Elitebook vs ProBook build quality? (Recent generations)

Discussion in 'HP Business Class Notebooks' started by OperationDinnerOut, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. OperationDinnerOut

    OperationDinnerOut Notebook Consultant

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    Can anyone speak to the differences in the build/feel of recent ProBooks versus the generation-equivalent EliteBooks? I'm thoroughly sold on the build of the last several generations of the EliteBook, but I have yet to see a ProBook in person. ProBooks are of course meant to be the "entry level" business laptops for smaller organizations - but is that reflected in, say lower quality screens, hinges, case durability, or the keyboards?

    I started looking at EliteBook 840 G5s for personal use, as my work has issued me one and, quite frankly, it blows me away. The IPS FHD panel is beautiful, the keyboard's feel is (to me) amazing, and the rest of the machine physically is built at least as well as I've come to expect. I'm essentially wondering, then - Is the equivalent ProBook (assuming an IPS or VA panel) likely to feel similar? The ProBook equivalent to the EB 840 G5 is, I believe, the PB 440 G6.

    Let's talk about some other specific EB/PB comparisons.

    Specific class of laptop:
    For personal use, I ultimately stepped up from the 14" laptops and started looking at the 15.6" series - the EB G5 850 and 755, or the ProBook 450 G6. Those two EliteBooks share a chassis, while the 450 G6 is similar-looking but a little thicker and heavier by a half pound. The ProBook 450 G6 also has a discrete GPU option that isn't as hard to find in used laptops on eBay, and it has a 2.5" bay additional to the NVMe socket, which the EliteBooks lack.

    The 14 and 15 inch EliteBooks and ProBooks appear *visually* to have the same keyboard. Though anyone who is particular about their laptop's keyboard knows that keyboards identical in appearance may have drastically different typing feel. I am not an expert typist (in fact, I can't touch-type), but the feel of the keyboard still matters to me, and the feel of the 840 G5's keyboard really stands out to me. I'm really hoping the ProBook keyboard on an equivalent model is the same or close.

    Graphics performance:
    I do intend to do some light gaming at lower resolutions on this machine. The 450 G6 has an optional GeForce MX130, while the 850 G5 has a (hard to find) Radeon RX 540 and the 755 G5 has no discrete option, though the integrated Vega 10s in the 755's Ryzen CPUs is apparently pretty good as integrated graphics go. Benchmarks show that the 450 G6 is likely the best performer out of the group. Surprisingly, the 850 G5's RX 540 throttles considerably under load, so it underperforms the 450 G6 even though the 850 is more expensive.

    The ProBook 450 G6 *seems* like a winner for my needs and budget - the question just becomes, Will it feel as nice as an EliteBook? Or, will it make its "budget laptop" origins readily apparent? How do the ProBooks and EliteBooks feel in comparison?
    Narwa likes this.
  2. SnakeSK

    SnakeSK Notebook Enthusiast

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    You are comparing totally different lines here, EB has HPs DuraCase (magnesium alloy), while the 400series is all plastic apart from basic structure which is aluminium. The 600 series just has more options (WWAN cards etc). The 450 G6 is winner just in your eyes because you look strictly at points you mentioned, 450 has no thunderbolt, no IR camera option, ridiculously expensive 5 year support carepack, no accidental damage protection, no SPM. While it may have 2,5" bay, it is still an entry level business laptop, you can see it on the displays for example, let alone the chassis and build quality. No one buys an elitebook for discrete GPU because you can easily connect one via TBT as eGPU (something you dont have on 400/600 series). 700/800/1000 series are higher priced for a reason, not apparent at the first glance, but these elitebooks can last in excess of 5 years without any problems, We RMAed 400 series probooks after a year (recently because of failed HDMI port).

    tldr - Not a fair comparision, choose with what your wallet can handle, but ProBook is no match for an EliteBook

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