HP Folio 13 Ultrabook Review Round Up

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2 Jan, 2012 4:36 pm

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The HP Folio Ultrabook is shipping and the review units have just started hitting the streets. We’ve pulled together a few reviews for you to get an idea of how this Ultrabook stacks up. If you’re looking to pick one up, they start on Amazon from $899.

The Folio, or DM3, will be available with Intel Core i3 or i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM, expandable to 8 GB, and a 128 GB SSD for internal storage. It has a brushed metal case and a soft-touch rubberized base that makes it easy to grip. It’s not the lightest or thinnest of the Ultrabooks, weighing in at 1.49 kg and being 1.8 cm thick, but it’s a decent form factor that should appeal to enterprise customers.

The thickness of the HP Folio allows it to house full-sized Gigabit Ethernet, one USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, and HDMI ports, and a full-sized SDHC card slot, so at least the form offers functionality, similar to the Toshiba Thrive tablet and its full-sized peripheral ports.

Rounding out the specs, the 13.3″ screen has a standard 1366 x 768 resolution and good viewing angles. The chiclet or island keyboard is backlit, which is a nice touch. Altec Lansing speakers (not Beats) are on-board, and are slightly disappointing in sound quality. Overall build quality is quite high, sturdy hinge, rubberized base, and metal chassis.


If you’ve been wondering whether you should buy the HP Folio 13, the answer is probably yes. (After all, we’re guessing people who want a higher-res display and lighter build have already moved on.) There’s just so much to love in this $900 machine: it boots quickly, includes a robust selection of ports, can be configured with helpful business features and offers a refreshingly comfortable typing experience. The biggest things we’d change are the stiff trackpad and the dim, glossy display, which frankly, we expected to find in a machine this inexpensive anyway. We also wish it managed to be as light as the Toshiba Portege Z835, though this is hardly a deal-breaker. If you can adjust to the Touchpad and aren’t picky about screen quality, we think you’ll be as pleased as we were, though it might still be worth holding off and waiting to see what CES brings next week.


Great build quality, phenomenal battery life and a lovely keyboard/touch Pad combo make HP’s Folio 13 one of our favourite ultrabooks. It doesn’t perform as well under extreme load as its competition — we’re hoping this curly problem is something that can be addressed by HP in the future. As of now, though, for day-to-day use, this is our go-to machine.

Laptop Magazine

The HP Folio 13 offers solid performance, fast boots, fantastic sound, and the best battery life of any Ultrabook on the market. Business users will also appreciate the sturdy design, backlit keyboard, and Ethernet port, though they’ll want to make sure they buy a version that comes with HP ProtectTools. However, the device also suffers from a stiff touchpad and the dimmest screen in its class.

While it’s more expensive, we still prefer the MacBook Air 13-inch, which has a much better and brighter screen and faster SSD. If you want a much lighter system for a lower price, look at the $799 Toshiba Portege Z835, which has a comfy touchpad and weighs just 2.4 pounds. However, if you want a long-lasting, lightweight notebook with more power than the Toshiba, the Folio 13 is a strong choice.

Battery life


Battery Life
HP Folio 13 6:08
Toshiba Portege Z835 5:49
ASUS Zenbook UX31 5:41
13-inch, 2011 MacBook Air 5:32 (Mac OS X) / 4:12 (Windows)
Lenovo Ideapad U300S 5:08
Samsung Series 9 4:20
Acer Aspire S3 4:11

Via Engadget, cnet, LaptopMag

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    Glad to see that HP is bringing some of the design of HP Probooks to consumer laptop lines.