HP Elitebook 820 G3 is one of the most appreciated ultrabook models of the current HP brand. This computer scores points thanks to a fairly thin and high-end design, while still ensuring its ruggedness and rigidity. The third version of this Elitebook 820 series is still kept by the manufacturer with the basic design with a compact appearance, only 18.9 mm thick and weighing only 1.3 kg.
HP Elitebook 820 G3 – Compact and lightweight for the office
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HP slightly reworked the EliteBook 820 G3’s chassis compared to its predecessor. Perhaps the most notable change is the silver lid (formerly black). The chassis is a bit thinner (18.9 vs. 21 mm) and a bit lighter. Weighing just 1.28 kg, the EliteBook 820 G3 is one of the lightest mobile travel companions. This does not affect the base unit, as the magnesium alloy ensures high stability. Only unrealistically high pressure will slightly warp the area of the palm rest, which will also cause a small squeak.
The thin lid, as expected, can’t keep up with stability, though performance is still pretty good. The pressure from the rear does not distort the image and its resistance to twisting attempts is also good. However, we can notice some squealing in this case. We really like the two hinges. They are very smooth and you can open the lid with one hand, but they’re also stretchy enough to keep the display in a good position. The maximum opening angle is about 140 degrees.
The silver chassis leaves behind a very attractive visual design and both the black keyboard and black display frame create a nice contrast. Only the black lower lid lags slightly behind in terms of tactile feel, even though it’s made of magnesium. A nice detail are the four status LEDs on the front left side. Overall, the design is quite good and can meet high-end expectations.
The battery is inside the case and cannot be replaced from the outside. You can remove the entire bottom cover for maintenance; We will take a closer look at the procedure in the respective section.
One advantage of the slightly thicker base unit over some Ultrabooks is undoubtedly the comprehensive port diversity. HP used the available space on both sides very well and implemented three USB (1x Type-C), DisplayPort, VGA as well as Ethernet ports. You also get a SmartCard reader. While the number of ports is large, the layout is quite convenient, and the spacing between the individual ports is sufficient, only extremely wide USB drives can be an issue. We measured up to 212 MB / s at a USB 3.0 port paired with an external Samsung SSD (SSD 830 64 GB) – a good result.
We also test the performance of the SD card reader with our reference card from Toshiba (Exceria Pro 64 GB UHS-II, up to 260 MB / s). Transfer speeds were average, because we were able to measure 86 and 65 MB / s (read / write) when we copied large files. You can expect around 73 MB / s when you copy regular JPG images (~ 5 MB each).
Two network modules I219-LM (Gigabit Ethernet) and Wireless-AC 8260 are supplied by Intel and are currently used in many business laptops. The dual band (2 × 2) Wi-Fi module supports fast 802.11 ac in 2.4 and 5 GHz networks, and Bluetooth 4.2. The maximum theoretical transfer rate is 867 Mbps, and we were able to measure around 82 MB / s (802.11 n: ~ 11 MB / s) under optimal conditions (about 1 meter away from the Asus RT-AC56U router. ) – a great result.
An LTE modem is optional and the necessary antennas are integrated. The SIM slot is conveniently located on the right side of the case and can be accessed very quickly and comfortably.
The HD webcam as well as the dual-array microphone are located in the display frame above. The following recordings speak out very clearly, but the webcam is quite disappointing, even though this is the case with quite a few modern laptops. It still does its job and suffices for video conferences.
As a true business laptop, HP has clearly outfitted the EliteBook 820 G3 with plenty of security features. All important functions are available (TPM, SmartCard reader, BIOS password, Kensington lock, etc.) and you also get a fingerprint scanner, but the corresponding Security Manager is not available later when updating Windows 10 (review unit provided with Windows 7 Professional), so we couldn’t use the scanner right away. There are no problems after installing from HP website.