Computers are slowly going the smartphone way with ‘thinner is better,’ being the design mantra. Two years back, you wouldn’t have cared if your laptop was bulky, but in 2016, the choices have changed.
With the Apple MacBook launch in 2015, Cupertino introduced a laptop that was only 13mm in thickness, dropping every port in favour of a single USB Type-C one. And now Windows OEMs are following the trend. The latest sleek laptop on the list is HP’s Elitebook Folio G1.
HP Elitebook Folio G1
For HP, Elitebook series comprises of the business-centric devices, meant for professionals and focusing on premium security tools over design aesthetics.
HP Elitebook Folio G1 has an ultra-thin design, even if the name is too long. If Apple Macbook is just 13mm thin, Elitebook Folio G1 is slimmer at 12mm. If Macbook has just one USB Type-C port, Elitebook Folio G1 comes with two USB Type-C ports.
Apple Macbooks don’t support touchscreens, but HP decided to add that to the Elitebook. But does the HP Elitebook Folio G1 really work out in practice? Here’s our review.
Specs: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit | Intel Core m7-6Y75 Processor | 8GB RAM | 256GB storage | 12.5-inch Full HD(1920 x 1080) LED | USB Type-C x2 | 1 kg
Price: Rs 1,43,100
What is good?
You don’t buy a laptop every month or every year. At best your employer will offer a two or three year refresh cycle. So why hesitate from buying the best designed notebook. At this moment, HP Elitebook Folio G1 is the most beautiful looking notebook out there. The CNC aluminium design, only 12 mm in thickness, can be laid out flat at 180 degrees; all points in its favour.
HP Elitebook Folio G1 is an ideal machine for anybody who wants to travel light, and yet carry a notebook. The notebook weighs under 1 Kg, and it means you can forget there is one in your backpack.
Apart from design, HP Elitebook G1 is powerful on the inside too. It runs a sixth generation Core m7 processor, (which is really made for this fanless design). The processor comes with a base frequency of 1.2GHz, but you can really push it, to 3.1GHz with Intel’s turbo boost technology. Our review unit came with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage, and everything just worked snappily on this one. Windows 10 booted instantly, and the laptop was extremely quick to resume from sleep.
Rather than shutting down the notebook, I had Elitebook Folio in sleep mode during the time I had the device. The fast resume feature will really appeal to business users, who need to be ready with their official documents, files at all times.
Since we are talking about keeping the laptop in sleep mode, I must say the battery doesn’t really drain much. On one particular instance, I watched a two and a half hour long movie (stored locally), and it lost just around 20 per cent of battery with display at full brightness. I managed two days of use from this machine.
HP has handpicked things that would appeal to business users, and perfected most of them. I would rate this battery as an above average performer.
A good laptop should have an excellent keyboard, and I was extremely skeptical about Elitebook Folio G1’s keyboard. But having used it for some time now, this keyboard is a delight to type on. It doesn’t have as much travel in comparison to Macbook Air or HP’s Envy 13, but it is still very easy to type on. The spacing between keys is enough that you won’t make too many mistakes. If you are a business professional preparing presentations, documents or excel sheets, this keyboard won’t disappoint.
HP Elitebook Folio’s trackpad is one of the most accurate tracking devices right now. It is buttonless, and comes very close to an optical mouse in terms of accuracy. It responds to multi-touch gestures like two-finger scroll, three finger swipe and pinch to zoom perfectly. Most Windows 10 navigation gestures work perfectly here.
HP Elitebook G1 comes with a 12.5-inch Full HD LED backlit display, which is vibrant, even at 25 per cent brightness. An edge-to-edge display means the viewing angles are extremely good, and the colours stayed accurate, even when the display was pushed back 45 degrees. The panel being glossy, however, might not appeal to everyone’s taste.
HP Elitebook Folio G1 comes standard with TPM encryption and offers IntelvPro remote management. HP has also added its own software suite, which offers security tools like password manager, device encryption and HP spare key (which allows users to log in even if they forget their password). HP Client Security also offers option to add trusted devices to allow log-in using Bluetooth devices.
Most importantly, HP Elitebook Folio G1 comes with Dynamic protection for BIOS, the most crucial part of any computer.
HP Elitebook Folio G1’s bottom mounted Bang & Olufsen-based speakers reproduce accurate sound. The playback of vocals is spot-on, and the sound is loud enough to fill a room.
What is not good?
HP Elitebook Folio G1 comes with two USB Type-C ports (1 more than Macbook), but the big question is how ready are you to adopt this port? I realised that I was least prepared for it. I couldn’t find a way to share documents with my friend since we had only regular USB cables.
HP is shipping the device with USB-C to USB 3.0 Adapter and USB-C to RJ45 Adapter, but I didn’t get one of these with my review unit.
The power brick to charge the laptop remains the same. It’s relatively big and a pain to carry around.
HP is offering only two SKUs in India, which sets the entry point to this notebook at well over Rs 1,26,000. I really feel HP should have launched the $999 entry-level model in India.
With HP Elitebook Folio G1, it is hard to find faults. If you want a business laptop with a security tools, and if you are ready to adopt USB-C port as your go-to port, then Elitebook Folio G1 is an excellent option.
If you rely on Windows 10 and want a really light, secure and robust machine for your daily work, and price is not a concern, get the HP Elitebook Folio G1.