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HP announces the Folio 13 Ultrabook

The ultrathin 13.3-inch to feature Core i5 CPU, backlit keyboard, 128GB SSD and Ethernet for $899 starting Dec. 7th

Global conglomerate HP has officially jumped into the Ultrabook market today with the announcement of the Folio 13 Ultrabook.

The 13.3-inch ultrathin notebook offers an Intel Core i5-2467M CPU, an HD BrightView display, 128GB SSD, backlit keyboard, up to 9 hours of battery life and a weight of just 3.3 pounds (1.5kg). At about 18mm (0.708 inches) thick from back to front, it is only a hair thicker than the thickest edge of the MacBook Air.

The press release also emphasizes the built-in Ethernet port, something that other Ultrabooks and even the MacBook Air lack. The Asus UX21 and UX31 Ultrabooks, for example, don’t have dedicated RJ-45 ports but instead include a separate USB-to-Ethernet dongles. The HP Ultrabook also throws in USB 3.0, multi-card reader and an HDMI port. Optional extensions, such as an HP USB 2.0 dock, will be sold separately as well.

We expect Ultrabooks will re-ignite interest in the small form factor PC category, and by 2015 expect 95 million Ultrabooks will be shipping worldwide annually,” said chief research officer of IDC in the press release.

The HP Folio 13 will be available this coming December 7th for only $899, which puts it directly against the Acer Aspire S3 and upcoming Toshiba Portege Z835. On paper, the HP appears to have the edge over the immediate competition since the Aspire S3 uses a mechanical hard drive and the low-end Z835 includes a Core i3 CPU instead. But, we won’t have a definitive answer until we get our hands on one for the full review.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-11-17 (Update: 2012-05-26)