HP's excellent EliteBook 800 series business laptops get Intel 11th Gen CPU and 5G upgrades

HP ZBook 15 G8
(Image credit: HP)

HP unveiled today new EliteBook 800 G8 series business laptops alongside new ZBook Firefly 14 G8 and Firefly 15 G8 workstations. 

While similar to the previous versions, these G8 models get a performance boost thanks to Intel "Tiger Lake" 11th Gen CPUs and 5G wireless support. 

HP's EliteBook 830 G7 and EliteBook G840 G7 were among our favorite business laptops, falling short to only the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. If the improvements made to these 2020-21 models fix the few minor complaints we had about the previous ones, they could leapfrog Lenovo and jump to the top of our best business laptops page.  

HP EliteBook 800 G8 and ZBook Firefly G8: price and availability 

HP will ship the EliteBook 830 G8, EliteBook 840 G8, EliteBook 850 G8 in December along with a 2-in-1 model called the EliteBook x360 830 G8. The company did not reveal pricing on any of these models. 

The ZBook Firefly 14 G8 and Firefly 15 G8 will launch on the same month at an undisclosed price. 

HP EliteBook 800 G8: What we know

The EliteBook 830 G8, 840 G8, and 850 G8 borrow their design from the previous models, and that's a good thing. Each of these laptops has a sleek metal chassis with relatively thin display bezels. 

The notebooks will ship with Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake-U CPUs (Core i5/Core i7) with up to 64GB of RAM and up to a 2TB SSD. There is a nano-SIM slot that supports both 4G and 5G networks.

HP ZBook 15 G8

(Image credit: HP)

You get plenty of display options although these notebooks, unlike the pricier EliteBook 1000-series laptops, don't get the option of a 4K panel. Instead, you can opt for a 1080p, 250-nit display, a low-power 400-nit panel or a 1000-nit panel with HP Sure View, a built-in privacy filter that intentionally narrows viewing angles. 

The only aesthetic difference between these laptops is their display size; the EliteBook 830 G8 has a 13.3-inch panel; the EliteBook 840 G8 has a 14-inch display; and the EliteBook 850 G8 has a 15.6-inch screen. However, the largest member of this family has one advantage over its sleek-and-slim siblings: graphics. 

The EliteBook 850 G8 can be equipped with an Nvidia GeForce MX450 whereas the other models rely on Intel Iris Xe Graphics. While only an integrated solution, the latter isn't too shabby as we learned in recent benchmarks.

HP ZBook 15 G8

(Image credit: HP)

Each of these laptops was certified as an Intel Evo machine, meaning they passed a number of specifications for performance, endurance and portability. 

HP is also launching the EliteBook x360 830 G8, a 2-in-1 version of the 13-inch model with a 360-degree hinge. 

HP ZBook Firefly 14 G8 and Firefly 15 G8

On the workstation front, HP is refreshing the ZBook Firefly 14 and ZBook Firefly 15 with 5G support, among other enhancements. Following the EliteBook 800 family, the ZBook Firefly 14 G8 and Firefly 15 G8 will receive Intel 11th Gen (Tiger Lake) CPUs in either Core i5-1135G7 and Core i7-1165G7 flavors.

Making these notebooks workstations is the option to upgrade graphics to an Nvidia T500. 

HP ZBook Firefly 14 G8

(Image credit: HP)

The FireFly series is still the lightest workstation around, with the Firefly 14 G8 coming in at only 3 pounds and 0.7 inches thin. It's an impressive feat, but remember these run on mobile U-series chips, not the Xeon or H-series processors found in most other workstations. As such, don't expect the same performance from these rigs. 

Both 14-inch and 15-inch versions support up to 64GB of RAM and up to a 2TB SSD. 

Display options for these two laptops are aplenty. Actually, you can choose between five different panels. Without making things too confusing, two options are 1080p at 250 nits in touch and non-touch, the third display is 1080p at 400 nits while the fourth panel is 1080p with a Sure View privacy filter. 

The fifth option differs between the 14-inch Firefly 14 G8 and 15.6-inch Firefly 15 G8. The smaller model has a 14-inch, 1080p with 500 nits and HP DreamColor (for more vivid colors) while the 15.6-inch model gets upgraded to a 4K screen at 400 nits. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.