HP ProBook 635 Aero G8 review – it weighs under a kilo and has a ton of power

Now, today we have something of particular interest. It is a business device, called the HP ProBook 635 Aero G8. It sits right between the ProBook 400 and EliteBook 800 lines of HP, and what makes it special is the name. To be precise, the name reflects the reasons, making the laptop special.

What we’re trying to say is that the laptop weighs only 990 grams, breaking the 1 kg limit, and joining a roster of premium devices. However, HP has managed to do that whilst putting up to a Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U processor, and (hold your hats) two RAM SODIMM slots for memory upgrades. Yes, while the Acer Swift 5 Pro boasted a good performance, and 1 kg weight, it did it with soldered memory. Here, the HP bears the weight of additional hardware around the slots, plus the actual RAM circuitry.

Now, according to HP’s specs sheet, the ProBook 635 Aero G8 features a 1080p IPS panel. However, it comes in three iterations – one with a 45% NTSC coverage and 250 nits maximum brightness. Then, there is a 400-nit, low-power, 100% sRGB unit, and the cream on top seems to be the Sure View panel. If you haven’t seen one of our previous reviews where we cover this technology, it basically purposefully reduces the viewing angles of the panel, so that no one around you can view the content shown on your display. Of course, they do that with the help of some additional layers, a super bright backlight, and to a large extent – black wizardry.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-probook-635-aero-g8/

Contents


Specs Sheet

HP ProBook 635 Aero G8 - Specs

  • IVO X133NVFF R0 (IVO8596)
  • Color accuracy  4.9  1.9
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 1000GB SSD
  • RAM
  • up to 32GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home
  • Battery
  • 53Wh, 3-cell, 45Wh, 3-cell
  • Body material
  • Undisclosed metal
  • Dimensions
  • 307.6 x 204.5 x 17.9 mm (12.11" x 8.05" x 0.70")
  • Weight
  • 0.99 kg (2.2 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x 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
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 2.0
  • Card reader
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • optional
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Dual Array Microphones
  • Speakers
  • Dual Stereo Speakers
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, we found some paperwork, as well as a 65W USB Type-C power adapter.


Design and construction

So, the ProBook 635 Aero G8’s body is made out of metal, although the manufacturer doesn’t disclose which one specifically. All we know is that the weight is 990 grams, and the profile stands at 17.9mm. Ultimately, this makes it extremely portable, and you won’t even notice it in your backpack. However, the structural rigidity may be a bit compromised, as the base seems to be pretty bendy when twisted, and produces some nasty popping sounds during the process. Another weird thing about it is that HP says its edges are “aerodynamic”. So you should not be worried when launching your notebook with 200 km/h across the room, when you find out your colleague has been sleeping, instead of answering calls.

Another good thing about this machine is that its lid opens easily with a single hand. The hinge is super smooth, and the lid seems to be rather stable. Additionally, the bezels around the matte display look tiny, and the top one, houses the HD Web camera, its privacy shutter, as well as the optional IR face recognition sensor.

Further down below, you will find the keyboard, which is surrounded by the speaker grills. The keyboard itself is spill-resistant, has a backlight, decent key travel, and clicky feedback. Although its power button is located in a weird spot, HP has disabled the “Tap to sleep” function, so accidental presses won’t do any harm.

As for the touchpad, it is a glass-protected unit with a super smooth gliding experience, and very accurate and responsive tracking – one of the good ones out there. Additionally, the palm-rest area is home to a fingerprint reader.

Lastly, the bottom panel features a ventilation grill, while the hot air gets exhausted from in between the base of the device, and the screen.

Ports

On the left side, there is a security lock slot, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, and an audio jack. Then, on the right, there is a barrel-style power plug, an HDMI 2.0 connector, a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, and a SIM card tray.


Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

To get inside of this device, you need to undo 6 captive Phillips-head screws. Then, pop the bottom panel with a plastic tool, and remove it from the chassis.

Here, the battery has a capacity of 53Wh.

Despite the lightweight of the device, HP has managed to put two RAM SODIMM slots for up to 32GB of memory in total. As for the storage, you get one M.2 PCIe x4 slot.

Lastly, there is the cooling, It employs one heat pipe, as well as a heatsink and fan of medium size.


Display quality

HP ProBook 635 Aero G8 is equipped with a Full HD IPS touchscreen panel, IVO X133NVFF R0 (IVO8596). Its diagonal is 13.3-inch (33.78 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 166 ppi, their pitch – 0.15 х 0.15 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 50 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels). One important feature of this device is its Sure View technology. Its purpose is to block unwanted viewers from seeing the content of your screen.

We apply these photos to evaluate the viewing angles. The 45-degree photos are taken with a longer exposure than the front-facing one.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure, and Sure View – disabled.

The following set of images are taken with the same exposure (manual shooting mode) in a dark room.

