Skip to navigation

HP Folio 13 review

Verdict

An affordable combination of Ultrabook luxury, great battery life and classy looks, with only a few compromises

Review Date: 7 Apr 2012

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £666 (£799 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
4 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

After the glass splendour of its Envy Spectre 14, HP’s latest Ultrabook is a much more understated affair. The Folio 13 drops the screen size down to 13.3in, does away with the stylish sheets of Gorilla Glass, and slashes the price to a seriously tempting £799.

HP has got the look and feel of the Folio 13 just right. The brushed aluminium lid contrasts with the smooth, yet solid-feeling plastics moulded to the underside, and the chassis’ rounded, tapered edges make for a deliciously designed laptop. In fact, every inch of the Folio 13 exudes luxury – the build quality is excellent, without a hint of flex, and the combination of soft-touch plastics and cold metal feels gorgeous.

That pristine exterior hides a solid mid-range specification. The 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M processor is a familiar sight, as is the 4GB of DDR3 RAM, but we’re glad to see HP hasn’t scrimped on the solid-state storage – the Folio packs in a 128GB Samsung SSD. It perhaps isn’t the fastest SSD we’ve seen in an Ultrabook – sequential read and write speeds peaked at a modest 208MB/sec and 190MB/sec, about half that of the best we’ve seen – but it’s clearly fast enough, as proven by the Folio 13 racking up a solid 0.56 in our Real World Benchmarks.

HP Folio 13 - front

That performance doesn’t come at the expense of stamina, either. Our light-use battery test saw the Folio 13 last for a perfectly good 8hrs 12mins. Of the Ultrabook competition, only the Asus Zenbook UX31E can better that by a significant margin, with its time of 8hrs 53mins.

HP hasn’t skimped on the essentials. A single USB 3 port sits next to a full-sized HDMI output, a Gigabit Ethernet socket and an SD card reader, while another USB 2 port and a combined headphone/microphone socket are pushed to the right-hand edge. The presence of only single-band Wi-Fi is disappointing, but you do at least get Bluetooth 3. And unlike most of the more affordable Ultrabooks, HP has fitted a backlit keyboard – a genuinely useful addition.

It all makes for a laptop that’s a pleasure to use. The keyboard’s Scrabble-tile keys depress with a soft, cushioned stroke, and the large right-shift key and spacious layout make for fast, accurate touch-typing. The rubberised finish of the keys is worth a mention, too – in addition to feeling lovely under the finger, it also provides some welcome grip.

1 2
Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

mindblowingly mediocre surely? I'm increasingly concluding that display is everything. That's Apple's secret.

By gavmeister on 7 Apr 2012

@gavmeister

I fully agree, but other manufacturers offer good displays. Sadly either not in the UK, or only in conjunction with a £1000 plus price tag. As I always say, visit Dell's US site to see what we are missing out on.

By tirons1 on 7 Apr 2012

hi

wow awesome the 13 in its great

By mira548 on 10 Apr 2012

Folio 13 now good value

Hi ... bought folio13 early June for £630 PCWorld and really pleased with it ... review is accurate: keyboard is standout feature, screen average but no worse than any other in £600-£800 class, trackpad is fine ... takes a little getting use to, multi-fingure gesture does work and always option for bluetooth mouse. Price with PCWorld now sub £600 with their 10% discount offer. A well made, attractive, good performing ultra-portable/book that trades best in class looks & ~200g for great price making it best overall value IMHO ... I checked and tested the current range of suspects.

By Dabbler on 16 Jun 2012

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.

(optional)

Latest Category Reviews
Asus Transformer Book T200TA review

Asus Transformer Book T200TA

Category: Laptops
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £350
Hands on: Apple iPad Air 2 review

Hands on: Apple iPad Air 2

Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £350
Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review

Fujitsu Stylistic Q704

Category: Tablets
Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro review

Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 review

Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2

Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Compare reviews: Laptops

advertisement

Most Commented Reviews
Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features
Latest Real World Computing

advertisement

Sponsored Links
 

 
SEARCH
Loading
WEB ID
SIGN UP

Your email:

Your password:

remember me

advertisement


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010
 
 

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from www.pcpro.co.uk

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/registration.

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.