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HP Folio 13 Ultrabook Laptop Review

By: Trace Hagan | Standard Laptops in Laptops | Posted: Sep 4, 2012 4:12 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: HP

Keyboard and TouchPad




I'm somewhat of a picky keyboard user and somewhat peculiar in what I like. Let me offer this disclaimer before I continue: Everyone likes something a bit different in a keyboard. Sometimes a keyboard is great and sometimes I may be the only one in the world who likes it. I suggest checking out a model with a keyboard I like in a local store before agreeing that the keyboards I like are ones you like. That said, I think you'll find that most of the keyboards I like, you'll like.


There's not too much to say about the keyboard on this HP. It isn't something to write home about, but it's also much better than most. I like typing on this machine much more than I do on the ASUS Zenbook line or the Samsung Series 7 line. However, as a laptop keyboard, it doesn't hold a candle to my desktop keyboard.


The key travel is fine, not too long or too short. It's pretty quiet when typing, so you should be able to use it in bed while someone else sleeps next to you. This, too, is where the backlight comes in handy. The backlighting is soft white glow, not blindingly bright like some, but not too dark to where it doesn't help. The color is also nice as it is not harsh to look at when it's dark.


Typing on the keyboard is comfortable enough that you could use it for several hours on end without getting sore. The edge of the palm rests has a nice bevel to it so as to not be sharp and hurt your wrists. Since HP is marketing this as a business laptop, the keyboard should be pretty durable and be able to take a pounding day after day.


The touchpad is one of those single, seamless designs like used on the Apple MacBook line of products. A painted grey line dictates where one should press for right and left click, though the entire touchpad can be pressed.


Annoyingly, tapping the touchpad makes a loud noise. It's not clear if this was by design and to provide an audible click or if it can be chalked up to manufacturing issues. The bottom line is it is louder than fully clicking the touchpad down and is rather annoying as I prefer to tap my touchpad because it is usually quieter than pressing.


HP has also equipped the touchpad with some multi-touch features. As the whole touchpad can be depressed for a click, doing so with two fingers results in a right click. Swiping two fingers up, down or side-to-side results in page scrolling and using to fingers to pinch will zoom out, just like on an iOS device.





The screen on the Folio 13 is a glossy 1366 x 768 13.3-inch screen. Considering they are marketing this as a business Ultrabook or one that can be used in business, it seems a bit odd that they opted to equip the machine with a glossy screen. Usually business laptops come with matte screens to reduce glare.

The brightness of the screen is adequate, but nothing to be blown away by. It can be used in bright sunlight, though it could present some difficulty depending on the angle of the sun. In shade, however, the screen is plenty bright and works well, save for the difficulty of seeing through the glare.


The machine is a bit smaller than competitors' offerings due to the tiny bezel that surrounds the screen. This combined with the glossy screen work together to provide a slick looking device. The resolution is the only major place that the Folio 13 lacks. At 1366 x 768, you're missing quite a bit of screen area that could be used for viewing bigger pictures and large spreadsheets. It's not unheard of for a 13.3-inch screen to receive something more like a 1600x900 resolution and those extra pixels go a long way towards a machine's usability, especially in the workplace where massive spreadsheets run rampant.


The bottom line is that the screen is sufficient for the machine in really all aspects. Viewing angles are decent, but not going to break records. Color reproduction, while not perfect, is good enough, though not for a professional. Resolution, as previously stated, is not terrible for a 13.3-inch screen, but would have been much better at 1600 x 900.

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