HP Launches Its First Business-Class Ultra-Thin Notebook
HP has finally released its first business-class ultrabook, aptly named the Folio13. As you may have correctly guessed, it’s a super-thin, 13-inch notebook designed specifically for the road warrior on the go. But will 2012 be the year of the copycat MacBook Airs? Here’s the scoop …
The Folio13 comes outfitted with an SSD, up to nine hours of battery life, a 13-inch screen with a high-def screen — but here HP is disingenuous. The resolution is actually 1366×768, which is the same resolution as the 11-inch MacBook Air. Comparatively, Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air has a 1440×900 display. So buyer beware, you’re not actually getting more screen real estate.
Setting those things aside, HP has tweaked the Folio13 to be more “business-friendly” by outfitting it with an Ethernet port. Including the port, the device measures 18mm thin, which is just 1mm thicker than the MacBook Air, though unlike the MacBook Air, it does not taper down to 3mm. The Folio13 is a uniformly thick 18mm. It also clocks in heavier than both 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs, at 3.3 pounds.
The Folio13 also comes with USB 3.0, which is a nice plus, and a backlit keyboard. If requested, the Folio13 can also come outfitted with a trusted platform module to ensure constant encryption and protection of device data. The standard notebook features also are there, including a webcam, multitouch trackpad, HDMI out and an SD card reader.
Naturally, HP beats out Apple on price. The Folio13 is slated to be priced at $900 and should be out by December 2011.
At 13 inches, I think HP should really be offering more bang for the buck when it comes to resolution. HP can win major points if its nine-hour battery is truly nine hours of regular use, which would definitely beat the seven hours promised by the 13-inch Macbook Air.
Should you run out and buy one right now? I’d say hold off. I think PC manufacturers will need a bit more time to perfect their designs, and the second half of 2012 likely will be when these devices mature enough to be solid competition to what Apple is offering. But if the Folio13 meets your budget and you just can’t wait, you’ll likely be happy with the purchase.