HP Elite Folio Overview: A Twist On the Pull-Ahead 2-in-1

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“Should you want a 2-in-1 that you could take anyplace and get work accomplished, albeit a bit of extra slowly, then the Elite Folio is an effective selection.”

  • Comfy development because of vegan leather-based
  • Strong construct high quality
  • Nice show in 3:2 side ratio
  • Wonderful keyboard and pen
  • Progressive 2-in-1 design
  • Efficiency restricted to undemanding productiveness
  • Battery life not so good as some ARM laptops
  • Just one angle in media mode

Laptop computer designs could be generic, however each every so often, one thing breaks the mould. That describes the HP Spectre Folio when it launched in 2018.

It was a novel 2-in-1 — a leather-clad “pull-forward” design that stood out for its magnificence and sophistication. You’ll be able to’t purchase that machine any longer, however in the event you appreciated the shape issue and the bizarre supplies, then HP has a brand new choice for you, the Elite Folio. This new machine follows the identical design cues whereas being aimed toward HP’s industrial prospects.

But it surely’s not only a cookie-cutter copy of the Spectre Folio. The Elite Folio is notable for its use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, the newest ARM processor accessible for Home windows 10 laptops. My assessment unit was configured with stated processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), a 3.5-inch IPS 3:2 show, and 4G LTE WWAN help. It’s an costly laptop computer at $1,890, placing it solidly in premium territory. It’s an fascinating design with uncommon supplies —  however is that sufficient to compete within the crowded enterprise 2-in-1 market?

Design

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One of many largest variations between the Elite Folio and the Spectre Folio is that the previous is made with “vegan leather-based” moderately than the real leather-based used within the latter. What’s “vegan leather-based,” you ask? Nicely, in a phrase, it’s plastic — technically, polyurethane. It’s known as “vegan” as a result of it’s not animal-based — clearly, a advertising and marketing moderately than a technical distinction. Frankly, I don’t assume the Elite Folio feels as heat and alluring — nor as supple — because the Spectre Folio. It’s simply not as elegant.

The Elite Folio nonetheless appears to be like a bit of like a leather-bound paper pocket book, however the Spectre Folio emulates that feeling much better. Nevertheless, the Elite Folio continues to be fairly distinctive, and its all-black shade scheme works properly with the vegan leather-based, making for a laptop computer that’s not simply one other silver wedge.

By the way, the first purpose HP cites for utilizing the vegan leather-based is that it bonds higher with the magnesium body. This enables for a tighter match alongside the sides — the Spectre Folio’s leather-based wrapped round and added to the width and depth — and a barely smaller chassis. I see the reasoning, however the vegan leather-based simply doesn’t maintain the identical attraction.

In any other case, the design is equivalent. The show flips within the center because of the pliability of the vegan leather-based materials and could be pulled ahead over the keyboard, forming a media mode. Pull it additional ahead, and it turns into a pill with a slight angle. It’s a special tackle the 2-in-1 and it really works properly, albeit with just one angle moderately than the numerous angles accessible with a 360-degree convertible or pill with a kickstand.

I discovered the show to be a bit of wobbly in clamshell mode, sufficient in order that I observed it whereas typing. Most 360-degree convertibles I’ve used, just like the HP Spectre x360 14, have firmer hinges. And as with the Spectre Folio, the facility button is on the keyboard and hidden in all however clamshell mode.

The Elite Folio feels fairly sturdy, with no flexing or bending anyplace within the chassis. On this division, it’s the equal of the Spectre x360 14 and Dell XPS 13. That places the Elite Folio in high quality firm, and also you received’t really feel like it is advisable child the laptop computer simply due to its distinctive supplies and design. Solely time will inform how the vegan leather-based holds as much as put on and tear, although.

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When it comes to its dimension, the Elite Folio is 0.63 inches thick and weighs 2.92 kilos. That compares to the Spectre x360 14 at 0.67 inches and a pair of.95 kilos and the XPS 13 at 0.58 inches and a pair of.8 kilos. Whereas the steel portion of the Elite Folio’s base is kind of skinny, the lid is a bit thicker and the vegan leather-based provides extra bulk. The Elite Folio is due to this fact not as small because it may be if it had been constructed purely of steel.

Connectivity isn’t the Elite Folio’s best power. You get two USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports, one on both sides (both will energy the laptop computer), and a 3.5mm audio jack. That’s it. Thunderbolt isn’t supported, after all, due to the Qualcomm chipset. Wi-fi connectivity is strong, nevertheless, with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. You can too select between non-compulsory LTE 4 or 5G WWAN help, and there’s a SIM slot situated subsequent to the pen (extra on that later). HP selected to go together with 5G Sub6 right here and never mmWave.

