HP EliteBooks are aimed at power users looking for the best performance, build quality and ergonomic design. The 14 inch HP EliteBook 845 G7 seems to tick all these boxes, packing dominant AMD hardware into a lightweight chassis. Can it conquer the business subnotebook category? Let’s find out.
The 845 G7 is a typical EliteBook design. Made of aluminum with a solid, silver colour chassis construction. There’s absolutely no flex on the keyboard deck and decent protection on the display lid. The single hinge is firm and smooth, allowing you to open the lid with one hand.
For peace of mind, the 845 G7 has passed 12 MIL-STD 810H testing, plus an additional 120,000 hours of reliability testing through HP’s Total Test Process.
At 1.34kg or 2.96 pounds, the 845 G7 is not the lightest or slimmest 14 inch laptop on the market but you can see HP have placed durability and stability as a priority.
To open the bottom cover, loosen the five captive Phillips screws and carefully lift up the cover from the chassis. Remove the EMI shielding on the two memory modules and M.2 SSD to upgrade these components. The 53Wh battery is removable as well.
The 14 inch full HD IPS display has a bright 1000 nits with HP Sure View integrated privacy screen on this review model. Black levels and contrast are generally good and it’s high brightness makes it perfect for outside usage on the matte screen.
HP Sure View protects sensitive information visible on your computer screen by making it difficult for onlookers to view from the sides. A press of the function key turns it on and off. Perfect for situations like a crowded train or airplane.
A downside of Sure View is viewing angles are limited compared to a normal IPS panel. Colour accurately is rated at 72% NTSC but can be washed out depending on the angle you are viewing from.
On the left we have a nano security lock, two USB 3.1. Gen 1 Type-A ports, one with charging, a headphone/microphone combo jack, and a smartcard reader.
On the right we have a power connector, HDMI 2.0 port, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, and an optional nano SIM card slot.
Wireless connectivity is taken care of by the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2×2 and Bluetooth 5 combo card. WiFi 6 speeds were excellent during our testing with an UniFi WiFi 6 wireless access point. Bluetooth connections were reliable with a mouse or keyboard.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The full size keyboard on the EliteBook 845 is a joy to type on. One of the better keyboards out there. Nicely spaced out keys, tactile feel and a quiet typing action allowing you to use the 845 G7 in a library.
If you are the clumsy type, the keyboard is spill resistant with a drain hole underneath the vent cover. The keys have two level back lighting, perfect for dark working environments.
The ClickPad has a smooth large glass surface with multi-touch gestures enabled. The two buttons are integrated into the clickpad and worked well during testing. Microsoft Precision drivers ensure an accurate finger gesture experience.
The EliteBook also includes a Trackpoint above the ClickPad with two physical buttons. The trackpoint takes a little getting used to at the beginning but you soon naturally switch between the Trackpoint and ClickPad depending on your habits. The two physical buttons are quiet in operation.
Audio & Webcam
Audio is tuned by Bang & Olufsen offering dual stereo speakers located either side of the keyboard. The sound is good for video calling along with the 3 multi array microphones. Less so with movie watching or Spotify music streaming. Above average in audio quality but lacking bass and moderate volume levels.
The 720p HD webcam is surrounded by an ambient light sensor and IR camera for face authentication with Windows Hello. The webcam is the usual affair, below average in video quality with washed out colours.
The star of the show is the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750U APU beating inside the EliteBook 845 G7. Running at a base clock of 1.7GHz, up to 4.1 GHz max boost clock. Eight cores with 16 threats. TDP is 15 to 25 watts.
The PRO part in the processor name offers a range of business features like hardware security (e.g., AMD Memory Guard), manageability, longer availability and software stability.
Cinebench R23 shows a show of 7131 points on multi-core and 1155 points on single core, rendering more scenes than the i7-1185G7 with less power. SuperPosition gives a benchmark result of 1655 points. 3DMark results show a CPU score of 6042 and a graphics score of 989. Geekbench 5 produces 1010 in single core and 5913 in multi core.
The equivalent 10th gen Intel processors are left for dust by the AMD Renoir Zen 2 architecture. In general benchmark scores, the AMD Ryzen 7 4750U gives the 45 watt Intel processors a serious run for their money. It’s not far behind, the ‘full fat’ Intel i9-10885H when you consider the 4750U is designed as a battery efficient processor.
