The HP EliteBook 860 16-inch G9 is a notebook PC designed to tackle business tasks with ease. It has the power and features you need, even though it lacks the stylish design you see in other models from the same HP or other brands.
The model I received for review has a touch screen, an interesting feature for a non-convertible laptop, but one that makes it easier to use it. The large 16-inch, 3000 x 2000 pixel IPS display is clear and the resolution is great for comfortable use.
Using the 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1265U processor (up to 4.8 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 12 MB L3 cache, 10 cores, 12 threads), with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD, this notebook performance was great, even though its Passmark rating (2916) put it at the 36% percentile.
Overall it rated below the same generation HP Spectre and the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, but it got top marks for CPU, performing extremely well in both daily use and synthetic benchmarks.
Speed alone doesn’t make a laptop though. The HP EliteBook 860 16-inch G9 notebook PC comes with a Windows Hello-compatible 5-megapixel camera and a built-in fingerprint reader that is well positioned below the full-sized keyboard, to the right of its large trackpad.
The keyboard sports a full numeric keypad, making it even more suitable for business use.
Being a business-orientated notebook PC, HP has put lots of security features in it. Powered by the Intel vPro platform, it comes with HP Wolf Security pre-installed, giving this computer an effective endpoint protection platform, protecting it from phishing and other malware by using hardware isolation technology. It also gives you a sandboxed version of a Chromium browser designed to be managed by this security platform.
To reinforce the security aspect, the HP EliteBook 860 16-inch G9 notebook PC comes with built-in Tile technology, the same one used on Bluetooth tags and smartphones to track devices and personal items. You can enable it on BIOS and enrol the device on a Tile account, so it can be tracked thanks to the huge Tile network of users, making it easier to find in case you leave the notebook PC behind.
Thanks to its Windows 11 Pro and built-in TPM you can enable other OS-native security features, such as Bitlocker drive encryption and browser isolation like Application Guard, which allows you to run isolated versions of Edge browser –similar to the sandboxed browser provided by HP Wolf Security but based on the Microsoft Edge browser, so you can decide which one to use.
This is one of the latest notebook PCs to support the new Wi-Fi 6E standard, using the just recently approved 6 GHz band. You should see improved and more reliable wireless performance when used with a compatible wireless access point.
In terms of ports, there are plenty: two Thunderbolt 4 with USB4 Type-C ports (40 Gpbs, supporting USB Power Delivery and DisplayPort 1.4), two USB Type-A ports (5 Gbps) and one HDMI 2.0 port.
Its 6-cell, 76 Wh Li-ion battery can keep it running for a while – I was able to get an almost full day of use from a full charge, so I only had to recharge the notebook once daily instead of having it always plugged-in. Not having a discrete GPU likely helps with the extended battery life.
It’s not a light notebook at 1.76 Kg, despite its aluminium chassis, but this was expected when dealing with a 16-inch screen.
During my tests, I had the chance to use the HP Support Assistant to install updated drivers and new ROM. The software itself hasn’t changed much from previous versions, although now it also lists other HP devices you own, such as printers on your network and your account. It performed well and kept the notebook up to date.
In all a nicely designed and built notebook PC, with great business features and perfomance.