HP EliteBook Folio G1 Review: Within the race to make the thinnest laptop on the block, manufacturers usually sacrifice usability, slapping on uncomfortable keyboards, eschewing key ports or offering mediocre performance. Although it’s even slimmer than the MacBook (12-inch), the HP EliteBook Folio G1 ($999 to begin, $1,429 as examined) is a productivity powerhouse, complete with a sharp 12.5-inch screen, a sleek but sturdy design that survives critical drops and among the finest keyboards I’ve used on a laptop. With robust speakers, fanless cooling and an infrared camera for face logins, the HP EliteBook Folio G1 get nearly everything right. However, its battery life could be better.
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Review – Specifications
Processor 1.2-GHz Intel Core m7-6Y75
RAM 8 GB
Storage 256 GB M.2 SSD
Display 12.5-inch Full-HD (1920 x 1080)
Operating System Windows 10 Pro
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 515
Dimensions 11.5 x 8.23 x 0.47 inches/ 2.14 poundsback to menu ↑
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Review – Design
With its thin, matte silver aluminum chassis, the HP EliteBook Folio G1 is a very engaging laptop which often looks a lot just like the 12-inch MacBook. However, a polished silver hinge and HP logo help distinguish it from Apple’s light-weight laptop. The Folio retains the similar aesthetic on the inside, along with a shiny thin black bezel and leaves enough room for a webcam on the top.
Along with a single 3.5-mm audio jack, the laptop has two Type-C USB ports (Thunderbolt) which can be used for charging, connecting to multiple displays or transferring information at blistering USB 3.1 speeds (as much as 10 Gbps). That’s twice as many ports as the Apple MacBook and is enough to charge your laptop and connect to any other device at the same time.
Measuring 11.5 x 8.23 x 0.47 inches, the HP EliteBook Folio G1 is thinner but is taller and wider than the Apple MacBook 12-inch (11.04 x 7.74 x 0.14-0.52 inches). The 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (13.11 x 9.02 x 0.65 inches), the Dell’s Latitude13 7370 (12 x 8.3 x 0.56 inches), along with the Razer Blade Stealth (12.5 x 8.1 x 0.52 inches) were also thicker.
Weighing at just 2.14 pounds, HP’s laptop is just a bit heavier than the 2.04-pound MacBook, however a lot lighter than the Latitude 13, Carbon and Stealth. With a touch screen, the Folio will get 0.02 inches thicker and .22 pounds heavier.back to menu ↑
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Review – Keyboard and Touchpad
Regardless of its thin chassis, the HP EliteBook Folio G1 packs in probably the most comfortable and responsive ultraportable laptop keyboards I’ve ever examined. Based on our measurements, the keys have only 1.05 mm of key journey. The keys provide such snappy feedback that I never “bottomed out,” or hit bottom with a lot of force. The keyboard even sounded good, offering a pleasant clicky feedback as I typed.
The keyboard comes with a backlight that was more than bright enough at both its high and low settings. However, unlike on many different business laptops, the EliteBook Folio G1’s keyboard isn’t spill-resistant.
Whereas many buttonless touchpads suffer from jumpiness, the HP Folio G1’s 3.6 x 2.3-inch pad was as accurate as any optical mouse. Throughout my testing, I highlighted text in documents, clicked many icons and navigated around Windows 10 with high precision. Gestures such as two-finger scroll, pinch-to-zoom, and three-finger swipe worked flawlessly.back to menu ↑
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Review – Display
We examined configurations of the HP EliteBook Folio G1 with 1080p nontouch and 4K touch displays. Each panel provided detailed pictures; however, colors had been a lot more vibrant on the 4K panel. The Folio’s 4K screen measured 377 nits on our light meter, in comparison with 288 nits for the 1080p panel. The 4K panel is much more bright than the Apple MacBook (327), Dell Latitude 7370 with 4K display (307) and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon with 2K display (257). The Razer Blade Stealth was the winner with 402 nits of maximum brightness.
On the 1080p screen, the shades had been noticeably darker and more muted. Superb particulars, such because the traces in Steve Rogers’ brow and the battle scars on Iron Man’s masks, had been distinguished on each shows, although even sharper on the 4K panel.
Based on our colorimeter, the 4K panel can reproduce an impressive 161 % of the sRGB color gamut, which is much more than the ultraportable category average (88 %) and the colorful displays on the Latitude 13 (117 %), ThinkPad X1 Carbon (103 %) and MacBook (107 %). However, the EliteBook Folio’s 1080p screen is a lot less colorful, reproducing only 72 % of the gamut.back to menu ↑
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Review – Graphics and Audio
The HP EliteBook Folio G1 comes with integrated Intel HD 515 graphics processor which is good enough for watching movies, editing pictures, minor video crunching, and light gaming, however not for hardcore gaming or CAD work. The laptop scored a respectable score of 65,639 on 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited. That’s far ahead of the category average (46,247) and the Dell Latitude 7370 (42,323), however slightly worse than the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (67,488) and Razer Blade Stealth (67,757).