On this test model with 16GB DDR4 memory and Samsung 256GB PCIe NVme M.2 SSD, the EliteBook ate everything thrown at it for breakfast. Whether you are working with Office apps, multiple Chrome tabs, YouTube or Spotify streaming it stays snappy and quick. Even working on Adobe Creative Cloud tasks like Photoshop or Premiere Pro, the Ryzen 7 was a beast. For example, a 11 minute 4K60 video encoded in less than 36 minutes on Adobe Premiere Pro.
The cooling fan during general use remains silent. Even when taxed during video encoding for example, the fan stays fairly quiet making it suitable for noise sensitive locations.
HP has also done a remarkable job to keep the otherwise hot CPU under control. The excellent cooling system of the EliteBook keeps heat rising from idle by about 30c. Leaving the top of the keyboard and bottom vent with a temperature of 51 to 53c, warm but not uncomfortable to use on your lap.
The Ryzen 7 PRO 4750U APU also integrates a Radeon RX Vega 7 graphics card with 7 CUs clocked at up to 1600 MHz. The GPU benefits from fast dual channel DDR4-3200 RAM to boost performance. In 3DMark 11 benchmark scores, the Vega 7 consistently beats the i7 Intel Iris Xe and is on par with the GeForce MX250 GPU.
So a question that is always asked, will the EliteBook 845 G7 play games after you’ve had a hard day at the office? The answer is yes but light gaming only. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order will play in 1080P low settings. Valorant is also playable in 1080P low settings. Common titles like Fortnite, LoL and CS:Go will play in low to medium settings.
The EliteBook comes with a wealth of security features partly thanks to the AMD PRO processor. AMD Memory Guard defends against cold boot attacks with real-time encryption and decryption of the system’s memory. The AMD secure processor has a TPM 2.0 chip and AMD Secure Boot helps prevent threats from reaching critical software.
On the hardware front we have HP Sure View that produces a copper reflective finish when the screen is viewed from the side making it appear unreadable. Just by pressing a key.
Unlock your laptop with Windows Hello facial authentication using the IR camera and of course there’s a fingerprint sensor for logging into websites with a swipe of your finger. A smart card reader gives your corporate users another method to authenticate security logins.
The HP Privacy Camera has a physical shutter to protect from malicious surveillance and HP Sure Start Gen6 protects your BIOS with self-healing technology.
The battery inside the 845 G7 is a 3 cell, 53 Wh Li-ion battery. With brightness down to 50% and better battery option, I managed to get 10 plus hours of video playback. General office activities such as browsing, email and word expect 9 plus hours. Under heavy load the battery life went down to two to three hours.
The EliteBook supports HP Fast Charge. Up to 50% in 30 minutes with the slim 65W AC adapter.
3 Pros and Cons before buying the HP EliteBook 845 G7
Stunning Performance – AMD Renoir CPUs are outperforming the Intel options by a wide margin. To see this strong computing performance in a subnotebook category is even more amazing.
Long Battery Life – If you need a laptop to last more than a day’s worth of activities, the 845 G7 easily manages this. Bonus is the 30 mins fast charge to carry on for another 5 or 6 hours usage.
Upgrade Options – HP have made maintenance and upgrade options on the EliteBook, as simple as using a small cross-head screwdriver. Memory, SSD, and battery are all removable. Refreshing in this world of soldered-on components.
No Thunderbolt 3 – There is still no Thunderbolt 3 or even 4 for this AMD generation. Shame if you needed the Thunderbolt 3 40 Gbps data transfer speeds for your workflow or the full speed out of Thunderbolt 3 docking stations. Thankfully, there’s two USB-C connectors with DisplayPort.
Viewing Angles – HP Sure View is a great feature if you work with sensitive information on a daily basis. However, the colours look washed out from certain angles with Sure View. For the rest of us, go for the fantastic 400 nit display option.
No SD Card Reader – If you copy across files from your Digital Camera, you will probably need a SD card reader. Yes you could get around it by using a card adapter or even Wi-Fi transfer but sometimes it’s faster to pop out the card and slot in.
The EliteBook 845 G7 is probably the fastest 14 inch business premium laptop with an Ryzen 7 Pro processor beating in its heart. It simply outclasses the top models from Intel and more. Offering one of the best price-performance ratios you can spend your money on.
In addition, it offers rock solid workmanship, great battery runtimes, a low noise level when typing and clicking, superb security features and excellent maintenance options. It will even allow some after hours gaming.
However, it doesn’t quite manage to achieve a perfect score because of the Sure View display. If you want a deeper and colour accurate display, go for the 400 nit option with superior viewing angles.
Overall the HP EliteBook 845 G7 is simply one of the best business ultrabooks on the market thanks to the awesome AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 8 core processor.