HP Folio 13 review

The Folio 13 aims to combine a stylish design with performance. Sasha Muller takes a look at whether the HP Ultrabook is able to out-muscle its rivals.

Price
£799

HP has unveiled the Folio 13, a well equipped laptop that will cater to the needs of business users and one that comes with a tempting price of 799.

The Folio 13 looks and feels great. 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.

HP Folio - back

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. With a weight of 1.5kg the Folio 13 isn't the lightest device out there.

Under the hood

The 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. We're were particularly happy to see that the Folio packed in a 128GB Samsung SSD. This 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 hasn't skimped on essentials. A single USB 3.0 port sits next to a full-sized HDMI output, a Gigabit Ethernet socket and an SD card reader. A USB 2.0 port and a combined headphone/microphone socket sit on the right-hand edge. The presence of only single-band Wi-Fi is disappointing, but you do at least get Bluetooth 3.0.

Disappointing display

The only notable weakness is the display. It looks acceptable enough in isolation, perhaps due to the glossy finish, but closer examination reveals it to be just as average as many of its Ultrabook peers. Brightness peaks at a modest 223cd/m2, and the low 193:1 contrast ratio leaves it struggling to reproduce fine detail in the brightest and darkest areas of our test photographs.

HP Folio - display

The resolution is not too impressive

HP settles for a bog-standard 1,366 x 768 panel. The device is perfectly usable, but those after a higher resolution and better image quality will need to look to Samsung's Series 9 or Apple's MacBook Air.

Featured Resources

Consumer choice and the payment experience

A software provider's guide to getting, growing, and keeping customers

Download now

Prevent fraud and phishing attacks with DMARC

How to use domain-based message authentication, reporting, and conformance for email security

Download now

Business in the new economy landscape

How we coped with 2020 and looking ahead to a brighter 2021

Download now

How to increase cyber resilience within your organisation

Cyber resilience for dummies

Download now

Recommended

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

29 Apr 2021
Best laptops 2021: Acer, Apple, HP and more
Laptops

Best laptops 2021: Acer, Apple, HP and more

25 Mar 2021
Managing a late migration
Microsoft Windows

Managing a late migration

11 Feb 2021
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

16 Jun 2021
What is HTTP error 400 and how do you fix it?
Network & Internet

What is HTTP error 400 and how do you fix it?

16 Jun 2021
Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app
iOS

Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app

10 Jun 2021