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HP EliteBook 840 Aero vs Lenovo ThinkPad T14s: Which is better?


The laptop market is overflowing with options to choose from, and making a decision can be tough. Even if you’re looking specifically at business laptops, you have some great choices out there. Two of the best business laptops you can find today are the HP EliteBook 840 Aero and the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2. Both of these are lightweight and come with plenty of configuration options, but they each have their own advantages and disadvantages compared to the other.

In this article, we’ll be pitting these two business laptops against each other and seeing what each one does better. In the end, you should have a better idea of which one to choose for your personal needs.

Specs

As usual, we’ll start with a simple comparison of the specs in these two laptops. This lets us look at the basic differences in terms of their capabilities.

HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2
Operating system
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Pro
Processor
  • Intel Core i5-1135G7 (up to 4.2GHz, 4-core)
  • Intel Core i5-1145G7 vPro (up to 4,4GHz, 4-core)
  • Intel Core i7-1165G7 (up to 4.7GHz, 4-core)
  • Intel Core i7-1185G7 vPro (up to 4.8GHz, 4-core)
  • Intel Core i5-1135G7 (up to 4.2GHz, 4-core)
  • Intel Core i5-1145G7 vPro (up to 4,4GHz, 4-core)
  • Intel Core i7-1165G7 (up to 4.7GHz, 4-core)
  • Intel Core i7-1185G7 vPro (up to 4.8GHz, 4-core)
Graphics
RAM
Storage
  • 256GB
  • 512GB
  • 512GB + 32GB Intel Optane
  • 1TB
  • 2TB
Display
  • 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080), anti-glare, up to 1000 nits
    • Optional privacy screen
    • Optional ambient light sensor
    • Optional touch
  • 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080), anti-glare, up to 500 nits
    • Optional touch
    • Optional privacy guard
  • 14-inch Ultra HD (3840 x 2160), anti-glare, non-touch, Dolby Vision, 500 nits
Audio
  • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Audio
Webcam
  • 720p HD camera
  • 1080p Full HD webcam
Biometric authentication
  • Windows Hello IR camera
  • Fingerprint reader (optional)
  • Windows Hello IR camera (optional)
    • Optional: Human Presence Detection
  • Fingerprint reader (optional)
Battery
Ports
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports
  • 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports
  • HDMI 2.0b
  • 3,5mm headphone jack
  • SmartCard reader (optional)
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4(USB Type-C) ports
  • Two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports
  • HDMI 2.0
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Mechanical docking slot
  • SmartCard (optional)
Connectivity
  • Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 (2×2) + Bluetooth 5.0
  • 4G LTE (Intel XMM 7360, Cat 9) (optional)
  • 5G (Snapdragon X55) (optional)
  • NFC (optional)
  • Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 (2×2) + Bluetooth 5.2
  • Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E (2×2) + Bluetooth 5.2
  • 4G LTE (Quectel EM120R-GL, Cat 12) (optional)
  • 5G (Snapdragon X55) (optional)
Colors
Size (WxDxH) 12.71 x 8.46 x 0.7 in (322.83 x 214.88 x 17.78 mm)
  • 4K or low-power FHD: 12.89 x 8.82 x 0.63 in (327.5 x 224 x 16.14 mm)
  • Other Black display options: 12.89 x 8.83 x 0.66 in (327.5 x 224.4 x 16.81 mm)
  • Storm Grey: 12.89 x 8.87 x 0.66 in (327.5 x 225.4 x 16.81 mm)
Weight Starting at 2.5 lbs (1.13 kg)
  • Starting at 2.83lbs (1.28 kg)
Starting price $1,591.20 (varies) $1,606.38

Performance: The HP EliteBook 840 Aero can have more RAM and storage

Both the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s and the HP EliteBook 840 Aero have similar Intel Tiger Lake CPUs across the board. For the most part, you can expect performance to be similar, but there are some key differences.

The HP EliteBook 840 Aero has an advantage in terms of RAM and storage. It can have up to 64GB of RAM, while the ThinkPad T14s maxes out at 32GB. Plus, with the ThinkPad T14s, you can only get those 32GB of RAM if you also upgrade to an Intel Core i7 processor. HP lets you combine the RAM and processor at will. On the other hand, the RAM on the ThinkPad T14s is clocked at 4,266MHz, while the EliteBook 840 Aero uses 3,200MHz RAM.

HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 rear left view

Additionally, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero can be had with up to 2TB of SSD storage, versus the 1TB maximum of the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2. That should make it easier for the laptop to last you a few years without having to worry about deleting old files or having to use a cloud service.

