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HP Folio 13 review

HP's ultrabook offers decent battery life but weight is more laptop than lightweight
Thu Apr 05 2012, 14:30
HP Folio 13 ultrabook

Product HP Folio 13
Website HP Folio 13
Specifications Intel 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M CPU, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 128GB SSD, 13.3in Brightview 1366x768 LCD screen, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI output, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, SD card slot, 6-cell 59WHr lithium-ion battery, 1.5kg
Price £849


HP'S FOLIO 13 is the company's first ultrabook aimed at the professional market. It's designed to offer the latest Intel processors in a sleek, stylish and highly portable package.

HP Folio 13 lid

Like other ultrabook models, the Folio 13 is based on the latest Intel Core i5 processors, comes with a 13.3in display and ships with a solid state disk (SSD) drive in place of a standard hard disk drive. It also boots relatively quickly, with Windows becoming ready to use just over 20 seconds after pushing the power button in our tests.

But while Toshiba's Portégé Z830 lived up to the thin-and-light promise of the ultrabook at 1.12kg, HP's Folio 13 is scarcely thinner or lighter than many non-ultrabook notebooks.

At 1.5kg in weight and 18mm thick, the Folio is roughly comparable with Lenovo's X300 series from a couple of years back, which managed to squeeze in a DVD drive, something the Folio lacks.

This is not to say that the Folio 13 is too heavy to easily carry around, and the laptop actually feels reassuringly sturdy, which is always a bonus for a system that will probably spend most of its life being carried around or used on the move.

The Folio 13 certainly looks impressive, thanks to the brushed aluminium cover and metallic HP logo, a look that extends inside the lid. Another nice touch is the set of small and very discrete LED indicators fitted to the power button and the caps lock key, as well as other places.

When opened up, HP's 13.3in Brightview screen fills the lid nicely, with little wasted empty space surrounding it. This delivers a very decent 1366x768 resolution image, but we found it suffered from glare in some ambient light conditions, so it could be hard to read.

A high-definition webcam with resolution of up to 1280x1024 is located just above the display.

The system keyboard is 'chiclet' style, with flat slab-like keys that have a soft feel to them. The key tops are large enough to make for convenient typing, although the keys themselves have very little travel, a feature that's not uncommon with laptops.

 

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