Heat and Noise
The single, centrally located fan inside the Folio 13 stays running most of the time but is quiet and isn't likely to be heard over typical office white noise. At maximum speed, it develops a high-pitched whine that isn't so easy to ignore. We only managed to get the fan running at the highest setting during benchmarks and while transcoding HD video, so typical office users probably won't be bothered by fan noise.
External temperatures are all pretty modest with the exception of a hot spot near the fan intake (the heat sink for the CPU is located in this area). All temperatures shown below are listed in degrees Fahrenheit.
The Folio 13 delivered six hours, 51 minutes of battery life during our standard battery rundown test (Windows 7 Balanced power profile, 70% screen brightness, wireless active and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds). This isn't quite as good as the Lenovo U300s but it is better than the ASUS UX31E and Toshiba Portege Z835 ultrabooks. We have little doubt that the Folio 13 will deliver more than seven hours of battery life if you turn down the screen brightness.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
We have a number of great things to say about the HP Folio 13 after spending a few weeks using this modestly-priced ultrabook. For starters, the build quality is second to none in the ultrabook category. The aluminum construction makes the Folio 13 extremely solid without making it too thick or heavy. Not only that, but HP didn't sacrifice something important like a media card reader just to save a fraction of an inch or an extra ounce of weight. Yes, it stinks that you can't easily replace components or swap the battery, but these are pretty standard issues with ultrabooks.
The LED-backlit keyboard is quite nice and the battery life is more than enough to get you through a typical work day (particularly if you let the notebook go to sleep during lunch). Combine all that with a price tag of $899 or less and this is a pretty good deal for an ultrabook.
However, the Folio 13 isn't perfect. The glossy screen with average resolution and contrast combined with an annoying clickpad makes for a frustrating user experience. The fan is quiet most of the time but develops an equally annoying high pitched whine if you push the Folio 13 with extremely stressful applications.
Bottom line, if you can live with the average glossy screen and twitchy clickpad the HP Folio 13 is an very solid, affordable ultrabook with a good balance of performance and features.
Software & Support
* Ratings averaged to produce final score
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