HP Folio 13 review – excellent bang for the buck, but not perfect


  1. folmer

    August 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm


    I love the work you’re doing here, making us potential buyers of ultrabooks able to make an informed decision when choosing the right one.

    I really really like this one. It’s got everything I need and value in an ultrabook: good battery life, great keyboard, SSD etc.
    However, the only thing about it is that it’s an older platform, and I don’t really know if I can justify to myself buying old hardware (especially when I’m sinking hundreds of dollars into one. It feels better knowing that you’re buying the latest, even though it’s quite possible that the extra performance offered by an Ivy Bridge platform wouldn’t ever be an issue for me). Another thing is that I can’t even seem to find it on HP’s site, which suggests to me that it’s outdated and preceded, but BY WHAT? I would love just an updated version of this one, but I can’t seem to find it.

    However, what is the equivalent to this laptop in terms of keyboard (I will need to type a lot), battery life, SSD snappiness and overall design?
    It doesn’t matter if it’s a higher class ultrabook as long as the price isn’t 1200$+ or so.

    • Mike

      August 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Hey Folmer

      The thing is, HP haven’t updated the Folio 13 to Ivy Bridge. IN fact, I beleive they won’t, because from what I know, they will have two 13.3 inch ultrabook: the Spectre XT, meant for mainstream/multimedia, and the HP Elibook Folio, meant for business. And i think the latter will replace the Folio 13. However it won’t be available till October. I was present at the launch event and here are some early impressions on it:

      As for alternatives, for typing I would only go with the Lenovos. However, there’s an issues here again: their premium 13.3 incher, the Lenovo u300S, was not updated to Ivy either. They have some cheaper models, the Lenovo U310/U410 but they have some issues. I’ll post the review for the U310 in a day or two, I’ve been playing with it lately. here’s also the new Thinkpad X1 Carbon, which is awesome, but also insanely expensive.

      So, you’re out of options, if you want a premium ultrabook for typing. If you want an ultraportable… you could check the elitebooks and the lenovo x230. yeah, I might wound weird recommended all these lenovos, but to be frank, I find those to have the best keyboards, evne better than the ones on the macbooks in my eyes. And yes, I too own a Lenovo and use it for typing thousands of words a day

      Anyway, about buying a sandy bridge ultrabook. well, you’re not going to feel a big difference between sandy and ivy in daily use, the ivy CPus are usually about 5-15% better in benchmarks. You will however if you plan to run games, cause the newer platform bundles much more capable graphics. One more thing: ivy cpus should be more efficient (run cooler, eat less battery), but once again, there’s no massive difference between the two.

      I for one have a Sandy full-load Core i7 processor on my Lenovo and I don’t plan upgrading for this year’s version, I’m more than happy with the performances. So, bottom point, would I get a Sandy laptop right now? Well, yes, if I couldn’t find a proper Ivy alternative within the same price and I did not care much about games.

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