Targeted at travelers who need to get a lot done on the road, the HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 packs a 2.60GHz 6th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, an innovative touchpad and a spacious 256GB SSD solid-state drive inside an attractive aluminium body. Plus, this lightweight 14-inch notebook features a fingerprint reader and MIL-SPEC durability to protect against all sorts of mishaps.
The 1040 G3's 14-inch full-HD (1920 x 1080) screen wowed me with rich, lush colors. The pageantry of the early scenes of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire looked great, from the greens of the grassy estate lawns to the orange sparks of Katniss' costume at the start of the games. With a display that averages 264 nits of brightness, the 1040 G3 is brighter than the thin-and-light laptop category with average for brightness (238 nits). It also boasts an ultra-wide viewing angle screen.
Thin, dark gray and curved at the corners, the sleek HP EliteBook 1040 G3 was designed to fit easily into your travels. Its aluminum-alloy lid prominently features HP's logo, also seen on the bezel below the display. When you open the 1040 G3, you see a wide speaker on the deck, with the webcam and microphones above.
With only 1.44 mm of travel and keys that are on the softer and less-clicky side, typing wasn't that enjoyable on the 1040 G3. Using the 10 FastFingers typing test, I averaged only 60 words per minute, which is well short of my desktop average score of 67 wpm. The 1040 G3 has three keys - Power, Airplane Mode and Mute - separated from the rest of the keyboard, and they're very easy to spot and access. When the Airplane Mode button or the Mute button is enabled, the button's backlighting changes from white to orange, clearly indicating the current state of the notebook.
The left side of the 1040 G3 features one USB 3.0 port, a microSD card slot and a Kensington lock slot. On the right side is a second USB 3.0 port, a DisplayPort 1.2 port and a headphone/microphone combo jack. Connectors for HP's docking station are found on the underside of the 1040 G3. The 1040's 720p HD webcam enables you to make video chats with friends and relatives wherever they are.