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HP EliteBook x360 1030 G7 review: A top-quality 13-inch 2-in-1 ultraportable

hp-elitebook-x360-1030-g7-header.jpg
  • Editors' rating
    8.5 Excellent
  • $2,449.00

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • All-day battery life
  • Bundled Active Pen stylus
  • Sure View screen privacy
  • Proximity-based security features
  • Mobile LTE broadband option

Cons

  • 10th Generation Intel processors
  • Sure View is not standard across all models
  • Magnetic attachment for stylus could be firmer

HP's EliteBooks are characterised by solid build, plentiful features and businesslike design. These characteristics apply to the EliteBook x360 1030 G7, which is a small, neat 13.3-inch laptop with a 360-degree rotating display that caters for tablet-mode use. My £1,618.80 (inc. VAT; £1,349 ex. VAT) review model had a super-bright 1000 nit screen and HP's Sure View security system, while standard features include support for stylus input via the HP Active Pen, and proximity-based login. It's quite a package. 

hp-elitebook-x360-1030-g7-main.jpg

The HP EliteBook x360 1030 G7 is a 13.3-inch 360-degree 2-in-1 running on 10th-generation Intel Core processors with up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. It weighs 1.21kg.

Images: HP Inc

The EliteBook x360 1030 G7's 13.3-inch screen nestles inside bezels that, while not the smallest, are still pretty tight, so that the overall desktop footprint is just 30.37cm by 19.39cm. It's pretty thin at 1.61cm, and couldn't get much thinner and still allow space for full-size ports. Perhaps a shade could be taken off the thickness of the lid, but the trade-off here is a very solid screen section which I found impossible to flex.  

If all this sounds a little workaday, then it's worth noting that there are small angled nicks out of the back short edges and the corresponding lid edges, which create a V-shaped finish to the back of the chassis. It's a small feature, but distinctive.  

When you finally get the chance to travel or commute, the EliteBook x360 1030 G7 will slip neatly into the smallest of backpacks or cases, and it's relatively light at 1.21kg. The power supply is mid-sized and not particularly heavy. 

The silver metal all around the chassis might benefit from a protective sleeve as it could be vulnerable to scratches from bag detritus. But the real bugbear when it comes to travelling may well be the Active Pen. This is far too large to lodge in a housing on the chassis itself, and so will need to be carried separately. Don't forget to take it out with you or bring it home. It fixes to the left edge of the chassis via magnets that don't seem evenly distributed: grip is firmer at the front of the chassis than the back. 

hp-elitebook-x360-1030-g7-tablet-mode.jpg

HP's Active Pen comes into play in tablet mode, but there's nowhere to stow the stylus within the chassis -- it attaches magnetically to the left side.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

It's easy to move from laptop to tent or tablet mode, and the hinges are solid enough to hold the screen in any required orientation. It's always a concern when the keyboard doesn't lock out for tablet use: it's recessed enough to sit safely on a desktop, but holding the EliteBook x360 1030 G7 in one hand will inevitably apply pressure to the keys which could, over time, cause a problem. That's not unique to this laptop, of course, but something to be aware of nonetheless.  

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As ever there are various configurations of the EliteBook x360 1030 G7 available. My review unit came with an FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS display with an impressive 1000 nits maximum brightness. According to the online data sheet there are also UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS and AMOLED options, although these are not available on HP's UK website at the time of writing. 

You need the FHD panel to get HP's Sure View, which protects on-screen information from prying eyes. Sure View is toggled with a simple Fn key press, was present on my review unit, and worked well for rendering the screen unreadable from the sides, although content is still readable from behind. When in use, Sure View dims the screen for head-on viewing, but the degree to which that's noticeable depends on the acuteness of the screen's angle, and the effect can be almost entirely mitigated if the correct angle is selected. 

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There's a great set of Bang and Olufsen speakers, whose grilles are arranged to the left and right of the keyboard in what's now a familiar EliteBook approach. Sound is pushed upwards toward the user, but that's not the end of it: a second pair of grilles sits on the underside of the chassis, positioned carefully on the upward angle at the front so that they can blast some sound out when you're working in tablet mode. Sound quality is pretty good: there's plenty of bass in music and video content, although quality does diminish as volume increases. 

There is a proximity sensor above the screen, which is used to provide a couple of neat features. Walk Away Lock uses the proximity sensor to detect when you've left the immediate vicinity of the laptop, whereupon it automatically locks it down. Users can configure how long the laptop waits before it locks using a slider bar. Presence Aware will detect if someone is nearby and switch the screen on, ready for you to quickly log in. If Windows Hello is configured, the proximity sensor will allow users to login automatically as they approach the laptop. 