Efficiency

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Thus far, Home windows on ARM processors has been underwhelming, and nothing just like the very good efficiency that Apple squeezes out of its M1 ARM chip. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 is meant to offer improved efficiency, and whereas I might like to quantify this claimed enchancment, it’s tough because of the lack of help for a lot of Home windows legacy purposes. Most of our benchmarks received’t run on the Elite Folio, so I can’t give a lot goal knowledge.

I may run Geekbench 5, and right here the Elite Folio managed a meager 770 in single-core mode and a barely higher 3,028 in multi-core mode. That compares to the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 1 within the Lenovo Flex 5G at 700 and a pair of,802, respectively — not a lot of an enchancment. And, after all, it’s nothing in comparison with the scores achieved by Intel’s Eleventh-gen Core CPUs, to not point out the Ryzen 5000 chips and the Apple M1. The HP Spectre x360 14 with its Core i7-1165G7 hit 1,214 and 4,117, for instance, whereas the Ryzen 7 5800U-equipped Asus ZenBook 13 UX325UA scored 1,423 and 6,758. Apple’s MacBook Air with the M1 blew away the sector at 1,727 and seven,585. Solely the Acer Aspire 5‘s Core i3-1115G4 scored equally at 1,214 and a pair of,544. Going by this benchmark alone, the Elite Folio is a gradual laptop computer.

In precise use, I discovered it to be snappy sufficient for typical productiveness work like utilizing Microsoft Workplace purposes (which run natively on the chipset), internet shopping, and the like. I couldn’t run any of our extra sturdy benchmarks, such because the Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video to H.265 nor Cinebench 23 or our normal PCMark 10 benchmarks. However I wager the Elite Folio isn’t a machine that you just’re going to wish to use for enhancing massive images or any video. It’s fanless and fully quiet, which is a plus and a boon for battery life.

I additionally couldn’t check the graphics utilizing our normal 3DMark benchmarks, and Fortnite wouldn’t set up, so I couldn’t run that check, both. The Elite Folio isn’t a gaming machine, which is okay as a result of it’s not supposed to behave like one.

Show and audio system

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I additionally couldn’t check the show utilizing my colorimeter for lack of supported drivers. And that’s a disgrace as a result of it’s a stunning 13.5-inch IPS show within the productivity-friendly 3:2 side ratio that I’d love to have the ability to quantify. Decision is decrease than I’d like at 1,920 x 1,280, simply barely greater than Full HD, however I’m in all probability extra involved about greater resolutions than the standard productiveness person. The display was sharp, simply not as sharp as I like.

HP advertises 400 nits of brightness, and I’m certain the show approaches that metric. I by no means discovered it too dim in my normal working surroundings, but it surely wasn’t vivid sufficient to make use of outdoors within the daylight (as is the case with most laptops). HP affords its newest Positive View Mirror privateness display as an choice, and it’s a lot brighter at 1,000 nits with the privateness operate turned off — making it an choice for anybody who needs a really vivid show.

Colours appeared vivid and pure and never oversaturated. I can’t attest to the accuracy, however I noticed nothing amiss as I used the show subsequent to a Dell XPS 13. Netflix and different streaming video appeared neither too vivid nor too darkish, so gamma appears to be on level.

Total, I loved utilizing the show. Taller shows are a lot extra practical than old-school 16:9 panels, and so I can see the Elite Folio making brief work of longer we pages and paperwork.

The 2 upward-firing audio system to every facet of the keyboard put out adequate quantity for watching YouTube movies and the occasional Netflix present. Mids and highs are clear and nice, however the bass is nearly no-existent. It’s a very good sound system for such a small laptop computer, however you’ll nonetheless need a pair of headphones for longer binge periods and music listening.

Keyboard and touchpad

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The Elite Folio makes use of a model of the Elite keyboard, which is analogous to the model HP makes use of on its Spectre line however not precisely the identical. It’s engineered to be constant throughout the keyboard and really steady — and it exhibits. There’s additionally adequate journey at 1.3mm, with a cushty bottoming motion and a lightweight contact. I don’t discover it fairly as springy because the Spectre Folio’s keyboard, and so I nonetheless desire that one to the Elite Folio’s, however the latter’s keyboard nonetheless ranks up there with the perfect.

The touchpad on the Elite Folio is barely bigger than the one on the Spectre Folio, because of the taller show and the extra area on the keyboard deck. It’s not fairly as massive because the touchpad on the Spectre x360 14. It was as responsive as all Microsoft Precision touchpads are, offering exact and dependable help for Home windows 10’s multitouch gestures.

