Hewlett-Packard EliteBook x360 1030 G3. Credit: Hewlett-Packard

The new HP EliteBook x360 1030 is a technological tour de force that rivals the MacBook Pro 13 in build quality, brawn, battery life, and bass — just to mention a few areas.

Hewlett-Packard has done a wholesale redesign of its 13-inch EliteBook X360 1030, yielding an impressive third-generation (G3) convertible laptop that makes a serious run at the MacBook Pro 13* and Dell XPS 13 — two of the best 13-inch laptops on the planet.

I will focus on a comparison with the 13-inch MacBook Pro here and save the XPS 13 for later. This is a brief first-look review.

Build/Design: As part of the redesign, HP shrunk the footprint by 10 percent compared to the 1030 G2 (second generation). That’s allowed HP to, eventually, discontinue its smaller 12.5-inch EliteBook 1020 (a great ultraportable in its own right, imo).

The 1030 G3’s build quality and materials rival the best laptops on the planet — an all-metal CNC aluminum chassis that is 0.62 inches thick and 2.76 pounds. That’s 1/4 pound lighter than the MBP 13.

Being a convertible, it has a 360-degree display with four usage modes, including tent and tablet mode.

Overall the chassis feels bulletproof like the MBP 13.

HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3 is smaller than the prior G2 model. Credit: Hewlett-Packard

Processor (brawn): the EliteBook x360 1030 G3 processor choices include the quad-core Intel Core i7-8550U (1.8 GHz base frequency, up to 4 GHz with Turbo Boost) with UHD graphics 620. This is a 15-watt Kaby Lake R Intel 8th Generation chip.

Note that the 2018 MacBook Pro 13 with Touch Bar can be configured with a Core i7-8559U (Coffee Lake) processor rated up to 28 watts (more watts, more performance) with Intel Plus Graphics 655 — giving it, on paper, a performance edge.

Battery: The EliteBook’s 4-cell, 56.2 watt-hour battery is rated at up to 18 hours. In my limited time with the 1030 G3 I can say the battery life exceeds the 1030 G2. Which means basically all day — and a little more — for me. I’ll need more time to give an…