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The keyboard, flanked by speaker grilles, is responsive but quiet in operation.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet
hp-elitebook-x360-1030-g7-fingerprint-sensor.jpg

The fingerprint reader is built into a key on the bottom row of the keyboard.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The backlit, spill-resistant keyboard is excellent. Keys spring back nicely after being pressed, and as a light-touch typist I made almost no noise at all while working. Even when I deliberately typed more heavily, all I heard was a relatively quiet 'clacking'. Fn keys are large enough, and as well as the Sure View key there's a key that toggles a physical cover for the webcam, and another that can be set to launch applications, open folders or specific files, or launch a specific website. It can be configured for four separate actions -- solo and in conjunction with the Shift, Ctrl and Alt keys. 

hp-elitebook-x360-1030-g7-210212-programmable-fn-key-and-camera-cover.jpg

The Fn key row includes a programmable key and a toggle for the webcam cover.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet    

Meanwhile the fingerprint sensor is neatly accommodated on the bottom row, to the right of the space bar, while the arrow keys are large -- HP has even fitted in full-size left and right arrow keys. It's a neat, ergonomic setup complemented by a large and responsive touchpad with an embedded NFC area. 

The EliteBook x360 1030 G7 runs Windows 10 Pro on 10th generation Intel processors rather than the latest 11th generation chips. My review unit had a very capable Core i7-10510U with integrated Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD. The data sheet suggests you can go up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of PCIe NVMe TLC SSD storage, but there's no discrete GPU option.  

hp-elitebook-x360-1030-g7-sides.jpg

Left side (top): USB 3.1, 3.5mm headset jack. Right side (above): USB 3.1, HDMI, 2x USB-C/Thunderbolt 3.

Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

There should have been a SIM slot on the left edge of my review model, for it to fully meet the specifications of the £1,618.80 (inc. VAT; £1,349 ex. VAT) off-the-shelf version that it replicated in every other way. Still, the EliteBook x360 1030 G7 is pretty well appointed for ports and connectors. The right edge has a USB 3.1 port, a full-size HDMI connector and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, one of which is occupied when the laptop is charging. On the left there's a second USB 3.1 port and a 3.5mm headset jack.  

The 3-cell, 53Wh battery is probably good for all-day working for many knowledge workers. My usual three-hour rundown test saw it drop 29% from a full charge, during which period I wrote into web apps, streamed video and audio, and did a lot of web browsing.  

Conclusions

The HP EliteBook X360 1030 G7 is a very serviceable 13.3-inch 2-in-1 laptop. Although it doesn't use the latest 11th generation Intel processors and doesn't offer discrete graphics, there's much else that pleases. Sure View is a good security feature, the webcam cover is handy, and it's clever to control this via the keyboard. Very smart use of a proximity sensor adds further device security via automated log off and log on.  

The keyboard is a pleasure to use, the build quality is robust, and the Active Pen stylus, while it doesn't stow on the laptop, is also effective. If you're looking for a 13.3-inch convertible laptop with plenty of features and all-day battery life, the EliteBook x360 1030 G7 is worth shortlisting.

