“If you happen to want a 2-in-1 you can take anyplace and get work finished, albeit a bit extra slowly, then the Elite Folio is an efficient alternative.”

Snug development because of vegan leather-based

Stable construct high quality

Nice show in three:2 side ratio

Wonderful keyboard and pen

Progressive 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 might be generic, however each every so often, one thing breaks the mould. That describes the HP Spectre Folio when it launched in 2018.

It was a singular 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 if you happen to appreciated the shape issue and the bizarre supplies, then HP has a brand new possibility for you, the Elite Folio. This new system follows the identical design cues whereas being aimed toward HP’s business prospects.

But it surely’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 most recent ARM processor obtainable for Home windows 10 laptops. My overview unit was configured with stated processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), a three.5-inch IPS three:2 show, and 4G LTE WWAN assist. It’s an costly laptop computer at $1,890, placing it solidly in premium territory. It’s an fascinating 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? Effectively, 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 suppose the Elite Folio feels as heat and alluring — nor as supple — because the Spectre Folio. It’s simply not as elegant.

The Elite Folio nonetheless seems a bit like a leather-bound paper pocket book, however the Spectre Folio emulates that feeling much better. Nonetheless, the Elite Folio remains 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 purpose 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 sides — 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 similar. The show flips within the center because of the flexibleness of the vegan leather-based materials and might 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 unique tackle the 2-in-1 and it really works properly, albeit with just one angle relatively than the various angles obtainable with a 360-degree convertible or pill with a kickstand.

I discovered the show to be a bit wobbly in clamshell mode, sufficient in order that I seen 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 anyplace 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 high quality firm, and also you gained’t really feel like you have 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.

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By way of its dimension, the Elite Folio is zero.63 inches thick and weighs 2.92 kilos. That compares to the Spectre x360 14 at zero.67 inches and a couple of.95 kilos and the XPS 13 at zero.58 inches and a couple of.eight kilos. Whereas the steel portion of the Elite Folio’s base is sort of skinny, the lid is a bit thicker and the vegan leather-based provides further bulk. The Elite Folio is due to this fact not as small because it could be if it have been constructed purely of steel.

Connectivity isn’t the Elite Folio’s best energy. You get two USB-C three.1 Gen 1 ports, one on either side (both will energy the laptop computer), and a three.5mm audio jack. That’s it. Thunderbolt isn’t supported, after all, due to the Qualcomm chipset. Wi-fi connectivity is strong, nevertheless, with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. You can even select between optionally available LTE four or 5G WWAN assist, and there’s a SIM slot situated subsequent to the pen (extra on that later). HP selected to go together 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 very good efficiency that Apple squeezes out of its M1 ARM chip. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 is meant to supply improved efficiency, and whereas I might like to quantify this claimed enchancment, it’s troublesome as a result of lack of assist for a lot of Home windows legacy functions. Most of our benchmarks gained’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 three,zero28 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, after all, 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 four,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), internet looking, and the like. I couldn’t run any of our extra strong benchmarks, such because the Handbrake check 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 need to use for modifying giant pictures or any video. It’s fanless and utterly quiet, which is a plus and a boon for battery life.

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

Show and audio system

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I additionally couldn’t check 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 three: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 increased than Full HD, however I’m most likely extra involved about increased resolutions than the everyday productiveness consumer. The display 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 atmosphere, but it surely wasn’t shiny sufficient to make use of exterior within the daylight (as is the case with most laptops). HP affords its newest Positive View Replicate privateness display as an possibility, and it’s a lot brighter at 1,000 nits with the privateness operate turned off — making it an possibility for anybody who desires a really shiny show.

Colours appeared shiny 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 shiny 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 brief work of longer we pages and paperwork.

The 2 upward-firing audio system to every aspect 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

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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 light-weight contact. I don’t discover it fairly as springy because the Spectre Folio’s keyboard, and so I nonetheless want that one to the Elite Folio’s, however the latter’s keyboard nonetheless ranks up there with the very best.

The touchpad on the Elite Folio is barely bigger than the one on the Spectre Folio, because of the taller show and the extra house 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 assist for Home windows 10’s multitouch gestures.

The Elite Folio’s show is touch-enabled and responsive. Extra fascinating is the lively pen that has its personal dock and charging station above the keyboard. It’s an incredible resolution for storing the pen, though it does make the pen flat relatively than spherical. I discovered it fairly snug in use, although. It helps four,096 ranges of stress sensitivity and tilt, and it really works properly with Home windows 10’s inking capabilities. The three:2 side ratio can also be extra snug for writing on the display, being wider when held as a pill in portrait mode and nearer to an everyday 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 after all, you possibly can hold it topped off simply by storing it in its rightful place.

An infrared digicam and facial recognition present home windows 10 Hi there assist, and I discovered it quick and dependable. HP inbuilt 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 rivals. The Spectre x360 14, for instance, has 67 watt-hours obtainable. 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 exams wouldn’t run on the Elite Folio, so I used to be restricted to simply our internet and video exams. In internet testing, which runs by way of a sequence of standard 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 check was barely higher than common for current Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake laptops — and lots of lasted for much longer. The Samsung Galaxy Ebook 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 check.

On our video check that loops by way of a 1080p film trailer, the Elite Folio lasted for 19-and-a-half hours. That’s a robust displaying, however once more, it’s properly behind the Lenovo Flex 5G’s 28 hours. The Galaxy Ebook Professional 360 made it to 17.5 hours, and once more the Elite Folio underwhelmed given its environment friendly ARM CPU.

There’s little question that the Elite Folio will final a full day of labor, but it surely doesn’t fairly stay as much as its processor’s promise. That could be as a result of comparatively small battery capability, which is a operate 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, but it surely’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 progressive. The Elite Folio affords the identical design, modified barely to be much more efficient because of the show’s three:2 side ratio. I’ll notice that the vegan leather-based materials isn’t as viscerally pleasing as the real leather-based on the Spectre Folio, but it surely’s nonetheless extra snug than naked steel.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 underwhelmed. Its efficiency wasn’t a lot improved over the earlier technology, and it stays a slower CPU that complicates issues with restricted software compatibility. And the Elite Folio’s battery life is aggressive with Intel-based laptops, but it surely needs to be higher. It’s not unhealthy; it’s simply doesn’t stay as much as its potential.

General, the laptop computer is nice to make use of, with an incredible keyboard and pen, and it affords quick always-on connectivity choices. If you happen to want a 2-in-1 you can take anyplace and get work finished, albeit a bit extra slowly, then the Elite Folio is an efficient alternative.

Are there any options?

The Lenovo Flex 5G would possibly use the previous-generation processor, but it surely performs virtually in addition to the Elite Folio and will get much better battery life. As with our different 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 strong alternative if you happen to 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 comparable battery life whereas spending a whole bunch much less.

How lengthy will it final?

The Elite Folio ought to final for years because of a sturdy construct — so long as the vegan leather-based materials holds out, which we gained’t know till it’s been subjected to the same old remedy. There’s solely a one-year guarantee, which is business customary and disappointing for a business laptop computer.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, if you have to work anyplace and also you just like the pull-forward 2-in-1 design.

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