Objects of Desire: HP EliteBook 8740w

February 17, 2011

By Dan Havlik

Yes Apple fans, there are other photo-friendly laptops out there aside from your beloved MacBook Pros. (We admit it: We dig MBPs too but really get sick of seeing everybody else out there using the same rig.)

If you can hold your nose at Windows’ latest operating system—what is it up to now, Windows 7 Service Pack 15?—you really might enjoy the HP EliteBook 8740w, a powerful mobile workstation with enough speed to blow your MacBook Pro away.

While the top-of-the-line version of the HP EliteBook 8740w offers a fast Core i7 Extreme Edition processor and support for up to a whopping 16 gb of memory, it’s the sparkling 17-inch display that really should catch photographers’ eyes. Called a DreamColor display—so-named for the Dreamworks animation studio which helped develop it—the screen can show more than 1 billion active colors. That’s 64 times more colors than the average display and, when combined with the 8740w’s 30-bit notebook LCD panel, your images should look as rich and sharp as you shot them. (Your good images that is; not the duds.)

For editing that HD video you shot with your new DSLR, the 8740w gives you several configuration options including the ATI FirePro M7820 graphic card with 1 gb of GDDR5 video memory; or the NVIDIA Quadro FX 2800M or NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800M. Both the NVIDIA cards come with 1 gb GDDR3 video memory.

Other premium features include two USB 3.0 ports for speedy transfers; and a backlit keyboard, which is being offered on an HP EliteBook for the first time. This top-of-the-line workstation is also built with a tough magnesium alloy chassis and a spill- resistant keyboard with a scratch-resistant DuraKey finish.

If you can get over your Windows-loathing, you just might love this high-powered HP lappie more than your favorite Apple.

Cost: $3,699 (configured with most of the premium features)

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