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Specifications

General
Packaged Quantity 1
Platform Technology Intel vPro Technology
Embedded Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) and firmware (TPM 2.0)
Processor / Chipset
CPU Intel Core i7 (10th Gen) 10610U / 1.8 GHz
Max Turbo Speed 4.9 GHz
Number of Cores Quad-Core
Cache L3 - 8 MB
64-bit Computing Yes
Features Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Cache Memory
Type L3 cache
RAM
Memory Speed 2933 MHz
Configuration Features provided memory is soldered
Technology LPDDR4 SDRAM
Rated Memory Speed 2933 MHz
Memory
Technology LPDDR4 SDRAM
Speed 2933 MHz
Display
LCD Backlight Technology WLED backlight
Resolution 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
Widescreen Display Yes
Monitor Features 72% NTSC color gamut, Corning Gorilla glass 5, Ultra Slim Design
Type LED
Touchscreen yes
TFT Technology IPS
Diagonal Size (metric) 33.8 cm
Display Resolution Abbreviation Full HD
Hard Drive
Type SSD
SSD Form Factor M.2 2280
Capacity 512 GB
Hard Drive Features NVM Express (NVMe), triple-level cell (TLC)
Audio & Video
Graphics Processor Intel UHD Graphics
Memory Allocation Technology shared video memory (UMA)
Sound Four speakers, 2 user-facing multi array microphones and two world-facing microphones
Input
Type ClickPad, digital pen, keyboard
Features ClickPad with gesture support, glass clickpad, multi-touch clickpad, spill-resistant, volume control
Communications
Wireless Protocol Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Class Class 2
Wireless Controller Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 - PCI Express Mini Card (M.2)
Features dual stream (2x2)
Wireless Broadband (WWAN)
Generation 4G
Cellular Protocol DC-HSPA+, LTE Advanced
Controller Intel XMM 7360 - M.2 3042
Max Transfer Rate 450 Mbps
Service Provider service not included
Navigation
Navigation A-GPS/GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou receiver
Optical Storage
Drive Type no optical drive
Type none
Processor
CPU Type Core i7
Manufacturer Intel
Clock Speed 1.8 GHz
Battery
Capacity 54 Wh
Cells 4-cell
Technology lithium polymer
AC Adapter
Input AC 120/230 V (50/60 Hz)
Output 65 Watt, 5 / 9 / 12 / 15 / 20 V
Connections & Expansion
Slots 1 x Nano-SIM card (1 free)
Interfaces 2 x USB-C (supports Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort 1.2 Alt Mode) (Power Delivery 3.0)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (charging)
Headphone/microphone combo jack
HDMI
Header
Brand HP
Product Line HP EliteBook x360
Localization English
Country Kits United States
Packaged Quantity 1
System
Platform Technology Intel vPro Technology
Notebook Type 2-in-1, thin and light
Mechanical Design 360° flip design
Platform Windows
Hard Drive Capacity 512 GB
Embedded Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) and firmware (TPM 2.0)
Security Devices fingerprint reader
Monitor
Diagonal Size 13.3 in
Image Brightness 400 cd/m2
Networking
Data Link Protocol Bluetooth 5.0, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n
Compliant Standards IEEE 802.11d, IEEE 802.11e, IEEE 802.11h, IEEE 802.11i, IEEE 802.11k, IEEE 802.11r, IEEE 802.11v, IEEE 802.1x, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED
Interface (Bus) Type PCI Express Mini Card (M.2)
Miscellaneous
Case Material aluminum
Integrated Options Accelerometer, ambient light sensor, magnetometer, gyro sensor, hall sensor, Time of Flight (ToF)
Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) and firmware (TPM 2.0), fingerprint reader
Features Automatic DriveLock, BIOS Update via Network, HP DriveLock, HP DuraKeys, HP Fast Charge, Intel Active Management Technology (iAMT), Master Boot Record Security, Power On Authentication, Pre-boot Authentication, Setup Password, power-on password
Compliant Standards A-Tick, BSMI, CCC, CIT, CSA, Common Criteria EAL4+, FCC, GOST, ICCP, ICES, KC, SABS, UL, VCCI, low halogen
Included Accessories USB-C power adapter
Manufacturer Selling Program HP Smart Buy
Theft/Intrusion Protection security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)
Security Slot Type Kensington nano security slot
Dimensions & Weight
Width 12 in
Depth 7.6 in
Height 0.6 in
Cellular
SIM Card Type nano SIM
Manufacturer Warranty
Type 3 years warranty
Environmental Standards
ENERGY STAR Certified Yes
Physical Characteristics
Weight 2.67 lbs
Power
Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
Max Operating Temperature 95 °F
Operating System / Software
OS Provided: Type Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Edition
Type HP BIOS Config Utility, HP Client Catalog, HP Connection Optimizer, HP Hotkey Support, HP Image Assistant, HP JumpStart, HP Noise Cancellation, HP Secure Erase, HP Support Assistant, HP System Software Manager, Windows Defender
Video Output
Graphics Processor Series Intel UHD Graphics
Video Memory
Memory Allocation Technology shared video memory (UMA)
Input Device
Backlight Yes
Interfaces
USB-C Ports Qty 2
USB-C Features USB Power Delivery
Comment Power Delivery 3.0, charging
Service & Support
Type 3 years warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Service Included parts and labor
Full Contract Period 3 years
Shock & Vibration Tolerance
Shock Acceleration (Operating) 40 g
Shock Acceleration (Non-operating) 200 g
Vibration Acceleration (Operating) 1.043 g
Vibration Frequency Range (Operating) RMS (random)
Vibration Acceleration (Non-operating) 3.5 g
Vibration Frequency Range (Non-operating) RMS (random)