Monday, January 2, 2012

HP Folio 13 review

Engadget - By the time HP unveiled its first Ultrabook, the Folio 13, other heavyweights like Acer, ASUS, Lenovo and Toshiba had already gotten a head start of up to several months. But being fashionably late to market may have worked in Hewlett-Packard’s favor: the Folio 13 ($900 and up) is temptingly priced for what it is. Even the base model comes stocked with a 128GB SSD, backlit keyboard, HDMI port and Ethernet jack — specs that undercut the ASUS Zenbook UX31 and 13-inch MacBook Air, and render the $900 Acer Aspire S3 nearly irrelevant. Not to mention, it brings business-friendly features such as TPM circuitry that other Ultrabook makers have omitted from their 1.0 products. But surely HP cut some corners to get here, no? Is this really as sweet a deal as it seems? Funnily enough, the answer is “yes,” on both counts.

Look and feel

Considering how aggressively priced this thing is, HP made surprisingly few design compromises. Okay, the bottom is made of plastic, not aluminum, and the display offers narrow viewing angles, but other than that it’s well-made and yes, tasteful, even. We’ll wait a moment for all those folks who hate 1366 x 768 screens and things that aren’t metal to leave the room. Are they gone? Good. We think the rest of you will agree that that tried-and-true brushed metal lid was a safe design choice and also, a perfectly elegant one. Even better, those smooth metal surfaces continue onto the keyboard deck, stretching down to the palm rest. Particularly after reviewing split-personality machines like the Aspire S3, we appreciate that what’s underneath the lid matches the exterior.                      More