Hands On: The New Crazy Thin EliteBook Folio: HP's Answer To The MacBook

The EliteBook Folio is thin. Super thin. Apple MacBook thin. And light. When you're working all day in places other than your office, that can be really convenient, as long as it doesn't get in the way of actually getting that work done. Despite sharing the same Core M processor line with the MacBook, the new HP EliteBook Folio packs a lot more power, including a double complement of USB Type-C.

Where the MacBook is Apple's idea of taking a minimalist laptop to the extreme, the EliteBook Folio is made to be a tool that you could actually use if you wanted to get some work done. It has more up-to-date Skylake processors from Intel's 2016 chip line-up, including the option for a Core m7; you can spec the internal PCI-E SSD up to 512GB, the RAM up to 8GB, the 12.5-inch screen from a standard 1080p up to an eye-blistering 4K. So it has more under the hood, despite being almost as skinny.

At 15mm thin, the EliteBook Folio isn't the everyday business-and-home clunker laptop that HP was known for in years previous.

Its keyboard may be a slim chiclet one, but in practice it's surprisingly easy to type on quickly, without the cramped feel of Apple's slightly smaller layout and with keys that travel significantly further.

There's a little extra room on the edges of the keyboard, which makes it easier to rest your pinky fingers on between words or sentences; this actually really help.

Then there's the ports. Having a second USB Type-C port, right next to the other on the laptop's right side as it may be, gives you that crucial ability to connect an external device while you're charging, or to transfer files between devices without having to first transfer them onto your laptop. This is something that I struggle with on my MacBook, surprisingly often, and it's the kind of thing that necessitates bulky adapters that somewhat hamper the easy all-in-one portability you want from your laptop.

Battery life, too, is one of those things that skinny laptops struggle with; HP's 36Wh cell is actually smaller than the one in the 39Wh MacBook, but the more efficient processors will contribute a long way towards HP's claims of 10 hours of actual productivity from the EliteBook Folio. This is actually a believable claim, although bump up the brightness on the screen -- and it can go a long way up -- or opt for the more pixel-dense 4K display, and you'll use more power. Even if you knock off a couple of hours, that's still a full 8-hour work day.

I've come to love my MacBook, but you have to operate within its bounds. The EliteBook Folio feels like something with just a little bit more breathing room.


    The old photo-from-an-angle-where-you-can't-really-see-the-bulge-under-the-keyboard trick.

      It ain't there!

        Hey I don't want to start an argument but the large side-on photo on the HP website clearly shows a bulge underneath. The thing doesn't even sit flush against the hard surface in the other photos.


        As I said in my original post, the photos are taken from an angle so that it looks thinner. The shape and design and styling is very reminiscent of the 13" macbook pro, which also does the same. It's still thin.

          Classic editing ala Apple removing camera protrusion from promotional photos ;)

          Right so you are starting an argument, you of course know better than Campbell who has been using one because you know you saw a bump in a photo and his actually using one means less than your opinion.

            Lol, look at the photo in the link i posted. The new folio has a bump underneath. So do macbook pros. Deal with it.

            Don't get me wrong - the way it is done is very subtle. I think it's the perfect compromise because the device looks and feels thin without compromising space.

            Last edited 10/01/16 8:37 pm

    Does look pretty! Bit of a shame there's no option for 16gb RAM however not a huge loss as those wanting to use this aren't exactly going to be using CAD applications. 8gb with an SSD is plenty for some decent photo editing these days. Be interesting to see if the CPU's in these scale their performance based on heat/usage similar to the known Surface issues. Miniaturisation almost always comes with a cost these days >.

      Shoud be better due to only using the core m which sips on juice and isnt anywhere near as powerful.

      Not sure how the SP4 throttled though.

    i don't understand why everyone wants a laptop that looks like a macbook. It doesn't even look that good and the keyboard is terrible imo...

    Shame its from HP and therefore never worth touching. Also, the bump that Lunchbox99 mentions and links too, had a look at the photos, there is a clear bump in the photos. What is it? Or is it no longer there in the current version?

    Yes but will it blend!

    Still no HDMI input, why you people cheat me so bad, me upset, me want to chuck up👎🏿... black hands means no racist.

      What laptop has hdmi input? What would you use that for?

        That's my point, there is none.

        Scenario 1:
        Grandma in third world country still using blu-Ray, but she has no TV. "Don't worry grandma, plug it into my laptop and use it as a screen... O wait, no hdmi input, sorry grandma, we can't watch airwolf shooting down space shuttles going to Pluto, perhaps next time, when Apple starts innovating again, for now grandma enjoy watching boring Netflix on your 12" iPad (that has no hdmi in!)

        Scenario 2:
        A friend (yes, I have friends) wants me to come over to play Halo 5, and to bring my xbox over as well, but he has no screen, so he tells me to bring my 65" TV screen over, but I tell him that my push bike can't carry my iPhone 6plus and the 65" at the same time, so I'm gonna have to bring my laptop over. But sadly, my laptop has no hdmi input.

        You see, I can simply buy a small screen that has hdmi input, but why spend $25, when you can have all the options for $2500.

        Do you see my point, or do I need to go on?

        Have a nice day👍🏽👈not so racist thumb...

    Campbell, it doesn't seem to be covered in the article, but am I correct in assuming that this hasn't launched yet? Looking around, it seems that the launch in the US is in March - any ideas on when it might be launching here?

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