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Review + videos: 3 convertible Windows laptops try to be all devices to all people

Brian Nadel | March 12, 2014
We look at three Windows 8.1 convertibles that can transform into laptops, tablets or presentation devices, and try to discover how useful they really are.

At a Glance

HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2

Hewlett-PackardPrice: $1,299 (starting price), $1,829 (review unit)Pros: Four computing personalities, three-year warranty, excellent performance and battery life, Trusted Platform Module, optional stylus, Ethernet connectionCons: Heavier than others, low-resolution display, higher price

In its laptop mode, the Revolve G2 measures 1.0 x 11.2 x 8.3, making it the largest of the systems reviewed here. In addition to a pair of USB 3.0 ports and an audio port, the Revolve G2 has a DisplayPort (which will need a converter if you want to use it as an HDMI port). It has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as an Ethernet port (the only one of the three reviewed here that includes one). The system has a Trusted Platform Module as well as an NFC connection spot on the bottom of the system.

The Revolve G2 comes in three models. The basic permutation offers an Intel Core i3 processor with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for $1,299. The next model upgrades to an Intel Core i5 processor for $1,599, while the top of the line (which was the model I reviewed) included an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for $1,829.

Without a doubt, $1,829 is a lot to spend on a laptop, but the Revolve G2 comes with a three-year warranty, while the others reviewed here are covered for one year; it includes HP's Elite Care, which routes service requests to specially-trained agents.

Test results

Built for all-out performance, the Revolve G2 outpaced the other two convertibles on the PassMark PerformanceTest suite. It scored 258 on CineBench's processor tests, but like the XPS 11, it couldn't complete the graphics tests due to a driver incompatibility that Intel is working on.

With all that power available, it is amazing that the system's 3,800mAh battery pack ran for seven hours and 20 minutes of constant use on a charge. This is nearly three hours longer than the XPS 11's results and twice the run time of the Vaio Flip. With modest power management settings in place, this means the Revolve G2 could probably last for over 13 hours of normal usage. It is also the only laptop of the three where you can swap the battery for a fresh one.

In addition to Windows 8.1 Pro, the Revolve G2 comes with some cool HP utilities. My favorite is PageLift, which straightens a skewed photo of a document taken with the system's webcam to something that's presentable. It also includes the PDF Complete Acrobat file viewer and a slew of security utilities.

Bottom line

While the flexibility of the Revolve G2's four computing personas would easily fit in at work or at home, its size and weight make it hard to comfortably use as a tablet. However, if you don't mind the extra heft, this is a very versatile mobile computer.

 

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