HP Elite Folio review: A costly hodgepodge of mobile-centric features
Its spectre notebooks are some of the prettiest pcs around, while its original spectre folio was a head turning mix of leather and metal. While the company continues to change superlatives like thinnest or lightest with its elite dragonfly series it’s, also bringing eye catching features across its portfolio. The hp elite folio is a real hodgepodge of some of these it’s got a leather, build a pull forward, screen snapdragon 8cx power. Lte connectivity and an included stylus with wacom technology on paper. This is a compelling mix of features that you’d want in a laptop to carry everywhere, but for a whopping eighteen hundred and eighty nine dollars the hp elite. Folio is hideously expensive for a windows on arm machine. One of hp’s greatest strengths is its unique and attractive designs in a sea of macbook ish, rounded rectangular metallic machines. The hp elite folio certainly stands out. Its vegan leather covered exterior, is subtle to the eye, but soft to the touch and carrying it around made me feel slightly more professional than usual opening the elite. Folio is a bit tricky, though, because it has a pull forward screen with the bottom half that snaps in and out of the lid. Sometimes the panel pops out when i’m just trying to open it and set it up in laptop mode. This happens about 50 of the time i wish there was a lock to keep the screen in place when i don’t want it to slide forward when the laptop is all set up, though everything works as it should.
The hinge is sturdy enough to hold the screen up at any angle and the little slot between the display and keyboard that houses and charges the included hp, slim active pen is convenient. This little slot by the way is also where you’ll find the laptop’s sim card tray, it’s, tucked away under the right end, honestly it’s a little hard to find. If you didn’t know where to look, i couldn’t find it and had to ask hp where my sim card would go speakers flank. The keyboard and a usbc port sits on each side of the machine with a headphone jack on the right, while there isn’t a fingerprint sensor for logins, you can use face recognition via the 720p infrared hybrid webcam. I also appreciate the mechanical privacy shutter here, although i wish the top bezel were a little slimmer. The thick top bezel makes the elite folios 3×2 panel look extra tall, although that could just be my eyes adjusting after spending most of my time on a 16×9 system. It’S worth noting that the surface laptop 4 has the same aspect ratio, but its bezels are slightly thinner, chunky borders, aren’t a big deal, plus the extra non touch sensitive space can make it easier to pop the screen out i’m, more bothered by the display itself. While i like the taller aspect, ratio and the 1920×1280 resolution, makes images and text look crisp on the 13.5 inch panel, i struggled to see most things under sunlight.
I spent most of last year too using the samsung galaxy book flex as my main driver and compared to that qled display the elite. Folios lcd setup just looks unevenly lit. On the other hand, hp’s audio setup here is surprisingly strong. The speakers on the keyboard deck were loud and clear, although i’d prefer a heavier bass and clearer mids on songs like dosiacats need to know the sound quality was better than many other laptops. Another advantage. The elite folio has over most ultra portables at this size is its keyboard. Hp offers buttons with 1.3 millimeters of travel here, which is one of the deepest setups i’ve tested. The layout is well spaced too. There are no undersized keys here. The adjustable back lighting is nice as well. Strangely, though, i found the buttons require a bit too much force to depress, but that is something i could see myself getting used to over time. Meanwhile, the trackpad is fine, it’s responsive and amply size with multi finger gestures. Working well, nothing super surprising or unique, but also nothing to complain about. I do have a bone to pick with hp about his webcam. Here, though, while i did like the convenience of signing in biometrically via the 720p infrared hybrid camera, i hated the way it made me. Look on video calls. Images were dark and splotchy, and i look like one of the ghosts hidden in the background of the haunting of hill house. Something else hp offers here that companies like microsoft and lenovo, don’t and samsung has done away with in its recent laptops, is an onboard slot for its included stylus that and the elite folio’s pull forward screen.
Make it easier to do things like draw sketches or take notes? You can do so with a display propped up in front of the keyboard or push it down, so it lays flat like a tablet. In all these configurations. The elite folio performed well, and i found palm rejection effective as i scroll some handwritten ramblings into paint with the convertible set up as a tablet: hp’s included elite slim active pen, uses wacom technology and detects 4096 levels of pressure and offers tilt sensitivity as well. It was responsive and smooth, as i drew, a terrible rendering of the beach when i was ready to go back to laptop mode. I appreciated the helpful little nub on the screen’s bottom edge. That makes it easier to push back up the display, also rotated between portrait and landscape orientations quickly. Amid these transitions, i wish i could say the same about the elite folio’s overall performance. It uses qualcomm’s snapdragon 8cx gen 2, with 16 gigs of ram and like most windows on our machines, we’ve tested it’s stuttery. When i switched back and forth between writing this review and checking my slack pings, it would take a few seconds for the browser based version of the chat app to load all my messages. I used the same browser based setup of slack on my daily driver, which is an intel powered pc and i’ve rarely encountered these delays. Of course, it is possible that slack is to blame for these issues, but i also experienced similar lags while setting the elite folio up benchmarks and my usual suite of apps took noticeably longer to install than on most other systems, and i was actually confused for a While why this laptop was taking so long to set up that is until i remember this – is a windows on arm system now benchmarks aren’t a perfect representation of performance, but they still tell us how the elite folio stacks up against other machines on geekbench 5.
The elite folio scored less than half of what the m1 powered, macbook air and pro got and also lost to intel systems. Like the samsung galaxy book pro 360., it did better than an intel core i3 powered acer aspire 5, but that costs about a third of the price. I don’t want to keep beating a dead horse so instead of ranting yet again about the limited, app compatibility and glitchy software emulator of windows on arm i’ll, just say this with apple, proving that it’s able to make arm based laptops that run extremely well. Microsoft seriously needs to step up its game. One of the main things snapdragon laptops do have going for them is their incredible battery life and speedy cellular connections. Although hp promises up to 20 hours of video playback on a charge, the elite folio actually conked out after 15 hours and 14 minutes on our rundown test at a lower screen brightness, the machine could potentially meet hp’s estimated mark. That said, the elite folio’s runtime already beats most ultra portables. We tested last year like hp, zone, elite, dragonfly and elitebook x360, but it fell minutes short of the surface laptop for 15 inch and galaxy book pro 360 15 inch as well. Another thing i like about snapdragon pcs are their reliable, lte connections. The elite folio supports gigabit lte, and you can get a model that can get up to 5g too, although only sub 6 is supported, not millimeter wave.
Those who prefer wi fi will be glad to know hp offers wi fi 6 on the elite folio. There is a lot to like about hp’s elite folio, its unique design, handy stylus, good battery life and convenient cellular connection. But i cannot, in good conscience, tell you to spend eighteen hundred and eighty nine dollars on a windows on our machine that doesn’t knock it out of the park and kill it on every other aspect: that’s too much money to spend for a device.