HP Folio 13 review: HP Folio 13

The HP Folio 13 feels fast in everyday use, and especially in terms of startup and wake-from-sleep time. A cold boot launched in about 20 seconds, and a lifting-the-lid wake from sleep took only 4 seconds. It felt just as fast as a MacBook Air, but wasn't as silent; I heard a gentle operating whine from the Folio 13 most of the time, although it's possible that toying with the HP CoolSense controls might have helped.

The included 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M processor is a bit slower than the Core i5 models we tested in the Asus Zenbook and Lenovo IdeaPad U300s, but faster than the Toshiba Portege Z835 configuration we reviewed. This second-generation processor fits right in the middle of the standard Intel ultrabook processor spectrum, enabling programs to launch quickly and making it possible to handle most everyday office tasks easily and efficiently. In terms of performance the Folio 13's closest ultrabook peer is the Acer Aspire S3 , although most ultrabooks perform similarly. Anything I'd feel comfortable doing on a MacBook Air, I'd feel comfortable doing with the HP Folio 13.

Juice box
HP Folio 13 Average watts/hour
Off (60%) 0.3
Sleep (10%) 0.65
Idle (25%) 5.39
Load (05%) 24.39
Raw kWh number 24.63
Annual power consumption cost $2.80

Annual power consumption cost

The integrated battery on the HP Folio 13 lasted for 5 hours and 58 minutes in our test--just a hair under 6 hours, which is excellent for the ultrabook category. Only the MacBook Air fared better. Taking this laptop into the thick of things at CES 2012, I was able to get through most live blogs and even several hours of blog posting without needing to recharge. That's as strong a real-world endorsement of as I can think of.

HP includes a standard one-year warranty with the Folio 13, but offers a variety of warranty and service upgrades when you order on its Web site: home pick-up and drop-off service, warranties of up to four years, and accidental damage protection and LoJack theft protection. Prices vary, from $89 extra for a two-year Care Pack pick-up-and-return warranty extension, to $344 for a four-year warranty with House Call service and accidental damage protection. HP's Web site is a bit of a jumble, but the support section is more streamlined. A toll-free number, 800-474-6836, is available for support for any laptop under warranty.

Road warriors looking for a thin PC, take a close look at the Folio 13. I don't think you'll be disappointed--unless, of course, you own a MacBook Air. No, the HP Folio 13 won't set your world on fire in terms of design. But it's the most reasonably priced and solidly performing Windows ultrabook I've seen thus far, and, at this point, the best.

System configurations:

HP Folio 13
Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 3000; 128GB Samsung SSD

Dell XPS 14z
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-2640M; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 520M / 1GB(Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 750GB Western Digital 7,200rpm

Toshiba Portege Z835-P330
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.4GHz Intel Core i3-2367M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Hitachi 5,400rpm, Intel HD 3000 Toshiba 128GB SSD

Asus UX31E-DH52 (Zenbook)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-2557M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB(Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 128GB SSD

Lenovo IdeaPad U300s
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-2677M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 3000; 256GB JMicron 616 SSD

Acer Aspire S3-951-6646
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 128MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm + 20GB SSD

Find out more about how we test laptops.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Dec 7, 2011
  • Installed Size 4 GB
  • CPU Intel Core i5 (2nd Gen) 2467M / 1.6 GHz
  • Resolution 1366 x 768 ( HD )
  • Weight 3.3 lbs
  • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000
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