Notebooks Guide

HP Folio 13-1012TU review

HP Folio 13 - An Elite Ultrabook

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Overall rating 9/10
Excellent battery life
Backlit keyboard
Good aluminum build
Keyboard flex
Low-res screen

Battery Life and Portability Index

Battery Life and Portability Index

When we say a machine like the HP Folio 13 Ultrabook is portable, it usually doesn’t stop with the unit’s weight and dimensions. To us, being portable also factors in the Ultrabook's battery life, so that you can squeeze as much productivity as you can comfortably while on the move.

As a comparison, some of the machines we’ve chosen each boast excellent battery, so would the HP Folio 13 be overwhelmed by the competition? The next section will be dedicated to finding out exactly how well the HP Folio 13 stacks up against these machines which have set the benchmark for battery longevity in this class of notebooks.

Test Notebooks Compared
Specifications/Notebook HP Folio 13 Lenovo Ideapad U300s Toshiba Portege Z830 Asus Zenbook UX31
Processor Intel Core i5-2467M
Intel Core i7-2677M
Intel Core i7-2677M
Intel Core i7-2677M
Chipset  Intel HM65  Intel HM65 Intel HM65  Intel HM65
Memory  4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3 6GB DDR3  4GB DDR3
Storage 128GB SSD 256GB SSD 128GB SSD 256GB SSD
Video  Intel HD 3000 Intel HD 3000 Intel HD 3000 Intel HD 3000
Battery 59WHr 54Whr 47Whr  50Whr
Dimensions 318 x 220 x 18 mm 324 x 216 x 14.9mm 325 x 227 x 8 - 16mm 325 x 223 x 3 - 17mm
Weight 1.49kg 1.32kg 1.12kg  1.3kg


Battery Life

To figure out just how dependable the batteries on the HP Folio 13 are, a movie file is played continuously until the power drains from the battery completely. For consistency’s sake, the same movie file with the same player is used for every single battery test we’ve ever had.

After running it on the HP Folio 13, we found that it managed to stay alive for an impressive five and a half hours before running out of juice. To date, no notebook we’ve ever tested in the last year (or recent memory) managed a battery life as long as the Folio 13. Its outstanding battery life is thanks to the fact that the Folio 13 has a battery capacity that is much larger than other competing Ultrabooks. This in turn contributes to the Folio 13’s 'chubby' exterior, causing it to weigh 1.5kg, slightly heavier than other Ultrabooks that weigh in at about 1.3kg or less.


Power Consumption

So we know the HP Folio 13 has staying power away from the wall socket, but just how efficient is the notebook? Peering into its power consumption aspects that were calculated based on the battery life and battery specs, the Folio 13 is managing decently, though not the best; that spot belongs to the Z830. However, because the power consumption figures here are fairly close to that of the Z830, the much higher battery capacity of the HP Folio 13 has the upper hand when it comes to battery life and it isn't trading off anything for this pleasant outcome.


Portability Index

Our site’s portability index, is a mathematical formula that takes elements such as the notebook’s weight, battery life and mass, blends them together and produces a ratio that helps determine just how portable and worthwhile it is to carry the machine out against other similar class notebooks. The higher the ratio, the more confidence you can have when lugging the machine out without a power brick.

Here, the 1.5kg HP Folio 13 didn’t score very well, especially when you compare with the Z830, which weighs a ridiculously light 1.12kg. However that doesn’t mean the HP Folio 13 isn’t as portable because thanks to the above comparisons, you already know that the extra weight comes from extra battery capacity and hence a much longer battery life. Disregarding the Toshiba notebook, you're only trading off about 200 grams for an extra half an hour of battery life. Between a 1.3 kg and a 1.5kg notebook, the actual difference in heft isn't very obvious. As such, this is a trade-off that some would be willing to make because the more time you have away from the wall power socket, the more work you can get done on the move.

The difference in handling is far more obvious once you try the Toshiba Z830, so it really depends on what's more important for you individually and if you can afford to spend a lot more on the Z830.