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.
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…