The HP Elite Folio wraps vivid display options, 4G and 5G connectivity options, and all-day battery life within a lightweight, stylish design. It is clearly a winning design when it comes to mobility.
The 2-in-1 laptop’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G processor has its caveats, though. Its performance still can’t compete with that of modern AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processors, and software compatibility issues persist. These limitations may be tough to tolerate considering the Elite Folio’s premium price tag.
HP’s Elite Folio is available in either an 8GB RAM/16GB SSD fixed configuration on HP’s website for $1,889 (go.pcworld.com/1889), or a configurable Elite Folio option (go. pcworld.com/cono) that begins at $1,895.04. It’s worth noting that while the first option appears to be ready to ship, selecting the configurable option puts the ship date at October 7—with a big qualifier: “This platform has an extended build time. Component availability, and hence the ship date, may change.” A different configuration is $1,949.95 on Amazon (go.pcworld.com/1949). closer to a 2-in-1 Windows tablet. The keyboard does not detach, as it does with Microsoft’s Surface Pro X (go. pcworld.com/mprx) or Surface Pro 7+ (go. pcworld.com/mp7p). Instead, it can rotate flat into a tablet mode. A “hybrid” mode allows it to pull forward, hiding the keyboard for streaming video and using the screen as a primary interface. HP also includes a pen, which incurs an additional cost with rival tablets.
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G
Display: 13.3-inch (1920x1280) IPS touch, 400 nits rated
Memory: 8GB/16GB LPDDR4x-4266 (16GB as tested)
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (512GB as tested)
Graphics: Adreno 690
Ports: 2 USB-C 5Gbps (DisplayPort 1.4,USB PD)
Security: Windows Hello
Camera: 720p (user-facing, Windows Hello)
Battery: 46Wh (rated); 47.6Wh (as tested)
Wireless: 8021.11ac (2x2 MIMO), Bluetooth 5, Snapdragon X20 LTE Cat 16
Operating system: Windows 10 Home/Pro (Windows 10 Home as tested)
Dimensions: 11.75x9.03x0.63 inches
Weight: 2.93 pounds, 3.57 with charger
While the Elite Folio looks like a clamshell laptop, it’s closer to a 2-in-1 Windows tablet. The keyboard does not detach, as it does with Microsoft’s Surface Pro X (go. pcworld.com/mprx) or Surface Pro 7+ (go. pcworld.com/mp7p). Instead, it can rotate flat into a tablet mode. A “hybrid” mode allows it to pull forward, hiding the keyboard for streaming video and using the screen as a primary interface. HP also includes a pen, which incurs an additional cost with rival tablets.
The Elite Folio’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G (go.pcworld.com/qscx) is an Arm processor that mimics the customized Arm chip used inside the Surface Pro X and the Lenovo Flex 5G (go.pcworld.com/flx5). Those tablets, however, used a slightly earlier version of the Snapdragon 8cx, the Gen 1.
These Arm chips come with trade-offs. Historically, they’ve run more slowly than an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen chip, in part because of the need to emulate traditional x86 instructions. That’s less of a concern now, as more applications can run either on native Arm code or via the web. Just don’t expect to play games on the Elite Folio—it’s an optimized Office or web-browsing machine, first and foremost.
The Elite Folio may look a lot like the 2019 Spectre Folio (go.pcworld.com/sf0l). There’s one major external difference: Unlike the Spectre Folio, which comes in real leather cladding, the Elite Folio is wrapped in “vegan leather,” just a fancy name for polyurethane. That material conveys a luxurious look while being animal-friendly. Inside, the keyboard deck has a more traditional plasticky surface.
The low-power Snapdragon chip allows the Folio to run completely without a fan. You can clearly feel the warmth that the CPU puts out at the bottom of the screen, though it never even comes close to reaching uncomfortable temperatures.
The HP Elite Folio’s display is pleasing: bright, with vivid colors that cover 99 percent of the SRGB color gamut, though only 74 percent of AdobeRGB and 75 percent of sRGB, as measured by our colorimeter. You might not buy a laptop to work outside, but if you do, the Elite Folio is ready with two bright display options: a base model with a maximum 400 nits of brightness, and a 1,000-nit higher-end option, which we didn’t review. Turning up the display brightness will run down the integrated 46Wh battery more quickly, of course.
The Elite Folio includes built-in 4G LTE capabilities, with a SIM slot in the pen cubby, which we’ll talk about below. HP tells us there will be 5G options in the future.
The port selection is sparse—two USB-C (not Thunderbolt) connections, one on either side of the chassis. Connecting to a Thunderbolt dock enabled work on a single external 4K display, which satisfied our productivity needs.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
DOES YOUR LAPTOP FEEL SLUGGISH? - TRY THESE 9 THINGS BEFORE YOU GIVE UP
DON’T DITCH THAT AGING LAPTOP UNTIL YOU TRY THESE SPEED-BOOSTING TRICKS FIRST.
Dell XPS 17: The ultimate content creation laptop
With a giant screen and thin profile, the Dell XPS 17 is perfectly built for content creators on the go.
Mullvad VPN: Our favorite ultra-private VPN gets even better
Mullvad adds a few useful extras, as well as a big expansion of its network of servers.
How Windows 11 will speed up your slow PC
If your PC feels faster, is it faster? That’s Windows 11’s aim with some smart under-the-hood tweaks.
How to secure your home Wi-Fi network and router
Make sure what happens on your network stays private on your network.
WHAT IS DDR5? THE PC'S NEXT–GEN MEMORY, EXPLAINED
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PC’S NEXT RAM STANDARD.
Unpatched Office attack reminds us: Don't click on risky docs
An attacker will have to convince you to click on the document as well as turn off Protected View.
Gateway 15.6-inch Ultra Slim Notebook: Big screen on a budget
Getting a 15.6-inch display at this price is nice, but there are trade-offs.
GameSir GK300: Wireless mechanical keyboard goodness, just not for gaming
A removable wrist rest, backlighting, and a full-size layout help this wireless mechanical keyboard stand out.
Windows 11 to launch on October 5
The start of an exciting fall for PC users.
MICROSOFT SHUTTING DOWN LINKEDIN IN CHINA
Microsoft is shutting down its LinkedIn service in China later this year after internet rules were tightened by Beijing, the latest American tech giant to lessen its ties to the country.
The iPhone 13’s leaps forward for photo & video
MICROSOFT: RUSSIA BEHIND 58% OF DETECTED STATE-BACKED HACKS
Russia accounted for most state-sponsored hacking detected by Microsoft over the past year, with a 58% share, mostly targeting government agencies and think tanks in the United States, followed by Ukraine, Britain and European NATO members, the company said.
The View From Space
A startup uses satellites and AI to measure, and maybe mitigate, the climate crisis
HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY FROM THE INTERNET
It’s not just government spying; big-tech behemoths including Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have collected huge amounts of people’s data in order to serve up targeted ads—and then, there’s the personal data that’s scooped up in all the breaches and hacks.
Framework Laptop: True Modularity
HP Instant Ink vs. HP Plus vs. HP Smart: Which Ink Program Saves You the Most?
When you buy and install an HP printer, the setup routine may ask you to make some choices depending on the printer model.
Introducing the Kiplinger ESG 20
Our picks have profit potential and are tackling today’s environmental, social and governance challenges.
C-beams glitter in the dark
MONSTER HUNTER STORIES 2: WINGS OF RUIN is an approachable spin-off.