HP’s EliteBook 745 G3 is a sleek, secure business notebook with a few drawbacks. I’m a big fan of the machine’s slim profile and sturdy construction. Plus, it provides good performance for multitasking, and its loud-and-clear speakers are great for videoconferencing sessions. Unfortunately, a shallow keyboard and short battery life make the EliteBook 745 a subpar work machine.
The EliteBook 745 comes equipped with a speedy AMD Pro A12 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid-state storage, a setup that’s plenty powerful for daily work tasks. Meanwhile, the system’s 14-inch 1080p display is bright and sharp, and provides enough space for split-screen multitasking.
Security options are also good. The EliteBook 745 comes equipped with a fingerprint reader located at the bottom left corner of the keyboard, which will take you to your desktop with a quick swipe. Meanwhile, HP’s preloaded Client Security software can help you securely log into website and work networks.
The EliteBook 745’s keyboard disappoints, though. The shallow layout offers just 1.3 millimeters of travel on each stroke, which is noticeably short of the 1.5mm we look for in a work notebook. Deeper keys are better because they provide a more comfortable, desktop-like typing experience.
And don’t expect the EliteBook 745’s to last through the end of the workday without a recharge. The system died after a scant 5 hours and 54 minutes on our battery life test, which simulates continuous Web browsing over Wi-Fi. That falls far short of rival notebooks like the Toshiba Portege Z30t-B (7 hours), Lenovo ThinkPad T460s (7:21) and Dell Latitude E5250 (8:31).
Check back for a full review of the HP EliteBook 745 G3 very soon, or check out our picks for the best business laptops currently on the market.