HP Pavilion EliteBook 840 Aero vs Dell Latitude 7420: Which is better?
Buying a new laptop can be an exciting time, but making the choice isn’t always easy. There are so many great laptops now that even specific segments of the market have strong competition. When looking at business laptops, Dell and HP are two of the strongest contenders in the space, and if you’re looking for something lightweight, you may find yourself choosing between the HP EliteBook 840 Aero and the Dell Latitude 7420.
Each of these laptops is light and powerful for business tasks, but they do have some significant differences. If you need help choosing between the two, we’re going to guide you through those differences so you can make the right choice.
First off, let’s take a look at the specs in each of these laptops to get an idea of how different they are.
|HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8||Dell Latitude 7420|
|Size (WxDxH)||12.71 x 8.46 x 0.7 in (322.83 x 214.88 x 17.78 mm)|
|Weight||Starting at 2.5 lbs (1.13 kg)|
|Starting price||$1,591.20 (varies)||$1,477.84 (varies)|
Design: The Dell Latitude 7420 can be a 2-in-1
While these two laptops have a lot in common in terms of specs, the design presents a few differences. The most notable one is that the HP EliteBook 840 Aero is only a clamshell laptop, though it does have optional touch support. The Dell Latitude 7420 can be configured with touch support, but it can also be a 2-in-1 convertible, in which case it also has pen support. That alone can make your choice for you.
Given the option, I would personally always go with the 2-in-1 design, provided the specs are comparable. Convertibles are much more versatile, and you can use your laptop in many different ways, draw on it, or rotate the keyboard back to just focus on the screen.
If you value portability though, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero might be a bit more appealing. This laptop starts at just 2.5lbs, making it super light. The Dell Latitude 7420 starts at 2.89lbs if you stick to the typical clamshell model. If you go for the 2-in-1 version, it starts at 3.23lbs, and that’s not a small difference. On the other hand, the Dell Latitude 7420 is more compact — it’s less wide, less tall, and less thick. However, these aren’t huge differences, and the weight is likely the bigger factor for portability.
For connectivity and ports, each laptop has advantages and disadvantages, though the Dell Latitude arguably has more well-rounded ports. Both have two Thunderbolt 4 ports, but the Latitude 7420 has one on each side of the laptop, so you can have the charger on either side, for example. The HP EliteBook 840 Aero not only has the two Thunderbolt ports right next to each other, but even the barrel charging port is on the same side, which can limit your flexibility for charging.
“If you value portability though, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero might be a bit more appealing.”
Meanwhile, the Dell Latitude 7420 has just one USB Type-A port, while the EliteBook 840 Aero has two. However, that comes at the cost of a microSD card reader, which the Latitude 7420 has and the EliteBook doesn’t. Of course, microSD cards aren’t something everyone needs, so which one is better is ultimately up to you. Otherwise, both laptops are similar, with an optional SmartCard reader, NFC, and fingerprint sensor. However, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero gets more points for customizability, since each of these options is independent from the other. Dell groups some of these additions together.
Finally, in terms of looks, the Dell Latitude 7420 has the potential to be more interesting. While both laptops have a simple silver option, the Latitude 7420 can be had with a black carbon fiber lid. This model also has a darker keyboard deck. Neither of the laptops are very flashy, but that’s expected (and often desirable) for a business laptop.
Performance: The HP EliteBook 840 Aero has more options
Both of these laptops have fairly standard notebook specs — they both have the exact same processor options, and the RAM and storage configurations also overlap a lot. However, HP has a few aces up its sleeve that make the EliteBook 840 Aero potentially the better option.
For starters, it can be had with up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB storage, both of which double the maximum on the Dell Latitude 7420. The lowest configuration of the HP EliteBook 840 Aero also includes 256GB of storage, versus the 128GB minimum of the Dell Latitude 7420.
HP gets extra points for flexibility here too. Each of these options can be configured to your heart’s content, regardless of the other options. You can get the EliteBook 840 Aero with an Intel Core i5, but have 64GB of RAM and 2TB of storage if you want. If you want 32GB of RAM on the Dell Latitude 7420, you have to get it with an Intel Core i7-1185G7, and if you want 8GB of RAM, you have to choose one of the Intel Core i5 models. If you want to choose the performance that’s just right for you, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero is the best option.
