Some laptop makers opt for ultra-thin, ultra-light, and ultra-sleek when making an ultrabook. With the $999 Folio 13, HP has taken a more utilitarian and practical approach: As Samsung did with the $949.99 Series 5 14-inch Ultra, HP provides more by way of features and ease of use, rather than focusing on a strikingly slender design.
The Folio 13 is a bit thicker, heavier, and blockier-looking than the average ultrabook, and unlike Asus’ attractive $1,199 ZenBook UX21E and several other models in this class, its chassis is not constructed entirely of metal. Instead of a MacBook Air-inspired work of art, it’s an average-looking slate that won’t turn any heads.
But it’s no ugly duckling, either. In fact, its comfortable, easy-to-type-on, backlit keyboard, as well as some business-friendly features such as Windows 7 Professional and an embedded TPM security chip, may make it more attractive for folks who work on their laptops for a living. The Folio also performed reasonably well on most of our tests—turning in above-average scores on some of them, including our battery-life benchmark trial—and comes with a respectable complement of ports.
Aside from a less-than-stellar screen (in terms of very narrow viewing angles), we found little to dislike about this machine. It’s more expensive than the Series 5 Ultra, however, and that ultrabook has a larger, better-looking screen and comes with an optical drive. Overall, though, the Folio 13 is a strong, thin, and light business-oriented laptop at a reasonable price.
If you seek an even more reasonable price, HP also offers an $899.99 base model that comes with Windows 7 Home Premium instead of Professional. Aside from the operating system, though, both models are essentially the same, right down to their identical Intel Core i5-2467M processors, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB solid-state drives.
See the review at Computer Shopper.