(…)the HP EliteBook 840 Aero can be had with up to 2TB of SSD storage (…)

On the topic of performance, we can also touch on network performance. Both laptops can be configured with cellular networks, and both offer 5G options. However, the 5G upgrade is much more expensive on the Lenovo ThinkPad T14S than on the EliteBook 840 Aero. Plus, Lenovo requires you to add an IR camera if you want 5G, so that’s an extra $37 onto the base price. Every model of the EliteBook 840 Aero includes an IR camera, so that’s not a concern. It’s also worth noting there’s no option for cellular networks if you want to get the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s in Storm Grey.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14s left angle view

The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s has a potential advantage in terms of Wi-Fi performance, however. Some models come with support for Wi-Fi 6E, and while that’s not a common technology yet, it should become more widely available over time. Wi-Fi 6E can offer higher speeds than standard Wi-Fi 6, although it will have a shorter range. However, it doesn’t look like you can select this option if you configure the laptop yourself — you have to buy a preset configuration.

Design and ports: The HP EliteBook 840 Aero is lighter and (mostly) smaller

If you’re often working away from home and you care about portability, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero pulls slightly ahead here. The starting weight for this laptop is just 2.5lbs, while the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 starts at 2.83lbs. That’s not a huge difference, but you might notice it if you’re carrying your laptop in a backpack for hours. The HP EliteBook 840 Aero is also not as wide or as tall as the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s, but the Lenovo laptop is thinner.

Two HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 laptops with the lid partly open seen from the front and back

If you’re often working away from home and you care about portability, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero pulls slightly ahead here.

In terms of ports, the two laptops are very similar. Both have two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and both have them placed on the same side of the laptop, limiting your options for charging. The two laptops also have two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, HDMI 2.0, and a headphone jack, although the ThinkPad T14s adds a small Ethernet extension you can use for wired connections. However, you still need an adapter for standard RJ45 connections.

Moving on to extras, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero includes an IR camera in all of its configurations, while the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s only offers it as an option. On the other hand, Lenovo offers the option to add human presence detection, so the laptop wakes up as soon as you approach it, and it unlocks when it sees your face. It’s all seamless and requires no action from you, so it’s more convenient. Both laptops also give you the option to add a fingerprint reader.

As for aesthetics, Lenovo gives you two color options — Villi Black and Storm Grey — while HP only lets you choose silver. However, it’s worth noting here the Storm Grey model of the ThinkPad T14s has some limitations in how you can configure it. The aforementioned human presence detection isn’t an option here, and you also can’t add cellular connectivity if you choose the Storm Grey model. While you get the choice, it’s clear Lenovo favors its classic black color.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14s right angle view in Storm Grey

Display: 4K is only available on the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2

Coming around to the display, these two laptops are fairly similar at their base configurations. Both are Full HD 16:9 displays, and both offer options for a touchscreen and a privacy display. HP’s Sure View privacy display should offer better visibility though, since it’s a 1,000 nit panel compared to the 500 nits of Lenovo’s laptop. Some of the display options on the HP EliteBook 840 Aero restrict your ability to add cellular connectivity however. If you add a touchscreen, you only get the option for 4G, and if you choose the low-power 400 nit panel, you can’t get cellular at all.

There’s another potentially big advantage for Lenovo, too. HP only lets you get the EliteBook 840 Aero with a Full HD panel, but with the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2, you can go all the way up to Ultra HD, complete with support for Dolby Vision and HDR 400. This option does mean you can’t get a 1080p webcam however, so you have weigh your priorities there. To be fair, HP doesn’t give you the option for a Full HD camera at all, so Lenovo still wins here.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14s black front view

Bottom line

This is a balanced match-up, but making a decision comes down to a few factors you’ll want to consider. At their base configurations, these laptops are incredibly similar, but HP has some advantages. An IR camera is included by default for Windows Hello. Plus, the EliteBook 840 Aero is lighter and smaller than the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s (though it’s thicker). Conversely, Lenovo uses faster RAM, and it gives you two color options to choose from, while HP only has one color available for the EliteBook 840 Aero.

The bigger differences are in the upgrades you can get. The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s has the potential for a better display with its 4K panel. Plus, if you want to spend a little more, you can add cool extras like human presence detection to make locking and unlocking your computer as seamless as possible. However, this feature is only available in black models of the ThinkPad T14s.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s has the potential for a better display with its 4K panel.

On the other hand, the HP Pavilion 840 Aero offers more RAM and more storage. You can get it with up to 64GB of RAM, which is great for memory-heavy tasks or multitasking. Plus, the 2TB of storage gives you a lot of space to store files, and it should last you for a long time if you’re mostly storing documents and work files. If you’re interested in 5G, that upgrade is more affordable with HP’s laptop than with Lenovo’s.

If you’ve made up your mind, you can choose the laptop you prefer using the links below. If you’re not fully convinced yet, check out other great HP laptops, or head for Lenovo’s best ThinkPads.

    HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8
    The HP EliteBook 840 Aero is a lightweight clamshell laptop with tons of configuration options for business users. You can get it with up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of storage, and 5G support.
    Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2
    The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 is a thin and light laptop featuring Intel Tiger Lake processors. It can be configured with up to a 4K display and 5G support.



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