Today we’re reviewing another ultrabook, and though the product segment is fast becoming cluttered with thin, ultraportable notebooks, HP’s offering has enough features to stand out from the crowd. The manufacturer claims that the Folio 13 has the legs to deliver 9.5 hours of usable battery life while still maintaining a relatively thin 18mm profile.
The overall design of the Folio 13 is relatively safe, compared to the other ultrabooks that came before it. But considering it’s currently being aimed at enterprise users, the design decision is completely understandable. That doesn’t mean that the Folio 13 is ugly, far from it – it’s brushed aluminium lid is pretty to look at, the overall build quality of the device is pretty spot on. Unlike other ultrabooks, the Folio 13 isn’t completely swathed in aluminium, as the lower chassis is actually plastic, with aluminium trimmings on the top. The Folio 13 uses a 13.3-inch, HD LED display with a resolution of about 1366×768. The keyboard is an illuminated island-type deal, with plenty of travel and is gloriously comfortable to type on. As is par for the case with ultrabooks, the Folio 13 is relatively light, and clocks in at only 1.5 kilos.
Under the hood, you get an Intel Core i5-2467M processor that’s pumping out about 1.6GHz of computing power, paired with 4GB of DDR3 memory. The Folio 13 uses a 128GB SSD drive to store everything, which is probably also the reason why the device posts extremely fast boot times (less than 20 seconds). The Folio 13 isn’t lacking in ports, as it has 2 USB ports, HDMI and an Ethernet port – essential for business users.
With the relatively fast Intel Core i5 processor inside and adequate memory, there wasn’t a doubt in our minds that the Folio 13 would perform brilliantly. While the ultrabook isn’t about to smoke gaming PCs in graphics performance, it did well on every other task that we put it through, which included browsing, viewing HD videos on both VLC and YouTube. Like we mentioned earlier, typing on the Folio 13 was a very pleasant experience – which isn’t always the case for ultrabooks.
The Folio 13 also managed to get one thing right that we’ve mostly abandoned hope on – the trackpad. The Folio 13’s trackpad is very precise, and although it was a bit stiff to press, it also had one thing that we always complained about – a left and right click separator.
While HP posted a battery claim of about 9.5 hours, we weren’t able to replicate that particular feat on our own tests. We did however manage to enjoy about 8 hours of usable battery life with typical use, which is pretty damn impressive in its own right, considering a lot of ultrabooks struggle to reach the 6 hour mark, let alone 8.
That doesn’t mean that the Folio 13 doesn’t have its own share of niggles, of course. For one, the screen isn’t as good as we’d hoped, which easily gets drowned out outdoors even on the highest brightness setting. Viewing angles are also pretty limited, and you’ll constantly try to find a sweet spot when it comes to screen positioning for the Folio 13 when you’re using it in a place where there’s plenty of ambient lighting. The Folio 13 also becomes a bit warm during use – not enough to burn you of course, but warm enough to make you uncomfortable when it’s resting on your lap.
So is the Folio 13 THE ultrabook you’ve been waiting for? It certainly has the goods – great performance, excellent keyboard and trackpad as well as long battery endurance. It’s not perfect, of course – but it’s pretty damn close. The HP Folio 13 retails for Php 55,990.
Excellent design and build quality
Long battery life
Bad viewing angles
Gets a bit warm during use
The HP Folio 13 isn’t perfect, but considering its performance during its time with us, it’s currently the ultrabook that’s on the top of our wishlist.
- Screen Size: 13.3-inch HD LED, 1366×768 resolution screen
- Memory: 4GB DDR3
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2467M, 1.6GHz
- Storage: 128GB SSD
- Physical Dimensions: 22.02 x 31.85 x 1.8 cm
- Warranty: 1 year on parts and labor