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

“In the event you want a 2-in-1 which you can take wherever and get work performed, albeit just a little extra slowly, then the Elite Folio is an effective alternative.”

  • Comfy building due to vegan leather-based
  • Stable construct high quality
  • Nice show in 3:2 side ratio
  • Wonderful keyboard and pen
  • Revolutionary 2-in-1 design
  • Efficiency restricted to undemanding productiveness
  • Battery life inferior to some ARM laptops
  • Just one angle in media mode

Laptop computer designs may be generic, however each occasionally, 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 may’t purchase that machine any longer, however in case you appreciated the shape issue and the bizarre supplies, then HP has a brand new choice for you, the Elite Folio. This new gadget follows the identical design cues whereas being geared toward HP’s industrial clients.

Nevertheless it’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 out there for Home windows 10 laptops. My assessment unit was configured with mentioned 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 attention-grabbing 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 greatest variations between the Elite Folio and the Spectre Folio is that the previous is made with “vegan leather-based” relatively 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 referred to as “vegan” as a result of it’s not animal-based — clearly, a advertising and marketing relatively than a technical distinction. Frankly, I don’t assume the Elite Folio feels as heat and welcoming — nor as supple — because the Spectre Folio. It’s simply not as elegant.

The Elite Folio nonetheless seems just a little 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 motive HP cites for utilizing the vegan leather-based is that it bonds higher with the magnesium body. This permits for a tighter match alongside the perimeters — 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 due to the flexibleness of the vegan leather-based materials and may 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 distinct tackle the 2-in-1 and it really works properly, albeit with just one angle relatively than the various angles out there with a 360-degree convertible or pill with a kickstand.

I discovered the show to be just a little 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 strong, with no flexing or bending wherever 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 nice firm, and also you received’t really feel like you might want to 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.

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

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 couple of.95 kilos and the XPS 13 at 0.58 inches and a couple of.eight 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 is likely to be if it had been constructed purely of steel.

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

Efficiency

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To this point, Home windows on ARM processors has been underwhelming, and nothing just like the excellent efficiency that Apple squeezes out of its M1 ARM chip. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 is meant to offer improved efficiency, and whereas I’d like to quantify this claimed enchancment, it’s troublesome as a result of lack of help for a lot of Home windows legacy functions. 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 couple of,802, respectively — not a lot of an enchancment. And, in fact, it’s nothing in comparison with the scores achieved by Intel’s 11th-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 couple of,544. Going by this benchmark alone, the Elite Folio is a sluggish laptop computer.

In precise use, I discovered it to be snappy sufficient for typical productiveness work like utilizing Microsoft Workplace functions (which run natively on the chipset), net looking, and the like. I couldn’t run any of our extra strong benchmarks, such because the Handbrake take a look at that encodes a 420MB video to H.265 nor Cinebench 23 or our ordinary PCMark 10 benchmarks. However I wager the Elite Folio isn’t a machine that you just’re going to wish to use for enhancing giant photographs or any video. It’s fanless and utterly quiet, which is a plus and a boon for battery life.

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

Show and audio system

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

I additionally couldn’t take a look at 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 screen 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 ordinary working surroundings, however it wasn’t vivid sufficient to make use of outdoors within the daylight (as is the case with most laptops). HP gives its newest Certain View Mirror privateness display screen as an choice, and it’s a lot brighter at 1,000 nits with the privateness perform turned off — making it an choice for anybody who desires 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.

General, 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 quick work of longer we pages and paperwork.

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

Keyboard and touchpad

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

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 reveals. There’s additionally ample 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 choose 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, due to the taller show and the extra area on the keyboard deck. It’s not fairly as giant 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 attention-grabbing is the lively pen that has its personal dock and charging station above the keyboard. It’s an amazing answer for storing the pen, though it does make the pen flat relatively than spherical. I discovered it fairly comfy in use, although. It helps 4,096 ranges of strain sensitivity and tilt, and it really works properly with Home windows 10’s inking capabilities. The three:2 side ratio can also be extra comfy for writing on the display screen, being wider when held as a pill in portrait mode and nearer to a daily piece of paper when it comes to dimensions. HP estimates that the pen’s cost will final for 10 days of three hours utilization a day, however in fact, you may hold it topped off simply by storing it in its rightful place.

An infrared digicam and facial recognition present home windows 10 Hey help, and I discovered it quick and dependable. HP in-built a bodily privateness shutter for the webcam, and so that you’ll have to ensure that 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 opponents. The Spectre x360 14, for instance, has 67 watt-hours out there. 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 net and video checks. In net testing, which runs by way of a collection 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 take a look at was barely higher than common for current Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake laptops — and plenty of lasted for a lot longer. The Samsung Galaxy E book 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 take a look at.

On our video take a look at that loops by way of 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 E book 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, however it doesn’t fairly dwell as much as its processor’s promise. That is likely to be as a result of comparatively small battery capability, which is a perform 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, however it’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 modern. The Elite Folio gives the identical design, modified barely to be much more efficient due to 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, however it’s nonetheless extra comfy than naked steel.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 underwhelmed. Its efficiency wasn’t a lot improved over the earlier era, 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, however it must be higher. It’s not dangerous; it’s simply doesn’t dwell as much as its potential.

General, the laptop computer is nice to make use of, with an amazing keyboard and pen, and it gives quick always-on connectivity choices. In the event you want a 2-in-1 which you can take wherever and get work performed, albeit just a little extra slowly, then the Elite Folio is an effective alternative.

Are there any alternate options?

The Lenovo Flex 5G would possibly use the previous-generation processor, however it performs nearly 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 when it comes to efficiency and, with a decrease decision show, competes in battery life. We reviewed the mannequin with the OLED show, and that machine is inexpensive than the Elite Folio whereas providing a vastly superior visible expertise.

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

How lengthy will it final?

The Elite Folio ought to final for years due to 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 standard remedy. There’s solely a one-year guarantee, which is business customary and disappointing for a industrial laptop computer. Be aware that it’s simply $75 to improve to a three-year guarantee, which is a cut price.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, if you might want to work wherever and also you just like the pull-forward 2-in-1 design.

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