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HP Elitebook 2740p

HP's innovative and durable Tablet PC convertible gets yet another tech upgrade
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

In March of 2010, HP introduced the HP Elitebook 2740p, an attractively styled Tablet PC convertible and successor to the earlier 2710p and 2730p. While the Compaq name is long gone and only little remains of the HP/Compaq tc1100's re-interpretation of Compaq's fabulous "Concerto" pen convertible of the mid 1990s, the Elitebook 2740p is an elegant, unique machine that does, in some respects, carry on some of the Compaq pen computing DNA and history, but now with Intel's latest Core i5 and i7 processors.

Unlike the original and very unique and innovative tc1100, the Elitebook uses the common notebook convertible design with the rotating LCD case hinge. Long gone also are the super-frugal but non-standard chip and digitizer solutions of prior Compaq/HP slates, all replaced with more common chip and digitizer fare. As a result, the 2740p is a much faster and entirely more pleasant machine, though some will miss the unconventional yet more purposeful tablet design of the older machines.

As is, the 2740p is almost exactly the same as the predecessor 2730p, but it now comes with a choice of Intel's latest mobile Core i5/i7 processors. Available are the i5-520M, the i5-540M and the i7-620M, running at base speeds of 2.40, 2.53 and 2.66GHz. I say "base speeds" because one of the new Intel' Core processors' interesting features is "TurboBoost," a technology that automatically overclocks the processor under certain circumstances. Interestingly, while the 2730p used low voltage or ultra-low voltage versions of the Intel Core 2 Duo processors, the new 2740p uses standard voltage chips running at much higher clock speeds. That should be good for performance, but we wonder about the impact on battery life (not given in initial tech specs).

The wide-format WXGA (1280 x 800 pixel) 12.1-inch display with antiglare coating and an LED backlight remains, as is the optionally available sunlight-viewable version. With Windows 7's improved touch support and the current multi-touch craze, HP offers the 2740p with either just a digitizer or a digitizer/multi-touch dual input setup.

Base memory has doubled to 2GB, and it's now all 1333MHz DDR3 RAM as opposed to the older 800MHz DDR2, and you can bump it up to a full 8GB in the computer's two slots. Quick 5400rpm SATA disks now have larger capacities (160 or 250GB instead of the old 80 or 120GB drives), or you can opt for a Solid State Drive that's now also available in larger sizes (80 or 160GB). Wireless functionality is now provided via a variety of Intel or Broadcom 802.11 modules, a Bluetooth 2.1 module, and optional HP Mobile Broadband (powered by Gobi) that also includes GPS. Somewhat surprisingly for a machine this size, there is no internal optical drive but HP offers a SuperMulti DL drive in the HP 2700 Ultra-Slim Expansion Base.

The 2740p has a compact footprint of 11.4 x 8.35 inches and it is just 1.25 inches thick. Weight starts at 3.8 pounds. Documentation suggests a full-size" QWERY layout, and like the earlier 2730p, the new machine has both a touchpad and a pointstick. The pen can be stowed away in a garage on the left rear. A nice touch is the "HP Night Light" that illuminates the keyboard. it pops out from the top of the LCD and is completely unobtrusive.

For security, the 2740p has a fingerprint reader, a Smart Card reader, a TPM 1.2 module, a Kensington lock slot, and several levels of software protection.

While the Elitebook 2740p is not a rugged machine, it is definitely durable thanks to a magnesium-alloy enclosure, chemically-strengthened glass in front of the LCD, and goodies like HP DuraKeys and 3D DriveGuard. HP claims MIL-STD-810F testing compliance in several areas (dust, altitude, high temperature, etc.) without offering specifics.

Starting at around US$1,600, the 2740p continues to carry a premium price. It remains one of the more interesting Tablet PC convertibles, but it remains to be seen whether that form factor will remain relevant in the emerging era of iPads and multi-touch.

Specifications HP Elitebook 2740p
Status Added: 03/2010, updated 05/2013 (replaced by 2760p)
Form-factor Slate convertible
OS Windows 7 or Vista Business, downgrade to Windows XP Pro
Processor Standard voltage Intel i5-520M, i5-540M, i7-620M
CPU Speed 2.40, 2.53, 2.66GHz base speed
Chipset Mobile Intel QM57 Express
Standard/Max RAM 2GB/8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Disk/drive 160/250 GB 5400rpm 1.8-inch SATA or 80/160GB Solid State Drive
Optical drive None internal; optional SuperMulti DL drive available for HP 2700 Ultra-Slim Expansion Base
Card slots 1 ExpressCard/34 slot, 1 SD, Smart Card
Display type TFT with LED backlight, sunlight-viewable version available
Display size/res 12.1-inch/1280 x 800 WXGA
Digitizer/pens Active digitizer or active digitizer plus multi-touch
Keyboard/scale "Full-sized" spill-resistant keyboard with drains" (Note: predecessor keypitch was really only 95%-scale)
Housing "Aluminum surface and full magnesium enclosure", chemically-strengthened glass, HP DuraKeys, HP 3D DriveGuard
Ruggedness "meets tough military standards (MIL-STD 810G)3 for vibration, dust, humidity, altitude, and high temperatures"
Operating temperature NA
Security TPM 1.2, fingerprint sensor, software, Smart Card reader
Size (WxHxD) 11.4 x 8.35 x 1.25
Weight Starting at 3.8 lbs.
Power 6-cell Li-Ion, 44 WHr, optional secondary 6-cell 46 Whr Ultra-Slim battery
Interface 3 USB 2.0, VGA video, audio in/out, RJ11 modem, IEEE1394a, gigabit RJ45, dock, optional integrated 2mp camera
Interface Optional HP Mobile Broadband (Gobi) with GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11a/b/g/n, optional EV-DO/HSPA
List price Est. US$1,599
Contact www.hp.com
Brochure HP 2740p brochure
Direct link Elitebook 2740p
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