HP Folio 13-1008TU Ultrabook review

The 13.3-inch HP Folio 13-1008TU laptop is one of the best Ultrabooks I've tested

The HP Folio 13-1008TU is part of Intel's new 'Ultrabook' category of notebooks. In fact, it's one of the best Ultrabook laptops available in Australia.

It has a 13.3-inch display, measures 18mm thick with a closed lid, and weighs 1.5kg, which is heaver than some Ultrabooks on the market. It feels well built, and has a great looking brushed aluminium finish on top. It definitely conveys a sense of being a professional businesses device.

The screen is LED backlit and has a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. It offers good contrast and vibrancy though it is glossy, which is not ideal for office environments.

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The keyboard has 'isolated' style keys that offer good travel and a smooth but not slippery. Backlighting means you can type even in a darkened room, and overall I found it very easy to type with. The large 110x62mm touchpad is the best touchpad I've encountered on an Ultrabook. It was responsive to touch and supports multi-finger gestures.

On the inside the notebook is equipped with a dual-core, low-voltage 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M CPU processor (Hyper-Threading means you have four 'virtual cores', a 128GB SSD instead of a conventional (spinning) hard drive and 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM. Graphics are provided by the integrated Intel HD 3000 adapter. (For benchmark results see PC World's full, in-depth review.)

During everyday usage the notebook felt quick, thanks in part to its snappy SSD, which recorded a fast average rate of 88 megabytes second in our file copy tests; in CrystalDiskMark, it achieved read and write rates of 224MBps and 187MBps, respectively.

Coming out of sleep is almost instantaneous, and the notebook is not too loaded up with bloatware.

In addition to standard office tasks, you should have enough power for basic photo and video editing. The lack of storage might be an issue, but the USB 3.0 port means you can attach fast external storage. There is also a USB 2.0 port, 802.11n wireless networking, Bluetooth, a webcam, a combo port for headphones and microphones, an HDMI port for connecting an external monitor or HDTV and a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired networking. You can also purchase a dock for the HP Folio 13-1008TU.

A sealed body makes battery replacement difficult, but the six-cell battery delivered good performance in our test. In the 'worst case scenario' test I disabled power saving features, turn on Wi-Fi, boost display brightness to maximum and looped a video. The notebook delivered an amazing result of five hours and 18 minutes — significantly longer than other Ultrabooks to have passed through the Test Centre. When conducting basic office tasks the HP Ultrabook lasted about seven hours.

Conclusion The HP Folio 13-1008TU Ultrabook is an excellent notebook. It's a little heavier than some Ultrabooks, but it's well built, comfortable to use and has an excellent range of features. The SSD and USB 3.0 port are a plus, as is the excellent battery life. My only quibbles are that it could do with a third USB port, and a timer for the keyboard backlighting to help save power.

Score 4/5

Review: Elias Plastiras

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