The Elite Folio’s show is touch-enabled and responsive. Extra fascinating is the lively pen that has its personal dock and charging station above the keyboard. It’s a fantastic answer for storing the pen, though it does make the pen flat moderately than spherical. I discovered it fairly snug in use, although. It helps 4,096 ranges of stress sensitivity and tilt, and it really works properly with Home windows 10’s inking capabilities. The three:2 side ratio can be extra snug for writing on the display, being wider when held as a pill in portrait mode and nearer to an everyday piece of paper by way of dimensions. HP estimates that the pen’s cost will final for 10 days of three hours utilization a day, however after all, you may hold it topped off simply by storing it in its rightful place.

An infrared digital camera and facial recognition present home windows 10 Hi there help, and I discovered it quick and dependable. HP in-built a bodily privateness shutter for the webcam, and so that you’ll must make it possible for it’s open if you wish to log in utilizing your face.

Battery life

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HP packed a 46 watt-hour battery into the Elite Folio’s diminutive chassis, which is lower than some rivals. The Spectre x360 14, for instance, has 67 watt-hours accessible. The Qualcomm CPU is meant to be very environment friendly, nevertheless, and so I used to be anticipating battery life to excel.

As soon as once more, I used to be restricted within the variety of benchmarks I may run. The PCMark 10 checks wouldn’t run on the Elite Folio, so I used to be restricted to only our internet and video checks. In internet testing, which runs by a sequence of common webpages, the Elite Folio managed slightly below 11 hours, in comparison with the Lenovo Flex 5G with the previous-generation Snapdragon 8cx that went for 17 hours. The Elite Folio’s longevity on this check was barely higher than common for latest Intel Eleventh-gen Tiger Lake laptops — and lots of lasted for a lot longer. The Samsung Galaxy Ebook Professional 360 with a Core i7-1165G7, for instance, lasted for greater than 1.5 hours longer. I anticipated higher efficiency from the Elite Folio on this check.

On our video check that loops by a 1080p film trailer, the Elite Folio lasted for 19-and-a-half hours. That’s a robust exhibiting, however once more, it’s properly behind the Lenovo Flex 5G’s 28 hours. The Galaxy Ebook Professional 360 made it to 17.5 hours, and once more the Elite Folio underwhelmed given its environment friendly ARM CPU.

There’s little doubt that the Elite Folio will final a full day of labor, but it surely doesn’t fairly dwell as much as its processor’s promise. That may be because of the comparatively small battery capability, which is a operate of the laptop computer’s diminutive base portion. Regardless of the case, the HP Elite Folio lasts longer than your common Intel-based laptop computer, but it surely’s removed from being the longest-lasting among the many different Snapdragon-based laptops we’ve examined.

Our take

The Spectre Folio was a standout machine when it was launched in 2018. Its leather-based was luxurious, and its design progressive. The Elite Folio affords the identical design, modified barely to be much more efficient because of the show’s 3:2 side ratio. I’ll word that the vegan leather-based materials isn’t as viscerally pleasing as the real leather-based on the Spectre Folio, but it surely’s nonetheless extra snug than naked steel.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 underwhelmed. Its efficiency wasn’t a lot improved over the earlier technology, and it stays a slower CPU that complicates issues with restricted utility compatibility. And the Elite Folio’s battery life is aggressive with Intel-based laptops, but it surely needs to be higher. It’s not dangerous; it’s simply doesn’t dwell as much as its potential.

Total, the laptop computer is nice to make use of, with a fantastic keyboard and pen, and it affords quick always-on connectivity choices. Should you want a 2-in-1 that you could take anyplace and get work accomplished, albeit a bit of extra slowly, then the Elite Folio is an effective selection.

Are there any alternate options?

The Lenovo Flex 5G may use the previous-generation processor, but it surely performs virtually in addition to the Elite Folio and will get much better battery life. As with our different alternate options, it’s additionally a number of hundred {dollars} much less. You’ll simply have to surrender the pull-forward design and the vegan leather-based.

The HP Spectre x360 14 is a superior 2-in-1 by way of efficiency and, with a decrease decision show, competes in battery life. We reviewed the mannequin with the OLED show, and that machine is cheaper than the Elite Folio whereas providing a vastly superior visible expertise.

The Dell XPS 13 9310 is a stable selection in the event you don’t want a 2-in-1. It’s simply as well-built, additionally has a wonderful keyboard, and outperforms the Elite Folio. Get the Full HD show and also you’ll see comparable battery life whereas spending a whole lot much less.

How lengthy will it final?

The Elite Folio ought to final for years because of a sturdy construct — so long as the vegan leather-based materials holds out, which we received’t know till it’s been subjected to the same old therapy. There’s solely a one-year guarantee, which is trade commonplace and disappointing for a industrial laptop computer.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, if it is advisable work anyplace and also you just like the pull-forward 2-in-1 design.

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