The EliteBook Folio G1’s bottom-mounted Bang & Olufsen audio system provided accurate audio that loud enough to fill a conference hall with its crisp sound. The included Bang & Olufsen software offers an audio-enhancement mode, which was enabled by default and made the sound hollow when I turned it off. The app also lets you adjust the equalizer with presets for various genres of music such as rock and jazz.back to menu ↑
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Review – Hardware and Performance
Our review model of HP EliteBook Folio G1 comes with an Intel Core m7-6Y75 CPU, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD, which is powerful enough to deal with everything I threw at it including intense multitasking to serious productive work. The laptop didn’t show any lags even with over a dozen Chrome tabs open along with playing a Full-HD video on YouTube in background. I was able to type a Google doc and switched between tabs without any distortion.
The HP EliteBook Folio G1 scored a robust 6,706 on Geekbench 3 test. That’s far better than some of the ultraportables including the Core m5-6Y57 powered Dell Latitude 7370 (4,095) and the Core m5-powered Apple MacBook (5,906). The Core i5-6300-powered Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (6,828) and the Core i7-6500U powered Razer Blade Stealth (6,893) were a bit better.
The EliteBook Folio took just 4 minutes and 21 seconds to finish the spreadsheet macro test by matching 20,000 names with their addresses. That’s about 75 % faster than the category average (7:20) and way ahead of the Latitude 13 7370 (6:56). However, the MacBook was over a minute faster (3:11).
The EliteBook Folio G1’s 256GB M.2 SATA SSD took 31 seconds to copy 4.97GB of mixed-media files. That’s a transfer rate of 162.2 MBps, which is slightly ahead of the category average (147.1 MBps), however well behind the Apple MacBook (355.9 MBps) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (419 MBps) that comes with a blazing-fast NVMe-PCIe SSD.back to menu ↑
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Review – Battery Life and Heat
Although the HP EliteBook Folio G1 is light enough to take wherever, you won’t want to stray too far from an outlet, particularly for those who get the version with the 4K screen. With the 1080p, nontouch display, HP’s laptop lasted a respectable 7 hours and 2 minutes on the on the Battery Test, which includes continuous browsing over Wi-Fi. The 4K model was even worse with just 4 hours and 35 minutes of endurance.
Both 4K and 1080p versions fall far behind the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9:06 with a 1080p screen, 7:57 with 2K display). The Dell Latitude 13 7370 was noticeably stronger, enduring for 7:53 with its 1080p panel and 6:21 with its 4K display.
HP is using a low-power Core M processor in the Folio G1 so as to give it a fanless design which would make the device larger and heavier. After streaming a Full-HD video on YouTube for 15 minutes, the laptop’s touchpad measured a just 76 degrees, while the keyboard clocked in at a just 79.5 degrees. The bottom of the laptop stayed at a modest 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well under our 95-degree consolation threshold.back to menu ↑
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Review – Configuration Options
The HP EliteBook Folio G1 begins at $999. You get a 1080p, nontouch display, a Core m5-6Y54 CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. On HP.com, you’ll be able to configure a Folio to order, selecting between Core m5 and m7 CPUs, various SSD capacities and different screen options, including 1080p nontouch, 1080p touch, and 4K touch panels. You’ll be able to select an NVMe-PCIe SSD, which ought to be three times faster than the regular SATA units. Sadly, you can’t configure it with more or less than 8GB RAM.
Our $1,429 review configuration had a Core m7-6Y75 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and Windows 10 Pro. We also examined the same configuration with a 4K display that took the price as much as $1,619. For those who care about battery life, you must stick to the 1080p display.back to menu ↑
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The HP EliteBook Folio G1 is a perfect size for productivity users on the go, offering enough room for a full-sized keyboard and a screen that shows plenty of content without making you squint. With the sturdy performance, a colorful display, a world-class typing experience, accurate face logins and a drop-friendly design makes it one of the best ultrabook.
However, the HP EliteBook Folio G1 falls short in the certain essential areas such as battery life, making it less portable than it could be. While the 1080p model of the Folio gets a serviceable 7 hours, the 4K model’s stamina is so weak that it’s hard to suggest. The laptop’s lack of a standard USB port may also be a deal breaker for some users.
For those who’re looking for a super thin laptop with longer battery life, think about the Apple MacBook 12-inch or the larger, 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which also has a lot more ports. However, if you need the ultimate in super slim business productivity and can make a few compromises, the HP EliteBook Folio G1 is a great alternative.back to menu ↑
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