Continuing HP’s lead here, the EliteBook 840 Aero can also be configured with 5G connectivity, which is not an option on the Dell Latitude 7420. Both laptops have 4G LTE options, but only one can have 5G, which may not be super important now, but it’ll become more important as 5G becomes more mainstream.
“If you want to choose the performance that’s just right for you, the HP EliteBook 840 Aero is the best option.”
Finally, if you care about battery life, the Dell Latitude 7420 might be better for you — with the right configuration. The HP EliteBook Aero has a 53Whr battery, but that’s the only option you can get. The Dell Latitude has a smaller battery in the base configuration — just 42Whr — but you can also upgrade to a 63Whr model. That potentially makes the Dell more appealing if you work away from home or office for long periods.
While it’s not necessarily related to performance, it’s also worth noting the Dell Latitude 7420 can be had with Ubuntu out of the box, while the HP EliteBook 840 Aero is only available with Windows 10. You can always install Ubuntu on a PC that shipped with Windows though.
Moving on to the display, these two laptops are very similar at the base level, but there are some differences in how you can configure them. Both start with 14 inch Full HD displays with 250 nits of brightness, but from there, there are a few differences. The Dell Latitude 7420 has a SafeScreen privacy display by default, while on the EliteBook 840 Aero, it’s optional.
On the other hand, if you get the privacy screen on HP’s laptop, you get a display with up to 1,000 nits of brightness, far more than what Dell offers in any of its configurations. The HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 includes an IR camera for Windows Hello by default, while the Dell Latitude 7420 offers it as an option.
Both laptops also have options for an ambient light sensor, but with restrictions. You can’t get a touchscreen or privacy screen on the HP EliteBook 840 Aero if you want the ambient light sensor. In fact, you can’t get a touchscreen if you want a privacy screen, either. On the Dell Latitude 7420, the light sensor is only available in the 2-in-1 model.
One option the Dell Latitude 7420 offers over the HP EliteBook 840 Aero is a 4K display. This is only available without touch support, but if you just need that super sharp display, the Dell Latitude 7420 gives you that option. HP’s offering only has a Full HD display.
Bottom line: The HP EliteBook 840 Aero wins in performance and portability
You hear it all the time, but it’s true — which laptop is best depends on what you’re looking for. However, it’s fair to say the HP EliteBook 840 Aero pulls a convincing victory over the Dell Latitude 7420 in a few key areas. First off, performance. You can configure the EliteBook 840 Aero with double the storage and RAM of what the Latitude 7420 allows, and that means the laptop can last you longer and handle more memory-heavy tasks. HP is also a lot more flexible with how you can combine these specs, so you can tailor each aspect to your specific needs.
“While the HP EliteBook 840 Aero is clearly the winner in terms of raw specs and portability, there are valid reasons to want the Dell Latitude 7420 instead.”
The HP EliteBook 840 Aero is also more portable, starting at a noticeably lower weight than the Latitude 7420. On top of that, you can configure it with 5G support if you want higher internet speeds while you’re away from Wi-Fi. On the other hand, Dell gives you the option for a larger battery, so it may be better if you’re away from an outlet for many hours at a time.
However, the Dell Latitude 7420 has its own appeal, starting with the fact it can be a convertible. That may not matter to everyone, but 64GB of RAM or 5G support also isn’t something everyone needs. If you want the flexibility of the 2-in-1 form factor, the Latitude 7420 is still a high-performance laptop.
Dell also gives you the option to get a carbon fiber-covered laptop lid. Silver laptops are abundant on the market, but if you want something a little different, you have to go with the Dell Latitude 7420.
At the end of the day, it comes down to what you value the most. While the HP EliteBook 840 Aero is clearly the winner in terms of raw specs and portability, there are valid reasons to want the Dell Latitude 7420 instead. If you’ve made your choice, you can customize either one of the laptops using the links below.