decide to stay with the integrated Intel UHD Graphics, or Iris Xe Graphics, or go for the dedicated option, which is the NVIDIA GeForce MX570.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 34 fps 20 fps – fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 60 fps 30 fps 17 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average P-core frequency; Average E-core frequency; CPU temp.; Package Power

Intel Core i5-1235U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
HP EliteBook 650 G9 3.26 GHz @ 2.80 GHz @ 89°C @ 45W 2.63 GHz @ 2.39 GHz @ 91°C @ 32W 2.25 GHz @ 2.15 GHz @ 79°C @ 24W
Dell Latitude 15 3530 2.97 GHz @ 2.60 GHz @ 87°C @ 34W 2.64 GHz @ 2.43 GHz @ 88°C @ 30W 2.37 GHz @ 2.29 GHz @ 80°C @ 25W
HP 470 G9 1.43 GHz @ 1.39 GHz @ 54°C @ 15W 1.43 GHz @ 1.39 GHz @ 57°C @ 15W 1.44 GHz @ 1.39 GHz @ 64°C @ 15W
HP EliteBook 640 G9 3.27 GHz @ 2.77 GHz @ 90°C @ 45W 2.53 GHz @ 2.32 GHz @ 90°C @ 30W 2.32 GHz @ 2.17 GHz @ 74°C @ 24W
HP EliteBook 840 G9 3.09 GHz @ 2.75 GHz @ 83°C @ 46W 2.73 GHz @ 2.46 GHz @ 89°C @ 37W 1.58 GHz @ 1.67 GHz @ 61°C @ 17W
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 4 3.28 GHz @ 2.77 GHz @ 84°C @ 44W 3.18 GHz @ 2.77 GHz @ 90°C @ 44W 2.49 GHz @ 2.28 GHz @ 77°C @ 28W
HP Pavilion Plus 14 (14-eh0000) 2.85 GHz @ 2.43 GHz @ 77°C @ 39W 2.34 GHz @ 2.10 GHz @ 75°C @ 29W 1.84 GHz @ 1.79 GHz @ 65°C @ 20W
Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (15″, 2022) 3.60 GHz @ 3.08 GHz @ 73°C @ 55W 3.44 GHz @ 2.95 GHz @ 88°C @ 51W 2.80 GHz @ 2.49 GHz @ 69°C @ 35W
Lenovo ThinkPad L14 Gen 3 3.20 GHz @ 2.77 GHz @ 83°C @ 44W 3.10 GHz @ 2.71 GHz @ 94°C @ 43W 1.89 GHz @ 1.95 GHz @ 72°C @ 20W
Acer Aspire Vero (AV14-51) 3.63 GHz @ 2.87 GHz @ 84°C @ 55W 2.73 GHz @ 2.36 GHz @ 81°C @ 33W 2.49 GHz @ 2.23 GHz @ 79°C @ 28W
MSI Modern 14 (C12M) 3.17 GHz @ 2.69 GHz @ 77°C @ 45W 3.10 GHz @ 2.61 GHz @ 81°C @ 45W 2.69 GHz @ 2.45 GHz @ 78°C @ 35W
Dell Latitude 15 5530 3.57 GHz @ 3.02 GHz @ 94°C @ 52W 2.03 GHz @ 2.09 GHz @ 76°C @ 21W 2.24 GHz @ 2.19 GHz @ 64°C @ 23W

We are lowkey impressed by the fact that this notebook’s processor manages to match the 45W power rating of the supplied power adapter. It happens for no more than 10 seconds, but it’s still impressive. However, the temperature readings are a bit higher overall. In contrast, the Latitude 15 5530 runs at the same clocks at the end of the test, but at 15°C cooler.

Comfort during full load

On the other hand, the laptop is fairly quiet even under extreme workload conditions. As you can see from the IR image below, the warmest spot on the keyboard is barely touching the 35°C mark.


Verdict

In a few words, the EliteBook 650 G9 is a more premium version of the ProBook 450 G9. It has the advantage of having Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, while the other functions are pretty much the same.

It comes with all-aluminum body panels. They are not very strong, though, as we found some flex in both the lid and the base. Still, it is pretty good and features a fantastic spill-resistant keyboard.

Our unit shipped with the smaller 42.75Wh battery pack. It got us through 9 hours of Web browsing, or 7 hours of video playback. With that said, you should still get your charger, as there’s no chance it will last you an entire workday.

HP EliteBook 650 G9’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a good contrast ratio. Its backlight doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment, which is great for long working periods. On the other hand, the panel covers only 51% of the sRGB color gamut.

We have to mention that HP had the audacity to offer the base option of this laptop with a 768p TN panel. Please, make sure you get a restraining order from such configurations.

Upgradeability-wise, there are two SODIMM slots for DDR4 RAM, as well as two M.2 PCIe slots for storage. One of them only fits 30mm drives, and you won’t have the option to use LTE. This is because the eventual secondary SSD takes up the slot of the WWAN card.

The fingerprint reader and IR face recognition scanners feel like a standard features nowadays. Nevertheless, the price point of this machine is surprisingly low. It matches the Dell Latitude 15 3530 if it’s not less expensive on occasion. But what the EliteBook 650 G9 offers, that the Latitude doesn’t, is significantly better build quality and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-elitebook-650-g9/

Pros

  • Pretty affordable
  • Great upgradeability
  • Thunderbolt 4 connector + wide I/O
  • Optional fingerprint reader and IR face recognition
  • No PWM (LG LGD071E)
  • Quiet under extreme load
  • Optional LTE support


Cons

  • Only 51% sRGB coverage (LG LGD071E)
  • No SD card slot

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