The maximum measured brightness is excellent – 910 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 883 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 9%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6170K – slightly warmer than the standard 6500K temperature for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 11% Brightness (White level = 140 cd/m2, Black level = 0.06 cd/m2).
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 (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 2250:1.

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 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.

The yellow dotted line shows HP ProBook 635 Aero G8’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 92% 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 at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of HP ProBook 635 Aero G8 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.


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

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 ProBook 635 Aero G8’s backlight does not use PWM for brightness adjustment. This makes it comfortable and safe for use 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.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for HP ProBook 635 Aero G8 configurations with 13.3″ IVO X133NVFF R0 (IVO8596) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS panel.

*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 ProBook 635 Aero G8’s speakers produce a sound of decent quality. However, there are deviations across the entire frequency spectrum.


Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-probook-635-aero-g8-notebook-pc/2100179193

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with 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. This device’s 53Wh battery pack delivers 18 hours and 3 minutes of Web browsing, and 13 hours and 58 minutes of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.


CPU options

This device can be configured with a bunch of Zen 3 processors. This includes the Ryzen 3 5400U, Ryzen 5 5600U, Ryzen 7 5800U, and the Pro-grade Ryzen 5 PRO 5650U, and Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U.


GPU options

And for the graphics, there is only the integrated Radeon RX Vega inside the respective CPU you choose.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GOHD 1080p, Low (Check settings)HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS76 fps55 fps37 fps

DOTA 2HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS106 fps53 fps30 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 core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U (15W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
HP ProBook 635 Aero G82.68 GHz (B+41%) @ 79°C2.47 GHz (B+30%) @ 88°C2.49 GHz (B+31%) @ 97°C

Since this is the first laptop with this processor we test, we can’t really evaluate the cooling solution of this device. However, it is good to see that the laptop manages to maintain a frequency higher than the base one. On the other hand, the fan was giving its best, and the temperature at the end was pretty warm.

Comfort during full load

The warmest spot on the keyboard was about 42°C and was around the top middle portion. As we said, the notebook can get a bit noisy under an extreme workload.


Verdict

In a few words, the ProBook 635 Aero G8 is a remarkable device. It offers a lot, but it is not cheap. Nevertheless, you get almost everything you will ever need from a 13-inch business notebook. Let’s start with the obvious – its design. Ultimately, you will rarely find a business machine lighter than this one. Especially, considering the fact that you get two SODIMM slots for RAM upgrades down the line, as well as one M.2 slot for storage.

Next comes the battery life. Although the capacity is not big, we got around 18 hours of Web browsing, and nearly 14 hours of video playback, meaning it will comfortably last you through an entire workday, with some juice to spare for an evening session of your favorite streaming service.

HP ProBook 635 Aero G8’s IPS panel has a very high maximum brightness, very good contrast ratio, and rather wide color coverage. Thankfully, its backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. Moreover, our Gaming and Web design profile helps it reach standard-matching color accuracy. Now, this unit is equipped with the so-called Sure View system. Even though the app wasn’t working correctly, you can still use it via the toggle button on the keyboard. And ultimately, it works as intended. However, even when the tech is turned off, the viewing angles seem to be significantly worse than that of a regular panel, so you have to keep that in mind.

One thing we haven’t mention in this verdict is the performance. The Ryzen 7 5850U is a beast of a processor, but it needs a good cooling solution. We can’t say that the ProBook 635 Aero G8 has one, but even a single heat pipe can help it beat the Core i7-10750H for example (which is a 45W CPU).

Indeed, you don’t get an SD card reader, nor a Thunderbolt connector, although the latter is a limit of the architecture, and not due to lack of willingness from the manufacturer. However, you get an optional LTE support, a fingerprint reader, a privacy shutter on the camera, and again optionally, you can set your device up with an IR face recognition system.

At the end of the day, we think that this laptop deserves to be considered as your next workhorse, and want to give credit to HP for not sacrificing the upgradability of this machine to make it super light.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-probook-635-aero-g8/

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • PCIe x4 support + 2x SODIMM slots for memory
  • LTE support
  • 92% of sRGB coverage and great color accuracy with our Gaming and Web design profile (IVO X133NVFF R0 (IVO8596))
  • No PWM for brightness adjustment (IVO X133NVFF R0 (IVO8596))
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • IR face recognition and fingerprint reader
  • Powerful CPU options


Cons

  • Hindered viewing angles on Sure View model
  • No SD card reader

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Liz
Liz
9 months ago

Re https://laptopmedia.com/review/hp-probook-635-aero-g8/

According to your review, “the HP ProBook 635 Aero G8 is equipped with a Full HD IPS touchscreen panel, IVO X133NVFF R0 (IVO8596)”.

Are you sure? According to HP’s own manufacturer’s website specs, it is not touchscreen, and other suppliers concur with this view. I’d be grateful if you could clarify! Thanks!